Some like it Hot

Some Like it Hot

Photo of the Guinness World Records is available at
Paul Bosland, NMSU professor, showing off his Guinness World Records certificate for the world’s hottest chili pepper (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Bhut Jolokia grows primarily in Assam state of India, as well some other northeastern states. The local inhabitants commonly use this chili for making pickles and in traditional medicine.

Although it’s been eaten in northeast India for centuries, the bhut jolokia would still be undiscovered by the rest of the world if not for scientist R.K.R. Singh who worked for the Indian government’s Defense Research Laboratory in Tezpur, Assam.He asked for initial test to be carried out and proclaimed it as the hottest chili on earth.

Word of the tests reached the Chile Pepper Institute of New Mexico State University, which is widely regarded as the final arbiter of all chili questions. Director of the institute, Dr Paul Bosland obtainted Bhut Jolokia seeds from ASSAM and Bosland grew Bhut Jolokia plants under insect-proof cages for three years to produce enough seed to complete the required field tests. In 2007, the Guinness Book of Records confirmed Professor Paul Bosland had indeed discovered the world’s hottest Chili pepper, Bhut Jolokia. Although it is called by many names Prof. Bosland’s preferred name for the pepper is “Bhut Jolokia”.

Bhut jolokia asar(Assamese traditional pickle made from bhut chilies)

Bhut Chili Pickling in the sun

Pickled in the sun

In Assam, the Bhut Jolokia is often smoked and dried
to be consumed when the chili is not in season.

Try this Extra Hot Bhut Chili Dip

10 whole dry chilies
3 tablespoons oil
Salt (according to taste)
A pinch of sugar
2-3 cloves peeled garlic(according to taste)
3 tablespoon tomato puree

Soak chilies in boiling water for about 30 minutes, or until soft.
Remove the stem and de seeds them.(remember to wear gloves)
Put the chilies along the the oil,tomato puree, sugar,salt and the garlic in a blender .
Purée until smooth, adding extra oil if required, until consistency is a thick paste.
Just before serving, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Mix with some mayo if you want a creamier dip.
You can also mix the paste with yogurt and use it to marinate chicken

Dried Bhut Jolokia

Dried Bhut Jolokia

Note when working with chilies, either wear protective gloves or wash your hands very thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling the chilies. Do not touch or rub your eyes if you have been handling chili pepper

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Assamese Cuisine and Recipes



  1. Hi,

    Just came across your blog while researching different types of chillies. Who would have thought that the hottest chilli of all time lurked in our backyard.

    I would love to procure some seeds of the Bhut Jolakia for our seed circle. Would you have any recommendations on vegetables or spices that are a specialty of assam that we can collect and preserve as a part of our seed circle?

    • Hi tx for stopping by.You can get authentic Bhut jolokia seeds only for Tezpur market in Assam
      Apart from the different varieties of peppers,
      Assam has interesting vegetables and fruits such as the teasel gourd,star fruit,elephant apple,Asiatic pennywort,
      Wild Mangosteen(Thekera) etc.Unfortunately you can get the seeds only in Assam.You could try Asian stores though

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