Bhut Jolokia – Burn Baby Burn

Indian food owes its attraction to the rich amalgam of spices and, of course, the hot chilies that go into its famed curries.

Today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) brings us news of an Indian chili called Bhut Jolokia that is supposedly 200 times hotter than jalapeño pepper.

Apparently, Bhut Jolokia is the world’s hottest chili pepper. Period. 

In fact, one local farmer Digonta Saikia cautioned an outsider about Bhut Jolokia:

It is so hot you can’t even imagine. When you eat it, it’s like dying. 

Here is what the WSJ had to say about Bhut Jolokia:

The bhut jolokia pepper, which is farmed in the northeast part of the country, was plucked from obscurity last year when the Guinness Book of World Records declared it the world’s hottest. The standard measure for such things is the Scoville Heat Unit, or SHU, named after Wilbur Lincoln Scoville, a chemist who in 1912 developed a method of assessing the heat given off by capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. Jalapeño peppers measure about 5,000 SHUs. The bhut jolokia tops a million.

Bhut Jolokia is not for effete palates.

Even most Indian palates used to hot curries would find it hard to stand the heat from the Bhut Jolokias though locals in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland eat them raw or add them to curries.

According to a WSJ slide show, Bhut Jolokias are more profitable for farmers than ordinary chili peppers, going for three cents each.

Are we going to try Bhut Jolokia? No way. Oh boy, we can’t even handle the Guntur chilies.

One Response to "Bhut Jolokia – Burn Baby Burn"

  1. tiramisu   August 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Hi SI –
    noticed the Texas memorabilia store in Dallas – DFW airport was selling hot sauce with this pepper. It was called Ghost pepper something.

    On a different note, Gordon Ramsay did a 2 episode show highlighting his foodie trip across India. During the trip he attended contest in Assam where a woman was rubbing this pepper into her eyes !!! Responds:

    Rubbing Bhut Jolokia seeds into her eyes?

    Well, all we say is that weird shit happens in India.

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