Naga Chilli of Sylhet gets fame across world

Published : 07 Nov 2022 07:52 PM | Updated : 07 Nov 2022 07:56 PM

Naga pepper, also called Naga Chili is prized for its unique aroma and flavor. A species of pepper is best known for its intense Spice. Raw green Naga chilies are eaten with food for a spicy taste. Even on the streets, in various types of junk food such as puffed rice, Chanachur, and Phuchka, Naga pepper are used by pinching. It is also used in cooking and some savory dishes like pickles.

This pepper originated in the hilly area of Naga state of Assam in eastern India bordering Sylhet. That is why it is named Naga pepper - this is what the people of Assam and Sylhet region of India think. This pepper is widely cultivated in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, and the Greater Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

Commercial cultivation of this pepper is done in Haripur of Srimangal and Jaintapur in the Sylhet division. However, Naga pepper cultivation is more in Jaintapur Upazila including Darbast, Nijpat Fatepur, Jaintapur, and Charikata Union. This pepper plant can be found in almost every house in Sylhet. Naga pepper can be seen on the side of the house or in the tub.

Naga pepper is eaten raw rather than ripe. The unique aroma in the raw state is not available when ripe, and the amount of spiciness becomes unbearable. Naga pepper is rich in calcium and vitamin C. This pepper prevents mouth sores. Although small in size, it looks like Carambola. That's why some people call this pepper Carambola pepper. Also known as Bombay Chili by some. But in Sylhet, this pepper is known as Naga pepper. Named in the Guinness Book of World Records for spiciness, this chili from Sylhet is famous all over the world. 

Naga chili of Sylhet has found a place on the palate of many foodies for its mind-blowing aroma, taste, and smell. However, no one dares to take this pepper in their mouth except for those who love Naga. Biting this pepper without realizing it means seeing a mustard flower in the eyes. Many people have to go crazy while eating Naga pepper like this. That's why some people call this pepper also ghost pepper. And those who love Naga chili have a different story. It is as if there is no satisfaction in the food if there is not a little Naga in the food. They do not get satisfaction if Naga is not in their food, especially with curry cooked with fish and dried fish. They enjoy the taste of Naga pepper with satisfaction by mixing it little by little with food.

Naga pepper has earned international acclaim for its pungency. In 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Naga pepper as the hottest pepper in the world as it proved to be many times hotter than regular pepper. Naga pepper has a 10 Plus Plus (10+++) spiciness rating according to Scoville. Which is 401.5 times spicier than Tabasco sauce.

Naga chili can be benefited by cultivating pepper as a companion crop. In some areas, the chili seedlings are planted together in the gap of the lemon tree. Naga chili can be cultivated in both the winter and summer seasons. Up to two hundred chili peppers are available throughout the season from each naga chili tree to get the proper care.

The tree is needed for two and a half to three months from the seed to the tree. Seeds are also easy. It is soaked in water for 8-12 hours and squeezing it on soft shaded ground. Pepper can be collected from the tree 15 days after the flowers come to the tree. Keeping the tree for a long time increases the solder. Loamy soil is most suitable for cultivation. The value of the pH in the soil should be up to 5.5-7 However, it is important to have good irrigation and drainage system for chili plants.

People of Sylhet eat Naga pepper extensively. Some carry Naga pepper along to the vegetable market. It is especially attractive to expats and according to the needs of their relatives, they buy it for them there as well. That is, it is an excellent part of the food list of Naga lovers.

This Naga pepper of Sylhet is now going abroad beyond the borders of the country. Naga pepper is also exported along with vegetables to various countries in Europe-America and the Middle East. As a result, many farmers in Srimangal and Jaintapur of Sylhet are cultivating Naga pepper commercially. They are also very successful in Naga pepper cultivation. Naga pepper is produced throughout the year. But its yield is more in winter. At that time each Naga pepper sold for Tk 5 to Tk 10 depending on the size. Again, when the supply of Naga pepper is less in the market, the price of this pepper increases from 20 to 30 taka. Naga pepper is sold at wholesale price in the port market of Sylhet city.

Haripur in Jaintapur Upazila and Sreemangal in Moulvibazar are the best place for cultivating  quality Naga pepper. Besides, this pepper is found in all the small and big vegetable markets of Sylhet.

The sellers said that because of the high demand, the sales are also high, so they asked to give more emphasis to the production of this Naga pepper.