I have come into the possession of a couple of naga varieties. We don't know which ones exactly, but google search seems to confirm that I do have some very hot varieties on my hands and they may average close to 1 million Scovilles.

I was thinking of making some hot sauce, how do I calculate the right ratio of chilli to filler so that I don't end up with something that will kill me?

As reference, the hottest chilli I regularly use are bird's eyes.

Update: As a point of reference for others:

I started off with 4 of my nagas (and 1 tiny home grown halepeno) to 7 deseeded tomatoes. I just cut the top and bottom off, then run my knife around the seeds, taking out the 'cross-hairs' structure as well.

I had other ingredients, but tomatoes were the bulk of the sauce. This yielded about 700ml of sauce. At this dilution I could feel the heat, but it was quite mild.

I then cooked it down until most of the liquid was gone. A reduction of about 50% in volume. This left me with a moderate level chilli sauce. It's got heat but I can still taste everything.

  • I was thinking of closing as a duplicate of cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/15445/…, but now I read the body of your text, I think your question is more special than the more general older one, so I'm editing the title instead.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


Given that you don't know what you have, I'd favor making up "more of less 100% chili sauce" or as close to that as your methods come, taking care, and not tasting it.

Then take one tiny amount of that (a drop, a 1/4 teaspoon, a mL) and dilute it in whatever seems likely in your estimation (I suppose based on "possibly 1 million Scovilles" and some reference sauce you like) to be "more than plenty" of filler (1000X? 2000X?), mix throughly, and taste. If not hot enough, add more, mix again, taste. If still too hot, dilute more, taste. Keep careful track and you'll have the correct ratio for sauce you can stand.

  • 1
    As you know you're going to dilute it anyway, is there a reason to start with 100% peppers? I might understand if you have so much that you don't want to sacrifice storage space, but you could make an amount reasonable for a storage jar that you have (use glass), and if you have an overwhelming amount, freeze some.
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 17:46
  • 1
    @Joe I don't know how much Megasaur has, and I don't know how hot Megasaur likes it. If Megasaur is reasonably sure that 10 or 100 times dilution will still be at or above desired heat, sure, start there. That is also somewhat what I intended with "or as close to that as your methods come." General reasoning is that it's easier to dilute than to un-dilute.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 1:39
  • @Ecnerwal I have 2 of these peppers. I will be deseeding (and keeping the seeds for growing later). I have it under good authority that they are indeed very hot.
    – Megasaur
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 7:04

We prepare and cook a lot of African dishes-using bird chiles.

When in doubt as to the exact heat to infuse, we use the following method:

  • Pierce one chili and add it into the stew or other dish

  • Stir it around a few times and wait 10 minutes

  • Remove it and taste the result.

We will either need to leave it in longer, add more chiles, or pierce more tiny holes in the chiles. Also, with many types of chiles, we first remove the seeds.

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