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Chilly adds colour to Rajasthan's Nagaur Fair

The red chilly of Nagaur, famous for its colour and flavour, adds a vibrant note to the town's cattle fair.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 17:24 IST

Rajasthan is known for chivalry, forts and palaces, music and dance, art and crafts and colourful fairs and festivals. Nagaur Fair which is originally a cattle fair renowned for the trading of cows, bullocks, oxen, camels and horses has another important item Lal Mirchi (red chilly) to make the fair more colourful.

Lal Mirchi Bazaar (Red chilly market) is an important part of Nagaur fair which starts with the Cattle fair in the first week of February and lasts till end of March. The red chilly of Nagaur is famous for its colour and flavour.

"The flavour of this chilly is unique. People generally pay even higher prices for this variety of chilly because of its good flavour," said a trader from Jodhpur. However, he said that they get chilly at reasonable price because farmers themselves come to sell it in the market.

"It provides a good opportunity to the farmers to sell their products without intermediaries and thus fetch good price for them," said Om Prakash Mirdha, in-charge of Nagaur Fair.

However, for visitors it's more about colour than flavour. "We can,t exactly describe the flavour whether its good or bad but its colour is exiting and wonderful," said Jane Dawson a tourist from New York.

"The fair provides a rare opportunity to take in the sight of folk attired in colourful traditional dresses and turbans flaunting their moustache. The red chilly makes it even more colourful," said an Australian tourist Jane Dawson.

Chilli has two important commercial qualities. Some varieties are famous for red colour because of the pigment casanthin, while others are known for biting pungency attributed by capsaicin.

India one of the major chilli producing countries in the world is the only country rich in many varieties with different quality factors. India is also the world's largest consumer of chilli where almost 90 percent of the production is absorbed in the domestic market.

The major producers of chilli in the country are Andhra Pradesh (49 per cent), Karnataka (15 per cent) Orissa (8 per cent), Maharashtra (6 per cent), West Bengal (5 per cent), Rajasthan (4 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (3 per cent).

Chilli is mainly exported to the US, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Asia and the Far-East.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 12:33 IST