Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chillies
Bhut Jolokia, the smallest amount of Bhut Jolokia can flavour a sauce so intensely it’s barely edible. Taking a small bite will cause watering eyes and a runny nose.
One of the world’s hottest chilli is the Bhut Jolokia also known as Bih Jolokia (ghost Chilli) originating in Assam in North East India. It is the one of the record holders with an official Scoville heat rating (SHU) of 1,001,304 SHU twice that of the previous record holder, the Red Savina.
A SHU stands for Scoville Heat Unit and is the amount of water needed before the chilli heat is undetectable. One drop of the Bhut Jolokia extract needs a million drops of water.
The Bhut Jolokia chilli has been highly treasured in Assam for centuries but was unknown in the West. Seven years ago a scientist, R.K.R Singh, working at the Indian government’s Defence Research Laboratory in Tezpur in Assam, decided to look at this locally prized chilli and sent samples of the Bhut Jolokia for analysis. The amazing results were submitted to a scientific journal and aroused the interest of The Chile Pepper Institute (CPI) at New Mexico State University.
Very shortly after, in 2001, the Institute received seed of the Bhut Jolokia from a member who had collected it while visiting India. Dr Paul Bosland of the CPI grew the Bhut Jolokia from seed in the desert climate of Southern New Mexico and confirmed its incredible heat, culminating in the Record Award for the hottest chilli in the world. The analysis revealed that it possessed an extremely high heat level indeed, a whopping 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units.
Further corroboration of the heat level came from Frontal Agritech in Assam who had their locally grown Bhut Jolokia chillies HPLC-tested and reported a value of 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units, giving two independent results for Bhut Jolokia with no significant variation between them.
The raw chilli has a strong but pleasant fresh vegetable smell. Cooked in a curry it imparts perfume-like sweetness to all the other ingredients in addition to a fiery heat. Dried, the chilli changes character again with a further intensification of taste and aroma