If you've scoured through Mumbai's markets to find the thumb-sized chilli pepper, bhut jolokia, but in vain, get your hands on a bottle of Pico's Bhut Jolokia Hot Sauce that comes close.
Bhut Jolokia. Representative pic
Mostly grown in the North Eastern states of Assam and Nagaland, Bhut Jolokia is considered as India's spiciest chilli and in fact, held the record of the hottest chilli pepper in the world by Guinness World Records until 2013.
Priced at Rs 99 (for 100 ml), this sauce adds a spicy twist to your regular fare and is available at various retail outlets across Mumbai. "In a country with a deep rooted love for spicy food, we discovered that there was not a single chilli sauce that was too spicy. We wanted to celebrate India's love for spice and what better way to do it than with the world's spiciest chilli the Bhut Jolokia that grows right here on our own soil," says Arjun Gadkari, co-founder and president, Nilgai Foods, that founded the brand, Pico, in 2011.
According to Gadkari, the Ghost Peppers (as Bhut Jolokia is also known as) used in the sauce are directly sourced from Nagaland. "We work with the farmers there who get it onto trucks, and 15 hours later, they reach Guwahati, from where they are transported across the entire country to Mumbai.
Bhut Jolokia Hot Sauce, Mango Chilli sauce , Jam and dip samples
Recently, the political instability in Nagaland has cut off supply to these areas but we have worked hard to find ways through the conflict zone to continue our supply of the chillies, to not halt our production," he shares. Apart from the main ingredient, garlic, onion and a range of other spices are added to the sauce to provide a smoky flavour.
Besides this hot sauce, the brand also offers interesting varieties of sauces, dips, jams, preserves and marinades. These include the Mango Chilli sauce (Rs 140 for 250 ml), made using Alphonso mangoes, Date and Tamarind sauce (Rs 90 for 165 gm), Shahi Makhani Dip (Rs 99 for 165 gm) and Red Pepper Jam (Rs 190 for 200 gm).
Log on to: www.pico.co.in
Also available at: Nature's Basket, Gourmet West, HyperCity outlets in Mumbai
Virgin Bloody Mary (serves 2)
240 ml of tomato juice
Two dashes/drops of Pico’s Bhut Jolokia Hot sauce
A pinch of salt and pepper for taste
Two teaspoons of lemon juice
>> Take a slice of lime and run it along the rim of a glass. Dip the glass in salt.
>> In a cocktail shaker, mix all the ingredients with ice and shake well.
>> Pour it in the rimmed glass.
>> As an option, add a celery stalk as a stirrer.
* To make this into a cocktail concoction, add 60ml of vodka to the drink.