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Description

Chilli or pepper (Capsicum) is any of a great number of plants of the night shade family, Solanaceae, extensively cultivated throughout tropical Asia and equatorial America for their edible, pungent fruits. India is the largest producer and exporter of chillies. The genus Capsicum comprised all the varied forms of fleshy-fruited peppers grown as herbaceous annuals - the red, green, and yellow pepper rich in vitamins A and C that are used in seasoning and as a vegetable food. It includes paprika, chili pepper, red pepper (cayenne), and bell peppers.

The latter one is considered and eaten as a vegetable and is not covered in this section. The capsicums under each category vary tremendously and the species designation is not always possible. In general, paprika belongs to C.annum and the red peppers and chili peppers belong to the C.frutescens species. The name chilli is believed to be derived from an ancient Indian word txile. The term "pimiento," from the Spanish for "pepper", is applied to certain mild pepper varieties possessing distinctive flavour but lacking in pungency; these include the European paprikas, which include the paprika of commerce, a powdered red condiment that was known in Hungary by the late 16th century.

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