Fun Fact Friday: Did you know that Indian food was not always as hot and spicy as it is now?
Despite the fact that chilies have been used since at least 7,500 BC, it is only in the last 500 years that India even knew about the chili pepper and Capsaicin, that magical chemical that causes the heat we all love today. Christopher Columbus is credited with finding the chili pepper in the 1490s on his travels to the Caribbean. Columbus brought back the chilis to Europe and it was the Portuguese who introduced the chili pepper to India towards the end of the 15th century1. Today, India is one of the largest producers and exporter of chilies in the world, growing a wide variety of different types2.
1 N.Mini Raj; K.V.Peter E.V.Nybe (1 January 2007). Spices. New India Publishing. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-81-89422-44-8.