Ghost Pepper Salsa

I made another six pints of salsa today. It’s a lot hotter than the last batch. That’s because I used several habanero and jalapeno peppers. But maybe the next try will even hotter.

That’s because I hoping to get some ghost peppers from Adam Sorum. Adam, who works at the gym where I exercise, said he’ll give me some to try out. He’s a big fan of everything hot and has an especially strong penchant for hot peppers.

We spent a half hour or so today talking about hot peppers and hot food while I was riding an exercise bike in Altru’s Fitness Center. After chatting, I decided to try my hand at some Ghost Pepper Salsa.

Ghost peppers actually are bhut jolokia — also known variously by other names in its native region of India. Naga jolokia generally is recognized as the hottest pepper in the world. The pepper is often called the ghost chili by Western media. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified the bhut jolokia as the world’s hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

Here’s the recipe I hope to try.

Ghost Pepper Salsa
½ ounce stemmed, dried bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon white vinegar
15 ounces tomatoes with juice
In a bowl, add dried chilies and cover with hot water. Rehydrate for 15 minutes. In a blender, combine chiles and 1/3 cup soaking water and then add garlic and vinegar; puree. In a bowl, add chili puree to tomatoes and combine.
Yield: 2½ cups.

  • 1/2 ounce stemmed, dried bhut jolokia chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • Salt
  • Ingredients
  • In a bowl, add dried chiles, and cover with hot water. Rehydrate for 15 minutes. In a blender, combine chiles and 1/3 cup soaking water, and then add garlic and vinegar; purée. In a bowl, add chile purée to tomatoes, and combine.

15 thoughts on “Ghost Pepper Salsa

  1. Hi Jeff, What recipe do you use for making salsa. I enjoy reading your articles and try alot of your recipes. Thanks.

    • Nancy:

      You’re maybe going to find this strange, but I hardly have a salsa that’s the same every time. I like to use Mrs. Wages salsa mixes as a base for my salsa. Then, I add the vinegar like the recipe calls for before adding a bunch of other things. This last time, I had some bell peppers that were ripe; I also put in about five or six jalapenos. They were ones I canned last year and had opened recently. I cut up one large onion as well as adding a half-cup of fresh cilantro from my garden. Then, I added about a tablespoon of ground cumin, couple of tablespoons of sugar and about the same amount of canning salt. I had started with bout 6 pounds of tomatoes, with skins taken off (put in boiling water first then cold water). This made between 6 and 7 pints. And last, I chopped up about three dehydrated habanero peppers.

      The first batch I made this summer didn’t have the habaneros, since my wife likes her salsa a little milder. Also, I used the mild version of Mrs. Wages instead of the hot one.

      Thanks for reading my articles.

  2. Hello I just wanted to say I tried your ghost chili salsa recipe and added a few extras…. I appropriately named this batch of salsa hell on earth! hottest stuff I have ever eaten.

  3. I wonder if you could crush those into a molcajete style salsa? BTW, never heard of vinager in molcahete salsa…..

  4. Actually they have found an even hotter pepper called the Trinidad moruga scorpion chile. It rates up to 2,000,000 scovelle units!!!

  5. I will try this recipe. Will it change if I used fresh. I have grown 8 plants and found a full grown plant at my nurser,with about ten peppers.

    • Definitely post if you try fresh ghost peppers. I have a plant with 3 lovely peppers on it right now…can’t wait for them to get big and red. Hopefully at the same time as my tomatoes!!

  6. I found that just mixing the chili puree with the diced tomatoes didn’t really give me the texture I wanted. I ended putting it back in the blender with a handful of cherry tomatoes, parsley and salt and then pulsing. The end result was much more like the salsa we’re used to down here in AZ.

  7. Hi Jeff,
    We are planning to make our last round of salsa tomorrow. We usually can about a dozen jars to last us through the winter. Our salsa batch typically includes 20 pounds of tomatoes as the base (2 big white onions, 2 bunches garlic, etc).

    We usually use Jalapeños, but a friend has grown some of his own Jolokia peppers! I have 3 little ones.

    My question is: for 20 pounds of tomatoes, to yield 12 jars of salsa, how many of the 3 small Jolokias should we use? They are about one inch long…Maybe 2 of them? I’m a bit nervous because I know how hot they are!


    • If you like it really hot (really hot), use two, but otherwise I wouldn’t use more than one.

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