Naga Bhut Joloki – Ghost Peppers
The hottest peppers in the world.
The peppers you should fear.
It all started one beautiful spring day. My sister and I head to a local greenhouse looking for tender bits to plant in the garden. She knows next to nothing about gardening. I have a good 7 years of WHAT NOT TO DO under my belt, and like to think of myself as more of a brown thumb than a plant killer.
We’re cruising through large plastic saunas that smell like dirt, pretending we look like we know what we’re doing when all of a sudden my sister squeak-squeals, grabs a 6-pack of something that looks remotely like baby pepper plants, and stuffs it in the cart.
Me: “What’s that?”
Evil Sister: “Ghost Peppers!!! ~squeal~”
Me: “Huh. Ok”
I think nothing of it as I buy these baby hellcats.
I think nothing of it as I plant six pepper plants.
I think nothing of it as they grow and thrive, flower and bud.
I don’t actually put any sort of cranial effort whatsoever towards these damned things until harvest time comes, and I find I have more than 60 ghost peppers in my raised beds. Time to figure out what I can make with these babies. I do what any grossly under-educated geek does, and I look up Ghost Peppers on Wikipedia.
Oh. Sweet. Baby. Jesus.
Until that moment, I knew nothing about the Scoville heat index. My knowledge of hot peppers and hot sauce was vastly limited – about as limited as my tolerance of them.
One time? I smelled a fresh cut jalapeno and the entire lower half of my face became a rash-covered red mess of pain for 4 hours. Another time? I accidentally ingested a whole Thai chili pepper in an Asian restaurant. My waiter started crying on my behalf.
To put Ghost Peppers in perspective, let’s talk Scoville for a second.
Jalapenos come in at 3,500 – 8,000 heat units
Thai Peppers rank at 50,000 – 100,000 units
Ghosts? 855,000–1,463,700 units of PAIN
(…have you ever felt cold hard fear creep slowly up your spine?)
There I sat with far too many Naga Bhut Joloki peppers, desperately scouring the internet for hot sauce recipes and finding each recipe only called for 1-3 peppers. I was screwed. It wasn’t like I would ever eat the stuff, what on earth was I going to do? I had the ingredients for chemical warfare sitting in my kitchen and the creeping suspicion that my sister was a cruel and evil human being.
All of a sudden I have THE MOST BRILLIANT IDEA EVER! What if I order bottles, make funky labels, and hit up the facebook gene pool? How many people would actually be brave/gullible/stupid enough to want a bottle of liquid satanshit?
You did not disappoint.
I could not believe the requests that poured in for free hot sauce, and at one point I was worried I would not have enough goods to deliver to the masses.
Hot Sauce Hell Day arrived, and I began making the sauce. Dehydrate the peppers, check. Fire roast the peppers, check. Make the sauce, check. At no point was I ever foolish enough to be without rubber gloves or good ventilation, or too far away from 911 on the iPhone.
It took only 9 ghost peppers to make several bottles of that sauce. I decided to be kind to my victims, and added a generous amount of carrot to temper the heat (for those of you who have told me it was too mild, be prepared for next year. I will not be so kind). My nasal passage are still not speaking to me.
Recipe: Bhut Hurt Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
Summary: homemade hot sauce, using fresh garden-grown naga bhut jolokia peppers. This version is greatly tempered to make it edible without a trip to the emergency room.
- 11 ghost peppers
- 1 whole onion
- 1 bulb fresh garlic
- 4 large carrots
- 2 c. apple cider vinegar
- salt & pepper
- Set aside 2 ghost peppers for food processing.
- Fire roast remaining 9 peppers over open flame
- open all windows and doors
- put on rubber gloves and breathing mask
- Place roasted peppers in large saute pan
- dice onion and garlic, add to peppers
- Add a touch of water, begin to cook over medium low heat
- Puree remaining 2 peppers in food processor and add to mixture on stove
- puree carrots and add to mixture on stove.
- Add vinegar & season with salt and pepper.
- Vacate premisis for 30 minutes
- Return, remove from heat, store in air tight containers, and try not to kill yourself doing so