Saturday, January 2, 2016


HOT CHILI (Capsicum frutescens) includes very few varieties of chillies but it does include that most famous pepper of all. In Malaysia it was known as Cili Padi, Chili Api or Cili Burung and in Indonesia are called as Cabe Rawit. This chilli under Solanaceae family used as cooking ingredients for speciality hot taste from Capsaicin.  Some of the other cultivars and varieties included in this group are Piri piri, also known as African Devil or African Bird’s Eye, Malagueta pepper, Malawian pepper, Kambuzi pepper and Thai pepper, also known as Chilli Padi, Bird’s Eye Chilli or Siling Labuyo. From my study it shows that the origin of this species is not very clear but it is believed to have originated in Central or South America. In Malaysia it was a wild crop before domesticated for home consumption especially planted in the pot. From so called the origin country it spread rapidly across the tropical and sub tropical regions in this area. Today, this species is endemic throughout the major portion Asia, Australia, Northern, Central and Western South America. and mant other countries. This article I would like to share the info about small sized chilli with locally known as Cili Api (Hot Chilli) in "Anim Agriculture Technology" as an agriculture technical support to all reader.

Physical Characteristics of this chillies are similar to the Bigger Chillies (Capsicum annum) or locally known in Malaysia as Cili Besar.  Unlike other species such as the Chinense and the Annum species, there is very little variation in the pods of the Frutescens chillies. Typically, the stem grows straight up throughout and it curves suddenly just before it touches the flower head. The plants are compact, with the stems growing only between one and four feet tall, depending upon prevailing conditions. Their short, shrubby growth and large number of flowers make them ideal for container gardening.  Bushes of Capsicum frutescens often produce clusters of pods, which grow just above their foliage and giving them a beautiful ornamental look similar to that of the C. Annuum species. A single plant is capable of producing more than 100 pods. Most pods or berries are small and grow erect and are typically lanceoloid or ellipsoid-conical in shape. The flowers have the same width throughout and are white with a greenish yellow or greenish white corolla. The fruit are yellow when they start off and as they mature they darken and turn red gradually, displaying various shades of red during the different stages of ripening. 
Uses of Capsicum Frutescens are as for cooking purposes in most local dishes. One cuisine that uses an abundance of these chillies is the Nasi Goreng Kampong (Fried Rice with chilli) where this species has been consumed ad a compulsary spices. It was reported cultivated since the nineteenth century. It shows up occasionally in South East Asia and other country where the dishes provide hot taste.  The Piri Piri pepper is a popular and much used variety in the Southern regions of Africa. In other area this chilli is also commonly known as 'Pili Pili 'which literally translated means 'pepper pepper' in the Swahili language. The Colonial British used to call it African Devil because of its deadly, intense heat for this chilli. It used to grow in the wild earlier and it is now being cultivated to some extend extensively and used in the production of spices. Piri Piri is very popular in Asian and African cuisine and is often used to prepare a particular type of marinade for roasting chicken. When running short of time, sprinkling pili piili pepper flakes over the meat just before serving can do the trick too. Today, more and more people everywhere are choosing to plant this species for ornamental purposes because of the eye catching display of the profusion of erect peppers growing in colourful ripening patterns. The chillies grow erect and mature to a red or orange colour. At full growth they measure about .0.75 inch length and have a diameter of about 1.25” inches.
Growing of this Cili Api (Capsicum frutescens) in Malaysia are one of the popular spices. There are normelly planted in the pot and produce fruit all year round. Like most other the chilli and pepper plants, Capsicum frutescens also relish heat and humidity and have very small tolerance to drought. They grow best when planted in moist, well-drained soil that is fertile and enriched with organic matter. If anybody are growing them outdoors, sow the seeds or transplant the seedlings only after the soil has warmed considerably and the danger of frost has passed. In addition to this, choosing a spot where they will get the full sun gives the plants the best possible conditions for them to thrive. Local proce for chili api in Malaysia ranged from RM8.00 0 RM20.00 per kilogram. To pluck each small fruit of chillies is relatively consume longer time compere to the Cili Besar. I hope this articel relevang with intrested parties. Wasallam!. 
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Aras 13, Condonomium Flora,
Seri Kembangan,
(2 1/ 2016/

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