Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bhut Jolokia (The Ghost Pepper)

This pepper will knock your socks from here to the moon.

Bhut Jolokia was certified as The Hottest Chili Pepper in the World by The Guinness Book of World Records and is believed to have originated in India. It has a delicious, smoky melon flavor and its heat has a way of sneaking up on you, hence the name, Ghost Pepper.

Last night Chris asked for a "bump" of the powdered Bhut, which was followed by Lamaze-like breathing and then giddy pleas to feel the top of his head, which was hot and sweaty. Bhut Jolokia straight up is an adrenaline rush for sure. 

I was nervous about cooking with it even though the peppers smell delicious. I thought its intense heat might make a dish inedible and be more of a novelty item than a pepper to keep stocked in the the kitchen. 

Our friend Jay who just started up a Bhut business and provided us with our peppers, seemed to be doing a lot of business with "the dudes" at a food and craft fair in Brooklyn this past weekend. But I am here to say that I'm a lady and I love it.

I made his recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde last night, yes, I used less pepper than it called for, but it was delicious! While its heat is off the charts, it never compromised the flavors of the salsa and I'd just like to put this out there to "the dudes", I never broke a sweat.

To get some for yourself or find out more about Bhut Jolokia you can contact Jay at

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos
1/2 cup white onion.
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup water to re-hydrate the pepper
1/2 cup fresh water to add to salsa mixture
1 dried ghost pepper, no stem
salt to taste

Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut tomatillos in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

Meanwhile, re-hydrate the ghost pepper by adding it to a sauce-pan with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let the pepper simmer for 5 minutes after boiling.

Place tomatillos, lime-juice, olive oil, onions, cilantro and re-hydrated chili pepper, sugar and 1/2 cup of fresh water (discard the water used for re-hydrating the pepper) in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

Makes 3 cups. Serve with chips!

My Modifications: I cut the recipe in half and used 1/4 of the pepper but next time I make this I'd like to try half. I was able to broil the tomatillos in my toaster oven and I used my immersion blender to combine all the ingredients. This is great with chips but would also be fantastic on tacos or enchiladas, we even put it on our re-fried beans. If you don't have Bhut peppers you could substitute any type of fresh or dried chili and still make a kickin' salsa.

Chris, dog, me, Jay


  1. aww... looks so pretty!!! The heat will decrease as time goes on as the sugars/salts break down. Personally, I think salsa gets better with time.

  2. Hi... I live in New York... Do you know where in New York City do they sell Fresh Ghost Peppers? Thank you so much in advanced.

  3. Hi Maritza, as far as I know you can't get fresh peppers in New York, but I'm not sure. My friend Jay who is selling the peppers would have the most information on that and you can contact him at Let me know what you find out and thank you for reading!