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In this part of the world, we are accustomed to having chili peppers as one of the many ingredients that make up our dishes. In fact, it is one of the most important spices in the local Malay and Indian cuisine, most notably in curry dishes. The Chinese too, have curry mee, laksa, char kueh teow, and many dishes that utilize the properties of chili to give the dishes a kick.

However, do you know your Chili Peppers?

Chili Peppers: Habanero, Thai Chili, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno
Clockwise: Habanero, Thai Peppers, Bell Peppers, Jalapeño

The three most common types of chili we consume are the Thai Pepper (Chili Padi), Red Pepper (Cayenne), and Bell Pepper. Most people would correctly identify that the Thai Pepper is the hottest of the three, with Red Pepper slightly milder, and Bell Pepper not hot at all. But did you know the hotness of any particular type of pepper is rated?

Enter the Scoville scale. The idea is simple, a score of 100 in Scoville scale would mean that the extract of the pepper has to be diluted 100 times in sugar water before no hotness is detected. However, modern tests (HPLC) is a bit more technologically advanced and the human factor is removed.

Turns out, while the bell pepper has a score of 0, the red pepper is rated between 30,000 – 50,000. The Thai Pepper though, is rated 2-3 times more, at 50,000 – 100,000 on the Scoville scale. The Jalapeño found in many Mexican food is at 2,500 – 8,000, while Tabasco sauce at 2,500 – 5,000.

If you want to get a bigger kick, try the Habanero, rated 100,000 – 300,000 with the Red Savina variety up to 577,000. I once cooked a pack of Maggie noodle with one of those and ended up feeling like my lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach were burning. It didn’t feel too great going to the toilet 2 days later either.

It was an experience, I didn’t believe it was the pepper at first, and did a confirmation experiment a week later, it wasn’t exactly pleasant to confirm my findings.

You can get Habanero peppers from Cold Storage at Bangsar. I’m not sure if they are readily available anywhere else.

Tips: I find that Chili is usually milder when precipitation level is high while hotter during dryer times. This is probably due to the growth rate of plants.

Discuss : KY guides – know your Chili Peppers

  1. Giant Sotong

    You actually ate a Habanero? The Fruit of Pain? You should’ve talked to me first before you tried it.

  2. Tried a drop of Habanero pepper oil on a tortilla chip in Mall of America. Was ok at first till a minute later when it kicked. Ended up spending half an our under a tap in the Mens. LOL. Freaking hot stuff.

  3. Yah I ate a habanero in Jakarta…I thought it was small and cute it can’t be that spicy….oh boy was I wrong.

  4. KY,
    I GROW MY OWN HABANERO CHILLIES. YOU CAN ACTUALLY IMPLANT THE SEED AND IN TROPICAL CLIMATE SHOULD BE NO [PROBLEM AT ALL. THIS SPECIES IS SIMILAR TO THE JAMAICAN SCOTCH BONNET PEPPER SIMILARLY HOT AND CAN BE USED TO COOK UP CARRIBEAN GOAT CURRY.
    I MAKE CHILY PASTE OUT FO THEM. BLEND WITH GARLIC, TOMATOES, LEMON SALT AND SUGAR TO TASTE. COOK WITH GENEROUS OIL FOR 30 MINUTES AND IT IS MORE PALATABLE TO TASTE BUD!
    REGARDS!

  5. try the tabasco habanero sauce! freakin nice… but also damn hot

  6. I can’t take really hot stuff. Sure ‘lau sai’ one.

  7. Are you as hot as the chilies? :D

  8. Valz,

    Yah especially in sauna.

  9. sbd18,

    Habanero pepper oil?! Wow, I respect your bravery, man.

    That’s the concentrated form of pepper. All the goodness of capsaicin in a drop of oil.

  10. oh my..habanero is one of the greatest thing i ever discovered when I come to US! (nxt to arizona green tea!) haha
    hahaha

    they are so nice n hot, n somehow i feel that they hava a little bit of ‘milk’ taste?

    ps:I will try my best to bring u ‘Ramses'(I forget how to spell that…becuz I don’t really like them..haha ) when I m bac home
    kakakakak

  11. woah i wanna tryyyy and lol @valz’s comment + your reply

  12. Cost me RM20 to get the habanero seed 6 years ago. It is deadly, and it will not kill you instantly compare to Thai Chili padi.

    The hottest habanero are hybrid, that’s mean even you extract the seed from the fruit and plan it, it will not growth the same hot habenero plant.

  13. if you think the habanero is hot wait till you try a dorset naga. these peppers originate from Assam in India and are a LOT hotter than the average habanero.

    if you struggle to find different varieties then why not grow your own chillies from seed? it is a lot easier than most people think. take

  14. Chili King,
    I have heard of that before, suicidal!

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