Naga Ghost Pepper on British plate: Bhoot Jolokia exported to London for the first time

Tripti NathUpdated: Saturday, July 31, 2021, 08:17 AM IST
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India’s north-east is making a mark on the global stage not just at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics but also on the export front. Nagaland’s world fame Chilli, locally known as ‘Bhoot Jolokia,’ has been exported to London for the first time. This development is being welcomed as a significant step towards boosting exports of GI exports from the north-east region.

According to the government, a consignment of King Chilli which is one of the world’s top five hottest chillies based on the Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) was sourced from Peren district of the State. APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) in collaboration with the Nagaland State Agricultural Marketing Board facilitated the export consignment.

The chilli, also known as Ghost Pepper, got GI certification in 2008.

India's first Master Chef, Pankaj Bhadouria who is based in Lucknow said, "We have seen a lot of influence of spicy Indian food in U.K. and Indian food curry restaurants are well sought after. They enjoy hot food. It therefore comes as no surprise that they are open to trying our hottest Indian chilli. It remains to be seen how much they will be able to tolerate it."

Ms Bhadouria, who has survived after tasting this chilly, said that she has used Bhoot Jolokia also called the Ghost Chilly in one of the episodes of Master Chef in 2010. " In one of the challenges of Master Chef, this Bhoot Jolokia came to me as a mystery box challenge. It was too hot to handle but I experimented with it successfully.''

Hailing the news, Mr Michael Gangte, 32 who runs a provision store in Munirka which is a north-east hub in South Delhi said that although he is from Manipur, he enjoys eating this King Pepper.

"We use it in vegetarian and non vegetarian curry and for making chutney. It costs about Rs 1000 a kilogram but it has never stopped people from north-east from having it. It has an appetizing odour as well and has a shelf life of one week. There is a huge demand for it among the Manipuris also. So, it is not so difficult to find it in the shops in Munirka.''

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