There is nothing as widely used and relied upon as cayenne pepper, to transform a mundane everyday dish to a hot and spicy showstopper, especially in India and Pakistan. While the laal mirch (red chilli powder) in the circular masala-boxes at home, is only one of the many variants of cayenne pepper consumed in the different parts of our country, this condiment has been around for quite some time and is popular all over the world. It has different names and is available in different forms (fresh, dried, canned or powdered), and celebrated for much more than its role in the kitchen. Cayenne Pepper takes its name from the Cayenne region of French Guinea. It is grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of India, Africa, the United States of America and Mexico. It was introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portugese travellers, who carried it from South America where it was cultivated for the first time. Not many are aware that some chilli powder variants are not purely made from Cayenne pepper (having additives like fennel seed powder), but are perfect substitutes for it. One of the local versions is Kashmiri laal mirch powder, which is not too hot but imparts a striking red colour to food preparations.