from sweet to spicy

Chili varieties

Chilies come in countless different varieties, ranging from sweet tasting to extreme heat. When the chilies have developed a deep red color, they tend to contain more capsaicin and are thus spicier. Also, the smaller chili varieties tend to be hotter.

You can get chili’s fresh, dried, or powdered. Dried chilies are roughly twice as hot as the fresh variety. The water content of fresh chilies helps to spread the capsaicin in your mouth, which is why fresh chilies tend to taste very pungent while containing less capsaicin.

Some flavors are lost in the drying process, but new flavors are created. Especially when the chilies are smoke dried, they get woody and roasted flavors. Chili in powder form loses lots of flavor compounds and are best used to add more heat to a dish.


Ancho chili

The Ancho chili is a matured and dried Poblano pepper. Together with the Mulatto and Pasilla they form the trinity of Mexican dried chili peppers. Their sweet, smoky taste, and mild heat, makes them an essential ingredient of a Mexican ‘mole’ sauce.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 2/10

Scoville Heat Units: 1250 SHU

Bird eye

Bird eye chili

The Bird eye chili is a staple in Asian cooking. The bird eye chili is used in soups, salads (spicy papaya salad), and stir-fries. This fiery chili has besides the punch it packs, some sweet notes. The riper red chilies pack more heat than the unmatured green chilies, which are still spicy though. The Bird eye chili is a slim chili that reaches only 5 centimeters in length.

Origin: Thailand

Heat: 7/10

Scoville Heat Units: 75000 SHU


Guajillo chili

The Guajillo is a sun-dried version of the Mirasol chili. One of the favorite chilies in Mexico, it has a smoky sweet flavor with notes of berries and green tea. The mild heat and sweet flavors make this chili a popular ingredient in Mexican dishes. It also pairs well with fruits and chocolate. The Guajillo can be ground into chili flakes or powder, or they can be rehydrated for use in soups or stews. Allow for plenty of time to rehydrate the Guajillo chili, as its skin is quite tough.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 3/10

Scoville Heat Units: 4000 SHU

Guntur Sannam

Guntur Sannam

The Guntur Samman chili pepper is one of the most popular variant of red chili in India and accounts for over 50% of exported dried chili from India. Praised for its pungent flavor and a thick deep red skin. The whole dried chilies get added to many different stews to slowly release their pungent heat. 

Origin: India

Heat: 5/10

Scoville Heat Units: 35000 - 40000 SHU


Habanero chili

The Habanero is originally a Peruvian chili, but nowadays the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico is the biggest producer of this pungent chili pepper. Once the hottest chili around, but nowadays there are several breeds that pack even more heat. The Habanero comes in different colors which all have their unique flavors. The Habanero’s heat comes together with a sweet and fruity aroma, which really shines in dishes, if you can harness the heat.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 8/10

Scoville Heat Units: 250000 SHU


Jalapeño chili

The Jalapeño is a chili from Mexico, with a degree of heat that is enjoyable for most people. Jalapeño’s are mostly picked and eaten when they are still green. When the Jalapeño chili is matured and turned red, they become spicier and less bitter. The red Jalapeño goes in Mexico by the name Huachinango, the smoke-dried version is called Chipotle. Pickled Jalapeño’s are a staple in most Mexican style restaurants.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 4/10

Scoville Heat Units: 5000 SHU


Malagueta chili

A spicy chili that is a staple in Brazilian & Portuguese cooking. Besides the strong but not overwhelming heat, they have a sweet and tangy flavor. They can grow up to 7 centimeters, the smaller versions of these chili peppers are used for the Portuguese Piri-Piri. Green Malaguetas are picked before they are fully ripened and have thus slightly less heat.

Origin: Brazil

Heat: 7/10

Scoville Heat Units: 75000 SHU


Mulato chili

The Mulato chili is closely related to the Ancho chili, they are both dried Poblano peppers. Mulato chili are made from a different variety of Poblano pepper and they are left to mature on the vine for a longer time than the Ancho chili. Both are part of the Mexican trinity of dried chilies. The Mulato chili has a more complex smokier flavor, with hints of coffee, licorice, cherries, and chocolate. Mulato’s deepen the color of sauces, which makes them a good spice for stews and casseroles.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 2/10

Scoville Heat Units: 3000 SHU


Padron chili

The Padron pepper is one of the mildest chilies. However, about 1 in 10 of the Padron peppers tends to pack a punch, like the Jalapeño chili. Mostly used in the kitchen when they are still green. The flavor is nutty and sweet. Often pan fried and served as a tapas snack

Origin: Spain

Heat: 1/10

Scoville Heat Units: 1000 SHU


Pasilla chili

The Pasilla chili is a mature, dried chilaca chili. Although its name in Spanish translates as ‘little raisin’, this chili can become up to 25 centimeters. The Pasilla chili is part of the Mexican trinity of dried chilies for the ‘mole’ sauce. This medium spicy chili has a complex sweet flavor reminiscent of licorice. Besides the Mexican ‘mole’, the Pasilla chili also combines well with cacao and sweet dishes.

Origin: Mexico

Heat: 2/10

Scoville Heat Units: 1750 SHU

Satan's kiss

Satan's kiss chili

Don’t be fooled by the small round cherry like appearance of these chilies, the Satan’s kiss packs a spicy punch. Also known as Baccio Ciliegia Piccante, This Italian chili variety adds besides the spiciness, not much other flavors to your dishes. These tiny chilies are traditionally stuffed with something fatty and eaten as a tapas snack.

Origin: Italy

Heat: 6/10

Scoville Heat Units: 45000 SHU

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