Naga Chiles in Print

Remember Nagaland? That landscape of hills and chiles?

That state in the far northeast of India, where all trails lead up or down…

… and villagers enjoy their homebrew any hour of the day.

In Nagaland, wealth is measured in giant baskets of rice…

… and life is fueled by a daily diet of the world’s hottest chiles. Such red beauties. The toughest Nagas eat them whole, fresh and raw. But mostly, the peppers are cooked in ash or smoked over the kitchen fire…

… to be tossed into the daily curry or pounded into mouth-splitting “gravies.” Read the story this month in Gourmet. (Sorry, the article is not yet available online.)

11 thoughts on “Naga Chiles in Print

  1. Karen,
    Thanks for this post, I found it very interesting and about as far removed from the naga chillies I am growing in England as you can get. I expect mine to be hot but not in the same league as those grown in the heat of India. It’s easy to get caught up in the craze for growing super hot chillies for the sake of it, your post brings it all back into perspective.


  2. Gorgeous photos – I love pictures of people in their daily lives and you two do it so well! I can’t wait to read about it…hopefully my August Gourmet will arrive soon (I’ve found that magazines take far longer here than when I was in the NW!

  3. Miles, how are your chiles doing? I’m eager to hear. The only chiles I have planted this year are tiny Thai birds, which looked about dead up until a couple of weeks ago when the nearby tomatoes provided a bit of shade. The chiles have since spread their leaves and burst forth with the tiniest little green peppers that look deceivingly pretty. I’m stunned at their heat. Just a little pinhead bite fills the mouth!

  4. Karen,
    I’ve got literally hundreds growing in one polytunnel, dozens of naga jolokia’s too. The habanero’s are doing well and most importantly the bih and bhut jolokia’s have fruited. I’ve banged on that much about the latter that if they hadn’t fruited I would have had to shut my blog down! The bhut jolokia’s are doing quite well, I shall refrain from doing a post on them for a while for fear of overkill. When I do I shall certainly link to your last two posts, I could do with some intellectual content!!
    Well done on the birds eye, it’s difficult to imagine anything can be hotter when you bite into one. I’ve been there in Thailand, sat at a table, unable to speak, sweating buckets, crying, wanting my mother etc, etc..

  5. Wow, those photographs are amazing- I can hardly believe that this place is real. And that their food is so spicy only makes it seem like an even more alluring destination… -X

  6. Interesting that you have visited Nagaland and brought recipes along with u!
    Am a Naga 🙂

    Those pics u see is a typical village scene and not all Nagas are like that heh heh..

    Yes we do eat a lot of spicy stuff and always carry this hot chilly wherever we go.
    Come visit us again!

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