Dorset Naga®plants

One of the hottest known to man

It took years of perseverance of a couple from West Bexington, Dorset in the United Kingdom, to create a UK superhot – the Dorset Naga ® . Joy and Michael Michaud, both of whom have PhD’s in agriculture, started developing one of the world’s hottest Chillies by having a wish to cater to a more diverse market. In 2002, they realized they could increase their business sales, which grows and sells fresh Chillies, by extending their range to include a superhot variety.

They knew that the Bangladeshi community traditionally ate a very hot Chilli in an unripe (green) state with the name of the Naga Morich. They decided to invest additional time and effort to cultivate it locally.

Naga Morich

They eventually located seeds for the plant (which had been very difficult to find) from an oriental store in Bournemouth. They planted these with two others they had received from the same store,  and lovingly tended the plants until they harvested their first crop.

The couple were not trying to create a hybrid of the Naga Morich. They were looking to make a super charged version of it They initially found the results to be variable. Still, through trial and error and by selecting seeds from the best performing plants, each successive season found they eventually had a result that was more uniform. It was at this point (2005)  they decided to have the plants tested to determine their heat rating. They sent ripe fruit to two laboratories in the USA that could test the levels of capsaicinoids (the stuff that creates the heat) to the Scoville rating scale.

They were shocked when they learned the Chilli had been assessed as having one of the highest levels of capsaicin that had ever been found in a Chilli at that point in time. It topped the scales at over 923000 Scoville heat units (SHU), although individual plants have been found to be as hot as 12250000 SHU. By doing what they did , they created a separate UK superhot variety that has been recognised by  the Community Plant Variety Office as a separate variety. It is not the same as the Naga Morich

The Dorset Naga® has a distinctive fruity taste and aroma. Its 30mm to 50mm fruit are wrinkled; cone e-shaped and ripen from green to red when reaching full maturity. They can be harvested at either stage of ripeness. The plants are very tall and can reach a height of 1.5 meters when grown in the ground, and given plenty of light. Their size will be somewhat smaller though, if grown in pots.

Dorset Nagas® can be found in speciality Chilli sauces,  curry pastes, chutneys, and powders. When using them in cooking, care should be taken not to use too much. After all, a single Chilli has the same heat as three or four Scotch bonnets. They are a superhot Chilli , but are also a   delicious eating Chilli.  As long as you get the amount you use right, the flavour will make up for the rest.

Superhot Chillies are Chillies that are in excess of 750 000 Schoville heat units. The Dorset Zinger is another UK superhot. These are Chillies that compete with Chillies like the Carolina reaper, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, 7 Pot Douglahs, Bhut Jolokias and Naga Vipers to be included in the list of the world’s hottest Chillies

This Chilli is sold with a health warning, so extreme caution should be exercised when handling it in any form.

Where to buy seeds

Seeds for the Dorset Naga can be purchased directly from Joy and Micheal at Sea Spring seeds 

Image credits

Mwp / CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

Balaram Mahalder/CC BY-SA 3.0  /via Wikimedia Commons