Saturday 27 December 2014


In my previous post I shared about Bird's Eye Chili in my garden, now I will share with you my home grown fiery hot Bulb Chilies.
On one of our holiday trips to Cameron Highlands, we stop at a popular noodles stall in Kampung Raja to have our breakfast. The owner of the stall asked us whether we would like to try some sizzling, spicy hot chili in soy sauce to go with our fried noodles. He did warned us that it is very, very spicy and not everyone can stand the fiery heat. We are all chili lovers and we replied that we would like to try some. He then brought a plate of finely cut chilies with soy sauce for our group of seven adults.
While waiting for the noodles to be served, my hubby took a small piece of chili with his chopsticks and placed it into his mouth. We were all watching him closely to see his facial expression when he tasted the chili. We could see tears welling up in his eyes and when he could speak, he told us that it is really fiery hot. Another man friend thought my hubby was exaggerating, he took took a piece and put it into his mouth. Immediately, he spitted it out of his mouth, his eyes filled with tears. We all burst out laughing at his reaction to the chili and the owner said that very few customers can stand the hotness of this chili. We left the cut chilies alone but the soy sauce with its spiciness is good for dipping.
The hotness of the chili will cause a fiery pungent sensation on the tongue, spreading to your ear, nose and eyes welling with tears.
As always, my interest is stirred and I asked whether the chilies are for sale or not. It was for sale and I bought a small packet with about a handful of bright red, plumb chilies measuring about 3.5 cm long by 2.5 cm width. I could not remember the price but I remembered that it was not cheap. The owner of the stall called it Lantern Chili or Bulb Chili.
That night in Cameron Highlands, we had steamboat for dinner. My hubby requested one of the waiter to cut some of the chilies I have bought in the morning. The waiter took a look at the chilies and shook his head. He quickly passed the scissors to my husband and told him to help himself. He told my hubby he dare not touch the chilies because it is fiery hot. According to the waiter, after touching the chilies, every part of his body that his fingers touched will feel the burning heat of the chilies. Now whenever I want to cut these chilies, I will hold the chili by its stem and use scissors to cut it into small pieces.
The chilies I have now are cross pollinated with other variety of chilies in my garden and they do not resemble those brought back from Cameron Highlands, which were broader and shorter (about 3.5 cm long x 2.5 cm wide). The ones I have now measured about 4 cm long x 1.5 cm wide. They are still fiery hot, but not as fiery hot as before. Most of my friends cannot stand the hotness of the chilies and only two or three of my friends are able to enjoy these chilies.
Surprisingly, even the birds do not touch them. They love to eat the Bird's Eye Chilies but not these Lantern or Bulb Chilies. Even when I left them to ripen till deep red, they are left untouched by the birds. Probably the birds find them too fiery hot.
These chili plants are very sensitive to pest especially the mealy bugs (white, powdery pest) and I have to be on the lookout for the slightest indication to stop the plant from being damaged.
Lantern Chili or Bulb Chili plants grow well in hot, sunny weather and good drainage soil. Too much water will cause the plants to drop their leaves and eventually destroy the plants. Too much water will also cause the fruits to drop while it is still green.
The chili fruits, even though from the same tree may vary in different degree of hotness. To harvest the fruits, use a scissors to snip off the single fruit from its stem. The fruits are light green when young, changing to orange and later to deep red as they mature. Chilies are used in many exotic culinary cuisines throughout the world.
Chili plants need frequent fertilization, probably once a week for the plant to be healthy and fruitful.
When there is bountiful harvest of chilies, they can be air dried, taking about a few weeks to thoroughly dry them. It can also be hot air dried in the oven to have the same result in shorter time. Store them in the refrigerator for later use when the harvest is over.

You, my brothers, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature,
rather, serve one another in love.
The entire law is summed up in a single command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
If you keep on biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
(Galatians 5:13-15, New International Version-NIV)


  1. These really do look like the Christmas light bulbs on trees. I have heard if your mouth gets too fiery hot, water will just make it spread. You need to drink milk, that is the perfect antidote.

    1. I too have heard that milk is the perfect antidote. I will drink warm water, it helps.

  2. I can only take chili that is only a little bit hot. The ones you described above will surely kill me. :D

    1. Mun, I can only take a little bit of the chili at one time. But I love to dip in the soy sauce with the chili to taste the fragrance of the chili.

  3. Your chilli grows well. Most of the time mine easily get attack by the small white insects and eventually died off.

    1. Mine too will get attacked. I will try to keep a watchful eye on save them before it is too late.

  4. Nancy, these chiliies sound scary hah..hah.. They are lovely as ornamental plants.

    1. Ha ha...Phong Hong, scary for those who couldn't take chilies, but those chilies lovers, they love these chilies.


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