The spookily named Ghost Chile was probably given the name because of the way the heat sneaks up on the one who eats it. Originating from the northeastern part of India, particularly Assam [a name tea-drinkers will recognize] near Bangladesh, Ghost Chile is also called Bhut Jolokia, Bih jolokia ['poison chilli'] or naga Morich chile, among other local names.
Unknown to the western world before 2000, the Ghost Chile is similar in appearance to the habanero, but is 2-3 times hotter. This is a serious chile - for point of reference, it is **400 times** hotter than Tabasco sauce. A jalapeño pepper rates about 3,000 Scoville units. A habanero measures 300,000 Sc. The Ghost Chile? ONE MILLION SCOVILLE UNITS.
This Bhut Jolokia Ghost Chile pepper can hurt you. Wear gloves or don't touch anything you might regret!
The taste is worth the danger, though: the Ghost Chile gives a smoky intense flavor and insane heat. Ghost chile is best when it's used to spike a chunky salsa, or as a chile oil to drizzle on stews or made into mayonnaise. Mix sparingly into rice and beans or dress a crunchy taco.
Other uses for the Bhut Jolokia pepper are included in remedies for stomach ailment, and as a remedy to the summer heat as it will increase perspiration when ingested.
The method of testing a pepper's pungency units invented by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. Mr. Scoville determined his test results by taking the extracts of many types of chili peppers and diluting them in a sugared water solution until none of the heat remained. The testing was accomplished by a panel of 5 "judges" who would taste these solutions and then tell Mr. Scoville when they no longer felt any heat. This testing was very subjective as your can imagine and results were not very consistent.