Facts & Figures

The World’s Hottest Chilli – Bhut Jolokia

The World's Hottest Chilli

One seed from a Bhut Jolokia (Hottest Chilli in the World) can sustain intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding.

The smallest amount of Bhut Jolokia can flavour a sauce so intensely it’s barely edible.

Taking a small bite of the Bhut Jolokia will cause watering eyes and a runny nose as well as a burning sensation in the mouth that can last upto 5 hrs!

Now “That’s Hot!!”

The Hottest Chilli in the World – Bhut Jolokia

The Bhut Jolokia (also known as Naga Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Ghost Pepper, Naga Morich) is a chilli pepper originating in Assam, India, that has earned Guiness World Records’ recognition as the World’s Hottest Chilli Pepper!

Weighing in at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units(SHUs), the Bhut Jolokia chilli from India blasted the previous champion Red Savina which was at 577,000 SHUs) by almost double.

This landrace chile originates from the northeast of India, particularly Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It belongs to the Capsicum Chinense family and is known by many names in the different Indian provinces. The most common names include Bhut Jolokia, Bih jolokia, Nagahari, Raja Mircha, Raja chilli or Borbih Jolokia. For example Bih jolokia translates to ‘poison chilli’ in Assamese. Bhut Jolokia translates to ‘Ghost chilli’ probably due to its ghostly bite. Raja Mircha means ‘King of Chillies’.

Ripe Bhuts measure 60 mm (2.4 in) to 85 mm (3.3 in) long and 25 mm (1.0 in) to 30 mm (1.2 in) wide with an orange or red color.

What is Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and How is it measured?

Chilli hotness comes from the substance capsaicin which is concentrated primarliy in the veins. membrane and flesh of the Chilli. The seeds are not the primary heat source, it is the membrane. However, the since the seeds are surrounded by membrane loaded with capsaicin, removing the seeds removes the surrounding membrane reducing the heat.

Hotness has traditionally been rated in Scoville Units named after Dr. Wilbur Scoville who devised a test in 1912 to rate the heat of a chilli.

In Scoville’s method, as originally devised, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugar water until the “heat” is no longer detectable to a panel of (usually five) tasters; the degree of dilution gives its measure on the Scoville scale. Thus a capsicum, sweet pepper or a bell pepper, containing no capsaicin at all, has a Scoville rating of zero, meaning no heat detectable, even undiluted. Conversely, the hottest chiles, such as habaneros, have a rating of 200,000 or more, indicating that their extract has to be diluted 200,000-fold before the capsaicin present is undetectable.

The Bhut Jolokia in Comparision to other Chillies

Type of Chilli Scoville Rating(SHU’s)
Bell Pepper 0
Pimento, Pepperoncini 100–500
Anaheim pepper 500–2,500
Poblano Pepper 1,000–1,500
Rocotillo Pepper 1,500–2,500
Jalapeño Pepper 2,500–8,000
Serrano Pepper 10,000–23,000
Cayenne Pepper,Tabasco pepper 30,000–50,000
Thai Pepper, Malagueta Pepper, Chiltepin Pepper, Pequin Pepper 50,000–100,000
Rocoto, Jamaican Hot Pepper 100,000–200,000
Habanero chili, Scotch Bonnet 100,000–350,000
Red Savina Habanero 350,000–580,000
Bhut Jolokia 855,000–1,041,427

Super Hot Assam Curry Paste

If your Adventurous and like Spicy food, you can try this Super Hot Assam Curry Paste which can be added to any meat or fish preparations in small quantities to give it some heat. But be cautious and careful while preparing it as you really don’t want to inhale the chilli powder or splatter any on your skin.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe collected by England’s “King of Curries,” Pat Chapman. Use it in place of commercial curry pastes or powders.

1 dried Naga Jolokia pod, seeds removed, ground in a spice mill (wear a mask to avoid inhaling the powder)
4 tablespoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice mix; available in Asian markets)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil

– Mix the ground spices together. Add the vinegar and water and mix into a paste. Let stand for 15 minutes.

– In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the paste (careful of the sputtering), lower the heat, and stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes.

– As the liquid is reduced, the paste will begin to make a regular bubbling noise (hard to describe, but it goes chup-chup-chup) if you don’t stir, and it will splatter. This is your audible cue that it is ready.

– You can tell if the spices are cooked by taking the pan off the stove. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. If the oil ‘floats’ to the top, the spices are cooked. If not, add a little more oil and repeat.

– Bottle the paste in sterilized jars. Then heat up a little more oil and ‘cap’ off the paste by pouring in enough oil to cover.

– Seal the jars and store. Properly cooked, it will last for months. If refrigerated, indefinitely.

Yield: About 1 cup
Heat Scale: Extremely Hot!