Kanthari Maluka

Ivory beauty from Kerala

This chilli from India is also known as the Kerala Birds-Eye   It is a distant cousin of the African Devil (African birds-eye)  in that  it comes from the same species. Both the African devil and the Kerala Kerala  birds-eye Chillies are cultivars of Capsicum_frutescens .  These Chillies differ in species from the Thai Birds-eye Chilli , which falls under the Capsicum annuum species

Link to Kanthari Malaku
Ivory Kanthari Malaku

The Portuguese were responsible for introducing  Birds–Eye Chillies  to  Africa, India and Thailand. While  sharing a common origin (South America)  all these Chillies have been shaped by local growing conditions into something that makes them somewhat different from each other.

In the case of the white Kanthari Maluka, in particular, this difference is quite distinct. While sharing the characteristic of its African  cousin of having their fruit growing sky facing, instead of being red, this is white Chilli. Both the African and Thai  Birds- eye ripen from green to red chillies, but the Kanthari Maluka ripens from light green into an ivory white before finally turning into an orange colour.

The plant grows to a height of between 40 inches (500 mm) and approximately 3.3 feet (approximately one meter), and it is a prolific producer. At maturity, its fruit is about an inch (25 mm) long and approximately ¼ inch (6 mm) wide. It has a very distinct taste that is described as being peppery with a slightly bitter after-note. It has a Scoville rating of between 50 000 and 100000 SHU, but hotter specimens have been recorded.

The Kanthari Maluka is used in India to make pickles and chutneys, like Kanthari Uppilittathu (Chilli pickle), but can also be used to create various other dishes Keralan chicken curry (made with coconut milk) and Thoran fish ( a fish curry made with small sardine like fish).

Image credit: User Rayabhari  /  Cc-by-sa-3.0

(image was modified by change of size)