When it comes to the use of spicy and hot food, the Indians can beat any person. There are many conflicting theories regarding why Indians like to have such hot and spicy food but there is no doubt about the fact that the hottest chilli of the world is found in India.
Bhut Jholokia is a type of chilli that is grown in the North Eastern part of India including Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. This chilli is known by many names in these states such as Bih zolokiya, saga jolokia, Indian mystery chilli, Indian rough chilli, umorok, malcha phoh, etc.
Bhut Jholokia – The Hottest Chilli Pepper of the World
The heat of the chilli is measured in scoville units and this chilli has the scoville unit of 1,041,427 SHU while the tebasco sauce has heat from 5000-10000 units. In 2007, Bhut Jholokia being 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce was certified as the world’s hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records team.
The heat of this chilli is due to the acid named capsaicin that is stored in the vesicles that are present all through the fruit but especially around the seed in the placenta while in other chilis the vesicles of this kind are found only in the placenta. The heat of bhut jholokia varies according to the area in which it is grown. The same chilli has lower scoville unit when it is grown in more arid regions such as Gwalior as compared to that grown in Assam.
The fruit is orange- red in colour and measures between 60 mm to 85 mm in length while the width may remain between 25 mm to 30 mm. The skin of this particular chilli is very rough as well as dented giving it the characteristic shape though the same chilli is also found in smooth variety. The plants that bear rough fruits are slender and taller while those with smooth fruits produce more fruits and have sturdy branches.
Uses of Bhut Jholokia
1) This chilli is used both as food and spice.
2) It is also known to be a remedy for scorching heat of summer and prevents sun stroke.
3) The chilli can be used in the fresh as well as dried form in the curries to spice them up, in pickles as preservative and in chutney to increase the flavour. The pungent smell of this chilli is characteristic of this variety.
4) The north eastern part of India is a home of wild elephants that can cause extensive damage to the human establishments there. To keep the elephants at bay the fences are smeared with the paste of this chilli and smoke bombs are made using this chilli that is used on the elephants to drive them away in case of an attack.
5) Even the defence personnel are working on using this chilli in the hand grenades to disable the enemy that is hiding and helps them getting caught without using any ammunition
6) There is research going on to develop but jholokia spray for the personal safety and chilli bombs for mob dispersing during protests when mob gets uncontrollably aggressive.
Bhut jholokia is exported to many countries and is a big source of revenue for the Indian government.
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