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Nuclear Hot Ghost Mirchi Beef at Red Pepper

Are you game to take up the challenge of "nuclear hot" Ghost Mirchi Beef at Red Pepper Indian restaurant? A popular dish prior to Covid lockdowns it is now back on the menu. I was able to experience this dish and found it to be addictive. While there is plenty of heat, I appreciated the layers and nuances of this dish, and the quality Peter Bouchier premium beef. Not for the fainthearted, but if you are a lover of Indian food and hot dishes, this is for you.

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Red Pepper has been delighting Melbourne diners since 2006 and serves its signature curries to city workers and Indian food lovers who come from across the city. Ghost Mirchi Beef comes with a recommendation and warning:

"Extremely hot and spicy diced beef with bhut jolokia chillies, peanuts, onion, ginger, garlic (Please note this dish contains the Indian ghost pepper chilli which is certified as India’s hottest chilli. Please only order if you have experience with these chillies before).”

I found the dish to be initially hot but it was after 10-15 min that it really hit me. This was hot! But I wanted more.

Bhoot Jolokia or Ghost Pepper Chilli is a glossy red, plump, chilli variant originating in Assam, India, and now cultivated in various other northeast Indian states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, where the locals use it to turn up the heat in their regional delicacies, particularly meat dishes.

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So how hot is it Ghost Pepper Chilli? On the Scoville scale, it is more than one million Scoville heat units. To compare, a Jalapeno is only 8,000 Scoville units and a Habenero about 150,000 Scoville units. This is hot!!

The story goes that back in the day, the chillies used to grow in the jungles. A peculiar incidence would take place where elephants crossing through that part of the jungle would suddenly rush out as though they have seen a ghost. This raised speculation among the villagers leading to those chillies being associated with ghosts, or 'bhoot' as per the Assamese language. Only later was it discovered that because of the intense oil content of the chillies, their smell affected the animals passing by. Great story and an even greater hot dish!