Guntur Sannam Chilli
Located 40 miles to the north of the Bay of Bengal, The South Indian City of Guntur is crowned as India’s red chilli capital. Apart from being the largest producer of red chilli in the country, it is also host to World’s largest red Chilli market.
It is estimated that around 1 crore red chilli bags are traded in a year from this market. About 46% of the chilli produced in India is from Andhra Pradesh. The red chilli is the chief cash crop of Guntur and of Andhra Pradesh on the whole. The Red chilli shows its influence in a flavour of local Andhra Pradesh dishes too. Red chillies of different varieties and sizes are grown in Andhra Pradesh.
Some of the popular red Chilli varieties grown in Andhra Pradesh are :
- 334 Chilli
- Guntur Sannam-S4
Of all the red Chilli varieties grown, the Guntur Sannam Chilli is the most famous.It belongs to Capsicum annuum species and is known for its thick skin and high pungency.
There are 4 grades of Guntur Sannam chillies:
- Sannam Special (S.S.): light red in color, shining, with a length of 5 cm and more.
- Sannam General (S.G.): light red in color, shining skin, with a length of 3 to 5 cm.
- Sannam Fair(S.F.) : which is blackish a dull red in color with a length of 3 to 5 cm.
- Non Specified (N.S) :This is not a regular grade and is meant to meet specific requirements of the buyers which are not covered under regular grades.
(Image Courtesy: guntur-online.in)
The Guntur Sannam chilli is mainly grown in Guntur, Warangal and Khammam districts. Owing to its good quality grade and high nutrient content(the chillies are rich in vitamin C) , it is even exported to West Asia, Far East, USA, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
This variety of chilli is planted from August to September and is harvested from December to May. The ideal climate during plantation is hot and humid. Approximately 280,000 ton of Guntur Sannam chili is produced annually.
Guntur Sannam has also got Geographical Indication(GI) status, which is basically a certification which states that the crop possesses certain unique properties owing to its place of origin.
Seeing the immense potential of Guntur as a chili producer the Andhra Pradesh Government has opened a Regional Research Station at LAM near Guntur for research purposes and to aid the flourishing Chilli industry in and around Guntur.