A demure 26-year-old mother of one in Assam is all set to have her name entered in record books after having munched 51 of the world's hottest chillies in two minutes in front of celebrity British chef Gordon Ramsay.
Anandita Dutta Tamuly performed the bizarre feat on Thursday night before hundreds of people at the tea growing town of Jorhat, 300 km east of Assam's main city Guwahati, for a Channel Four Television show on global food being anchored by Ramsay. "In two minutes, Anandita gobbled 51 red-hot chillies (locally known as Bhut Jolokia) without batting an eyelid or shedding a tear and also smeared seeds of 25 chillies in her eyes in one minute with the crowd simply awestruck," Atul Lahkar, a local chef who coordinated the show, told IANS.
"The Guinness authorities had earlier asked us to provide them with a recording of the feat supervised by someone responsible. We asked Ramsay to be the adjudicator for Guinness and he agreed to pursue Anandita's claim as the world's 'hottest woman' by submitting video clippings of the record-breaking feat," said Diganta Saikia, another event coordinator.
Bhut Jolokia (capsicum frutescens), a chilli native to Assam, is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's hottest chilli pepper. The discovery by Paul Bosland, a Regents Professor in horticulture at New Mexico State University, was recognised by the Guinness World Records in a testimony saying Bhut Jolokia, belonging to the Capsicum Chinese family and native to Assam, was the hottest of all spices.
The hotness of the Bhut Jolokia, measured in Scoville heat units at two independent laboratories by Bosland, was 1,001,304. It's nearly twice as hot as Red Savina (577,000), the variety that is second-hottest. By comparison, a New Mexico green chilli contains about 1,500 Scoville units, while an average jalapeno measures at about 10,000.
The reigning chilli champ is South Africa's Anita Crafford, who in 2002 gobbled eight jalapenos in a minute. "I am very happy to have broken the record. They (Channel Four crew members and Ramsay) praised me for my world record breaking feat," Anandita told IANS.
The event coordinators said a formal acknowledgement from the Guinness World Records would take some time as there were several formalities before Anandita's name is etched in the book. "I have been eating Bhut Jolokia since my childhood and never felt the hotness in my mouth," she said.
She got hooked on to the hot pepper when she was just five years old. "I had a sore tongue and my mother applied a chilli paste to cure the infection when I was five. Since then I developed a penchant for chillies," Anandita said.
The local variety of the chilli is grown mostly in hilly terrain and is considered a staple menu in every meal among many people in northeastern India.