It may be that the only way we can have our Mathania chili is if we eat it, too. This unique and world-renowned chili, which grows only in India’s arid state of Rajasthan, is a daily staple for most households in the region. But experts at India’s Central Arid Zone Research Institute say the rising temperatures and unreliable rain patterns associated with climate change are making the chili more difficult to grow.
Providing growers with a steady market for these unique chilis is the only way to make growing this specialty spice worth their while. So buy some! You probably won’t be able to find Mathania chilis at your regular grocery store, but they’re easy enough to find for sale online.
Anyone lucky enough to enjoy a meal in or around Jodhpur, India, has probably encountered the sinus-clearing zing of Mathania chilis, which are often served pickled in mustard oil. The most popular way to eat them, though, is in a chutney that can be used as a dip for the unleavened Indian flatbread called chappatis, or as a sauce for cooked vegetables.
Indian home cooks like Buddhi Devi use a traditional stone grinding contraption called a sil to mash the chilis on a stone slab called a batta. Go easy on yourself and use a food processor instead.
Mathania Chili Garlic Chutney
- 2 Mathania chilis, dried
- 5 cloves of garlic
- enough water to make a paste
Just grind the ingredients together to the desired consistency.