Food News: Bhut Jolokia

Bhut Jolokia*

Move over Savina Habanero! The Indian Bhut Jolokia is here!

What is Bhut Jolokia?
Bhut Jolokia in Assamese means 'Ghost Chillies'. The Bhut Jolokia is a naturally occurring hybrid native to the Assam region of northeastern India.

So why is it in news?

This chilli has been officially designated as the World's HOTTEST chilli as per The Guinness Book of Records.

How hot is this chilli?

Heat from chillies is mesaured in Scoville heat units. Bhut Jolokia registers in at
1,001,304 Scoville heat units (SHU).

Is that a lot?

The Red Savina chilli was considered the hottest until now, the heat of which is just half of the Bhut Jolokia at 577,000 SHU. Your average Jalapeno measures in at about 10 000 SHU. Now you know why the Bhut is REALLY hot.

In April last year, Dorset claimed to grow the World's hottest chilli, the Dorset Naga that beat the Savina Habanera by almost 60% higher SHU at 876,000. The Naga is actually sold with a health warning and it is found to have originated in Bangladesh. So now, we have the hottest as well as the second hottest coming from the Indian-subcontinent. If the Dorest Naga is supposed to blow your head off, imagine the power of the Bhut!

Now you tell me why the locals call it the 'GHOST CHILLI'!

Until something HOTTER is discovered, we Indians can feel proud of the fact we are at present the SPICIEST in the world!

*Image courtesy:


Vini K said...

I read about this one just two days ago!Glad to see what it looks like .

archana said...

Hi Nandita, Wow did'nt know that hottest chille is here in India!!!Good write up on the chilles dear:)
Why it is called ghost chille? Simple the person who eats it knows for sure his end is near and sees his future friends 'ghosts' around him :)))) Hee..... hee... hee..Am I laughing like a ghost already?

gilly said...

Hi Nandita - oh my, that DOES sound spicy! Do you do much cooking with the Bhut Jolokia?

ces said...

hi nandita!
oh wow! that's some heat you get from it!
btw, i have a new nook,come take a bite when you're free!

Naked Desserts said...

They look like scotch bonnets...I hope that is how you spell them.

Nandita said...

Vini-That pic i found on a agriculture site called, was happy to share this news!

Archana- My version of the bhut explanation was if a feeble hearted person eats it, he'll die and turn into a ghost that haunts chilli fields Hahaha

Gilly-No way, i just read about it and was happy to share this in my words with friends out here. I dont eat very spicy food, the regular Indian green chillies are spicy enough for me (GRIN)

Ces-Im happy looking at it or reading abt it, too feeble hearted to eat it LOL

Malini- they do look like elongated scotch bonnets - atleast in the pic

archana said...

Ha....ha..Ha I like your version:)))

Hema said...

Nice post. I always thought India grew the hottest chillies until I ate hebanaro. It is interesting how spice/heat is measured in SHU. Thanks for sharing this info.

sunita's world said...

Hi, Nandita,
I'm from Assam and know about this very hot bhut jolokia. In fact my dad planted one in a pot and even ma, usually the one who prefered a lot of heat in her meals,would not dare to have a whole of it. For lesser mortals like me, who shies away from very hot food and sweat at something even a bit more hot than average, would not even dream of touching it, let alone eat it.

It is definitely not for the feeble hearted!!!

Anonymous said...

Nandita, I sent your post in to Slashfood because I thought it was so much fun. Looks like they linked to you today. You have a great blog -- I hope you enjoy all the Slahsfood traffic.


Shyam said...

I read somewhere that an American company is marketing a super hot chilli sauce which is 8000 times hotter than Tabasco. I believe the guy's tongue swelled up when he tried it! Dont see the point of making something that hot unless the idea is to economise on the amount of chilli used without affecting the heat! :)


Candi said...

I've eaten the Savina Habanero pepper. It took about 6 hours for my mouth to stop smarting.

Do you plan to sample this India pepper? Can the difference between the hottest and the next hottest pepper actually register on the human taste bud?

neha said...

hi! bumped onto your blog through ryze.. very interesting.. :) i am a foodie, so totally appreciate it!
you were writing some article about holistic healing or something (i could be wrong) how is it going??

Nandita said...

Hema- thanks!

Sunita - I'm no better than you, regular indian chillies are hot enough for me...its my guess that these chillies are more for records rather than mass consumption, or better for 'who dares wins' and such shows :)

Shaula-thanks for linking me up!

Shyam - welcome to saffrontrail! I wonder how the guy had the daring...and whats economy when you get a swollen tongue and a numbed brain in the bargain :) shall check out your link

Candi- appreciate your daring! I, by no means plan to sample this, unless I want to turn into a GHOST as the name suggests...I guess after a certain level, it really doesnt matter, something like PAIN, you can only feel and bear so much, after that the taste buds would probably just numb out...6 hours of torture after a Savina is BAD!

Neha- Welcome and thanks for your kind words. Holistic healing article is done, working on other stuff now, otherwise things are going good. Do leave a message on my ryze page so I know who you are ;)

Carol said...

I am game for anything spicy! This post was just awesome!!Carol

Sandeepa said...

Just read that new yesterday, imressive, but how come no one knew before ? It seems it wasn't proven or something

BTW loved your last post and the morning pics

And was wondering when do you have the WBB, have skipped it last couple of months but wanted to know if it's still on

Aahaar said...

Hi Nandita,
Read your columns in chennaionline recently. It's really informative. I love your blog. said...


That was super interesting.I find all these things make me proud to be an Indian. Even though I was born in Canada!!!!


Paz said...

I love hot stuff!


Poornima said...

Love your recipes. Just thought I'd let you know, I couldnt access some of the recipes from the index. eg. the Handwo, 4 lentil pancake etc especially in the legumes section. your website :)

Nandita said...

Carol - Thanks!

Sandeepa- this species was sent to Mexico for rating the heat, they took the seeds of the plant and it took over 2 years to bear the chillies after which testing was done. As regards WBB, i havent even done the Christmas round up and now i feel embarassed to post on Christmas when it's almost March. An announcement is long due on WBB.
Will come up soon

Mandira - hey thanks! Due to time constraints I couldn't continue the column...

Kanchana - Hey welcome aboard...From your blog i can make out that even though you weren't born here, you are a true Indian at the core.

Paz - Even hot as hell?

Poornima- Welcome to my blog Poornima and thanks a ton for your kind words. Also thanks for informing me abt the links, shall rectify that ASAP.

Arundathi said...

Hi Nandita:

I just wrote about this yesterday on my blog - I'm just so proud its Indian! LOL! I can't take too much heat either but hey - willing to try some chilli recipes!

That was an awesome post!

sailaja said...

I shudder to use these chillis if ever I come across them. I'm trying to imagine the plight of contestants in shows like "who dares win" if ever they were asked to eat one of them.:)

Thanks for sharing such interesting info, Nandita.

Vaishali said...

Finally, a chilli from India that's the hottest. I mean, wasn't it a shame that the hottest one so far was from a place outside India? :-) I heard briefly about this chilli just last week on Radio Mirchi. Happy to read about it now.
Btw, my guess: Maybe the Assamese guys use it to ward off ghosts? Maybe they hang it over their doors? Or maybe they burn them in a place where they think it's haunted?
Just guessing...

Nandita said...

Haha folks, yes, spiciest chillies can be from no place other than India!

Mallugirl said...

do u use this? is it locally available? i thot scotch bonnet was hot when i grew them last year. one quarter of a chili was too much for my entire curry!

Mallika said...

Fascinating post. Considering chillies originated in South America, it's great to hear we produce the hottest variety. Take that...

California refugee said...

My partner and I moved from California to NZ and we miss our hot peppers. After reading your blog on Bhut Jolokia, I am eager to find out how to purchase the seeds. Do you know of any international importers?

Thank you.

thechileman said...

Hi Holly (and others),

The Chilli Pepper Institute in the US supply Bhut Jolokia seeds.

You can find out lots of information on the 2 worlds hottest peppers (Bhut Jolokia & Naga morich) together with the worlds hottest chile powder and sauces here:

(click on the hottest peppers on the plant icon)


chile.seeds said...

Hello everyone, Just thought i would let you know you can buy the Bih Jolokia and Bhut Jolokia seeds and the Bhut Jolokia pods from

Anonymous said...

Hello..This is Chris from New York...As I saw the news about worlds hottest chilli from Assam..I became very excited. Last year I've collected seeds for both Red Savina and Naga I grew the plants for both..chilli is yet to come.

One thing I've read about world hottest chilli from Assam is that it has different names Naga Jolokia/Bhi Jolokia/Bhut fact it is the same chilli pepper.

Here is the quote I've read from one of the sites:"Bhut Jolokia, Bih Jolokia, Naga Jolokia, Naga Morich, Raja Mirchi ... what's the deal with all those different names you can read in print and on the Internet these days for supposedly the very same chile variety? We asked someone who should know best: Leena Saikia of Frontal Agritech, a pepper grower and processing company in Assam that also grows and cultivates Bih Jolokia. Here's what Leena told me:

"All these chillies are from North East India. They belong to Capsicum chinense. In fact, Naga jolokia, Nagahari, Bhut jolokia, Bih jolokia or Borbih jolokia are the same chilli but named differently at different places. For example, the Assamese community call it as Bih jolokia (poison chilli -- jolokia means chilli in Assamese), Bhut jolokia (probably due to its ghostly bite or introduction by the Bhutias from Bhutan poison chilli) or Naga jolokia (due to extreme hotness representing the aggressive temperament of the warriors of neighbouring Naga community). In Nagaland and Manipur states, it is known as Raja Mircha or Raja chilli (King of Chillies). In major Indian languages, chilli is known as Mirch or mircha (Bengali and Hindi)." Morich" may be a distorted version of 'mirch'.


malcolm said...

I eat the regular orange habenero chilies . Sometimes I eat them thinly sliced by themselves , or cooked in food , but I have never eaten a whole pepper all at once and I take out all of the seeds first .

I'm game . I'd eat a jolokia ( or a small piece of one anyway )

Malcolm in BC,Canada

Hemant said...


This is your friend Hemant Trivedi.

It has been over one year now that I got hooked to Naga Jolokia . I must thank some Bagladeshi friends here in Detroit for that.

Last year I got one year's supply of Naga Morich aka Naga Jolokia aka Bhoot Jolokia.

Since consuming NJ calls for Samurai stomach, I perfected a method. I prepared NJ chutney pickle using a buffer and started eating this chutney twice a day with rice or khichadi at first and then slowly started adding to my curries.

Believe it or not, the food is just too tasty and healthy now.

I have started growing them here and next year in 2009, I might be growing my total requirement. The seeds are from original Bangladeshi Naga Morich.

IMHO, naga Jolokia is the king of spices and is very healthy to maintain Alkalinity of your blood. Having alkaline blood means stopping cancer in its tracks and destroying cancer cells.

Anyone wanting info on NJ can contact me by mail.


wholesale nurseries said...

TN Nursery is a state certified tree nursery specializing in native plants and trees, shrubs, fern, and perennials as well as pond plants and wetland mitigation.

sanjoy said...

hi, i am from assam and we are growing this bhut jolokia in commercialy. if somebody looking for bulk quantity can contect me

Bhut Jolokia Products For Sale said...

For more bhut jolokia products you can go here:

tarachand gour said...

 Hi Sir,

Glad to hear that you're in the market for agricultural products .

We specialize in this field for ten years, the main products are :dried bhut jolokia chilies, Birds Eye Chilli,cherry pepper,garlic,ginger,onion. All of our items are with excellent quality
and reasonable price.

Wish our products will be helpful for your business,pls contact me if any questions.

Tks & b.rgds,
Tarachand gour

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