The question came up again over the past weekend: how do you create a real Chilli Inferno... Which Ukuva sauce is the HOTTEST... How does it compare to Tabasco? What is its rating on the Scoville Scale...
Why do we not use the Scoville Scale?
Here's a direct quote from the Wikipedia page:
"A weakness of the Scoville Organoleptic Test is its imprecision due to human subjectivity, depending on the taster's palate and their number of mouth heat receptors, which varies greatly among people. Another weakness is sensory fatigue: the palate is quickly desensitised to capsaicins after tasting a few samples within a short time period. Results vary widely (up to ± 50%) between laboratories."
How do the Ukuva Sauces compare to Tabasco Sauce?
Tabasco is a sprinkle-on pepper-sauce - it provides instant 'buzz' - as such, its a great product for table-top chili excitement.
Ukuva's 'big bottle sauces' are made to be complete flavour stories first - and chilli stories second. Almost everyone disagrees about which is the 'hottest' - Swazi Mama Mamba or Malawi Gold - and in truth, we cannot tell you either - it depends on the dish, the day and the people tasting; both can be classified roughly an 8 on a scale where 10 is hot, hot, hot.
Creating a real inferno...
I once had a friend who - a mild mannered, likeable fellow most of the time - who periodically turned into a chilli fiend whose mission it was to create the hottest of the hot chilli dishes.
The fundamental chilli paste is simple: layers of chilli and lots of time. His basic 'brew' contained a mixture of fresh chillies - at least 3 of the hottest varieties, mashed - pips, stalks and all - with a sprinkle of sugar - which then rests in the fridge for 3 days. Step next, stir in an equal volume of vegetable oil and half a volume of finely grated fresh ginger. This is where the proportions become important: make a note of the volume of oil because from here all the other proportions are in relation to the amount of oil (from here on its known as the 'measure'. Crush a measure of dried, red chillies and mix with half a measure of beer - let this rest in the fridge for 3 days. Add a half measure of vinegar and heat the mixture to 80C - keep it on low heat for at least 10 minutes and then add the fresh mash spoon by spoon - once the last has been added, get the temp up to 80C again and maintain for at least 15 minutes - stir occasionally to prevent burning. Bottle in hot, pre-sterilized jars, cap immediately, turning the jars upside down (standing on their lids). This chilli paste should last on the shelf for at least 6 months (it will darken over time!).
IF all this sounds like too much trouble - start your dish with one of the Ukuva Sauces and IF it still needs some lightning and thunder, add a generous grinding of Zulu Fire Spice, Umzimvubu, Mozambique or Harissa Spice (depending on which sauce you started with). The Ukuva Sauces are built with enough flavour resilience to be able to expand the flavour to whatever protein or vegetables are added - and provide a base for extra chilli.
Hot Drops - especially GHOST - are made to be added at the table, but if even Ghost needs more horns, a generous grinding of Zulu Fire Spice or Mozambique will definitely do the trick.