The fruit is eaten cooked or raw for its fiery hot flavour which is concentrated along the top of the pod. The stem end of the pod has glands which produce the capsaicin, which then flows down through the pod. Removing the seeds and inner membranes is thus effective at reducing the heat of a pod.
Well-known dishes with a strong chile flavor are Mexican salsas, Tex-Mex chile con carne, and Indian vindaloos and other curries. Chile powder is a spice made of the dried ground chilies, usually of the Mexican chile ancho variety, but with small amounts of cayenne added for heat, while chili powder is composed of dried ground chile peppers, cumin, garlic and oregano. Bottled hot sauces such as Tabasco sauce are made from Tabasco chilies, similar to cayenne, which may also be fermented.
Chipotles are dry, smoked red (ripe) jalapeños.
Korean, Indian, Indonesian, Szechuan and Thai cuisines are particularly associated with the chile pepper, although the plant was unknown in Asia until Europeans introduced it there.
In Turkish or Ottoman cuisine, chilies are widely used. It is known as "Kırmızı Biber" (Red Pepper) or "Acı Biber" (Hot Pepper).
Sambal is dipping sauce made from chile peppers with any other ingredients such as garlic, onion, shallots, salt, vinegar and sugar. It is very popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The leaves of the chili pepper plant, which are mildly bitter, are cooked as greens in Filipino cuisine, where they are called dahon ng sili (literally "chili leaves"). They are often used in the chicken soup dish known as tinola. In Korean cuisine, the leaves are also used to produce chili pepper leaf kimchi