Do you remember watching the episode of Masterchef India where the judges scare the contestants (and even you through the screen) with the mention of world's hottest chilli pepper and how handling it without wearing gloves can be supremely dangerous? For those of you who could guess it and for those who haven't spent their childhood watching masterchef, we are talking about Bhut Jolokia.
Bhut Jolokia, literally translating to "Ghost pepper" in English is cultivated in Northeast India and according to Guinness World Records 2007, it is world's hottest chilli pepper, almost 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce (people with zero spice tolerance have left the chat). Even though it is the spiciest pepper, there are a lot of benefits that make Bhut Jolokia ideal for consumption in very small quantities. Let's see why and how we should use it.
Benefits of Bhut Jolokia
1. Contains essential nutrients
Bhut Jolokia has nutrients similar to peppers like jalapenos and bell peppers, but because the spice level of it is so high, the quantity consumed is less and therefore, the traces of nutrients made available for the body is also less. Some of the nutrients present in Bhut Jolokia are Vitamin C and Capsaicin. Capsaicin has been used in traditional medicines for its significant disease-fighting benefits.
2. Regulates Blood Sugar level
Bhut Jolokia means Bhutanese pepper in Assamese. Bhut stands for Bhutan and was mistakenly understood as its homonym Bhut meaning ghost in the English language. Capsaicin present in Bhut Jolokia is known to have anti-diabetic activity, which means it can lower the blood sugar level to normal, proving to be helpful for diabetic patients.
3. Anti-oxidant properties
The world's hottest pepper has anti-oxidants like beta carotene which supports our immune system and helps in boosting metabolism and fighting cold and flu.
4. Aids in Weight loss
Eating Bhut Jolokia in any form, dried or fresh, prevents fat accumulation in the body. The non-pungent compound found in this pepper is mainly responsible for weight loss. Therefore, eating this pepper according to specified quantities can help in reduction of body weight and oxidation of body fat.
5. Improves mood
Capsaicin triggers our brain to produce endorphins. Endorphins is the natural pain killer and also improves our mood. Consumption of Bhut Jolokia in a limited quantity can produce a happy feeling in the body similar to the "euphoric" feeling we experience after a workout or running session.
How can you use it?
Because Bhut Jolokia is super spicy, a very small amount of it works wonder and gives enough heat to any food it is added to. It is mostly added to curries, pickles, chutneys and in combination with pork and dried or fermented fish. If you have a very high spice tolerance and like your food to be super spicy, you can add tiny bit of Tassyam Bhut Jolokia powder on your fries, sandwiches, vegetables and practically anything to give extra "hotness" to them.