Contrary to popular belief, chili does not originate from India but from South America as with other capsicums. Cili padi can be either an annual or short-lived perennial plant native to Central and South America. The flowers are white with greenish white or greenish yellow corolla, and are either insect-or-self pollinated. The small chilies which grow erect, usually start off a pale yellow colour and matures into bright red or green chilies.


Chili keeps depression away by simulating the sensory nerve endings which in turn stimulate the release of the “happy” chemical, dopamine. Despite their small size, chili padi packs plenty of punch and is an essential ingredient in Malay, Nyonya and Thai cooking. In Malaysia, it’s common to serve up finely sliced cili padi with light soya sauce as an accompaniment with meals.