Bhut Jolokia, is a chili pepper that used to enjoy the number one spot in the Scoville scale rating. It was touted to be the hottest chili in the world and this was validated by the Guiness Book of Record. This species of chili is native of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur in India.
As I am a chili farmer, imagine my delight when my British guests brought the seeds to me! I treasured them so much especially more so because from our calculation, each seed actually cost RM2.50/-! I am talking about a small seed, not the pod. Wah! How I nurtured it. I germinated it lovingly in the seedling tray. Gave it the best treatment. It has the best spot in the nursery. Sheltered from the punishing heat of recent weather in Sabah. My local cili padi became second class citizen in my nursery. After all, the Bhut Jolokia is an imported talent bah :P.
I gave it the best fertilizer and I told my help to pay special attention to the plants. I told her, "Those plants there are expensive ones! Take good care of it. Make sure you do weeding constantly!" And I was rewarded with lush green and healthy plants. I even talked to them, whenever I came to visit, I knelt down on one knee and said, "Vanakam my friend! How are you today? Grow healthy. I will reward you with better food!" They say if you talk to the plants and have positive aura, they could sense it and would be healthy. Who am I to go against conventional wisdom?
Then the first flower bloomed! Oh! Such beautiful petals! Then the pods started coming. Owh! So cute! The Bhut Jolokias became my mistress. My cili padi? I was too busy to entertain the local mongrels lah! Psst! Sometime I even urinate near them. Dusun tradition bah. Guarantee pedas punya! I would hold my pee before I went to the farm. Once I reached the farm, I would pee next to a plant that I had not urinated near it yet. Someone suggested fertilizing with human crap but I drew a line there! :P. Peeing was the farthest I was willing to go.
"Ni kali lah!" I thought. "Kalah lah my competitors!" I reveled in my good fortune.
Then the day of reckoning came. Some of the fruits had ripened. I approached the testing with trepidation! What if I ended up being hospitalized like what happened to the guy in YouTube? I chickened out and I made the excuse that I should instead dry them so that I could propagate more Bhut Jolokia seedlings. However, one night, after drinking half a bottle of 'montoku' I grew some courage to try it. Emboldened by my drunken stupor, I tried a whole pod! I mixed it with an egg and fried them. Then the first bite (hmm.. Where's the heat?), tried the second bite (I say? This is not even 3% as hot as the cili padi I'm growing?) and the third bite and the rest! Nothing eventful came of that exercise.
The next day, I consoled myself that maybe the alcohol had numbed my taste bud and that perhaps I had harvested them too early. So I decided for the second testing, I should let them ripen all the way on the plants. SOOO! Today, I harvested a fully ripened Bhut Jolokia fruit! Wow! It was brightly red! "Ni kali lah!" I thought. "I must be wrong!" I thought to myself. "Who am I to defy the wisdom of the Guiness Book of Record" I admonished myself.
Like the first try, I chopped a whole pod. And this pod was bigger and 'handsomer' than the first one I tried! Add some soy sauce onto it. Some writings did say that I should wear gloves when handling it. We don't want me burning my stomach lining after all. "Hmmm.. Tea spoon or table spoon?" I thought. "Ala.. Table spoon. Alang-alang" I said. Then I scooped the soy sauce together with the seeds and skin, put it in my mouth! (Nothing). Tried again (Still nothing!). Third try (Stillllllll nothing!). In the end, I poured the whole thing on my curry beef and finished my meal.
What a let down :(. Hottest chili in the world? Whose world exactly? Recently, a Mr Chin Teck Ming, suggested that I should look for Chili Porok from Kota Belud. Purportedly to be very hot. Anyone from Kota Belud?