Is the Red Chilli Powder You Use Pure & Authentic?
A staple in most Indian kitchens, red chilli powder, also known as ‘Lal Mirch’ powder, gives the classic vibrant red colour to our curries and has a distinct taste and aroma.
A dish ‘lights up’ with that added spark of a red chilli tadka. Our papri chaat or the ever-favourite kadhi get a whole new look and taste with a sprinkle of red chilli powder.
The Perfect Red Chilli Tadka
Heat oil or ghee (clarified butter) in a pan. Add cumin or mustard seeds, or both. Let them splutter. Take the pan off the heat and add ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder. Pour over the dal or curry and watch the dish ‘light’ up! A sight to behold, for sure.
P.S. The more pure and authentic the red chilli powder, the more radiant is the colour and flavour of the tadka.
Available in many varieties, the spice comes in many avatars – be it a sizzling sensation or a mild marvel.
However, the flavoursome spice does much more than just packing a punch.
Extremely rich in the bioactive compound Capsaicin (also responsible for the hot spicy kick and the lovely red colour), a powerful antioxidant, red chill also has remarkable health benefits.
It is also a fabulous source of dietary fibre, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, manganese and vitamins A, C, K & B6 (USDA data)
Therefore, be it to add a zing to our food or our wellbeing, red chillies have star power for sure!
Spice Market in India
Chilli is the most produced spice in India, followed by garlic and turmeric.
In 2018 alone, the production volume of chillies amounted to around 2.15 million metric tons across India.
However, this is one spice that is embroiled in controversy, and one is always questioning its authenticity.
Have you ever wondered how safe is the red chilli, or for that matter any spice, that you are using? Is it full of adulterants, or is it pure and authentic?
As consumers, we are very conscious of using only the purest of food products, be it organic fruits and vegetables etc. However, we usually forget to check the authenticity of the spices we use.
Extensive research has proven that there is widespread use of adulterants in the Indian spice market. It is so because the spice industry is still highly unorganised and the quality checks are quite lax.
A large percentage of spices available in the market are full of preservatives and pesticides far exceeding the permissible limits.
Everyday use spices like red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder etc. are most susceptible to being contaminated.
|Adulterants like brick powder, crushed wood or husk, artificial colours and starch, are added to red chilli powder to increase the bulk and also to enhance its colour.|
How does adulterated red chilli powder affect us?
Red chilli powder is an intrinsic part of Indian cooking and has a far-reaching effect, both on the taste of our food and our health.
Colours, chemicals, pesticides, sawdust, brick powder and additives are used by unscrupulous red chilli powder manufacturers to improve the chilli’s colour and cut costs.
These are done for rampant monetary gains with little thought to the long term and disastrous impact on the health of the people and the environment.
Overuse of pesticides in red chillies makes them toxic for our health over a prolonged period.
Additionally, the high amount of pesticides used, get absorbed in the air, water and soil, eroding the precious resources for future generations.
|Adulterated spices like red chillies can cause poisoning, blurred vision, nausea, digestive disorders and many other serious diseases.|
So how do we ensure we buy pure and authentic red chilli powder?
As aware and quality-conscious consumers, we must ensure we don’t buy such adulterated spices which play havoc with our family and our health.
- Therefore, we must do thorough research and buy only pure and authentic spices from trusted and recommended brands.
- We must read the labels on the packaging carefully, looking for information about the company, the processes it follows to bring the product to you.
- A brand invested in bringing high-quality products to its consumers will be highly transparent and have all the relevant information on the labels, its website and its social media platforms.
At Valley Spice, our focus is to bring only pure and authentic spices to our customers.
To honour this commitment, we use only the best quality whole spices that have been grown following good agricultural practices.
Our whole red spices have zero pesticide residue and retain the goodness of nature.
Further, the whole spices are processed in a world-class state-of-the-art facility. It ensures the end product, red chilli powder, is rich in the inherent taste, colour, aroma and health benefits.
Our red chilli powder stays untouched by hand throughout its processing. Moreover, it comes in easy to use sustainable sprinkle and spoon bottles to ensure it retains its purity and authenticity at all times.
Our health is our lookout to a large extent, and the factors we can control, we must do so judiciously.
So, take a moment, research, and buy only pure and authentic spices. Invest wisely in your and the family’s health.
Do you recall any incident when might have realised you bought adulterated red chilli powder? What did you do about it? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.