The Kingdom of Peppers!

If I asked you which country on the planet had the highest per-capita consumption of chillies, what would you say? China? India? USA? Mexico? Ladies and gentleman, please allow me to introduce you to the country of Bhutan, The Kingdom of Peppers!!!

Bhutan is a land locked Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas’. It’s known for monasteries, fortresses, and dramatic landscapes but very few people know that Bhutan is also known as “The Kingdom of Peppers”! That’s right. Chilli pepper is a fundamental ingredient in Bhutanese cuisine. It’s used as a vegetable rather than just a spice and the country has the highest per-capita consumption of chilli in the world. In fact, the average household eats more than one kilo every week.

A good example of the cuisine is the Bhutanese national dish: ‘Ema Datsi’. A chilli and cheese curry which is mostly chilli.

Chilli Industry

Chilli pepper has become an important national commodity in Bhutan. In recent years the government has encouraged farmers across Bhutan to grow chilli peppers and today it is practically a national pastime. In fact, in 2017 the Department of Agriculture recorded production of 13,606 metric tons of hot peppers in the country. For a country that only has a population of less than 800,000 that’s a lot of chilli.

Cuisine apart, chilies also find a place in larger Bhutanese culture, primarily during prayer rituals. Many Bhutanese consider chillies to have supernatural powers, and burn them to keep away evil spirits.

The hottest variety of Bhutanese chilli is Dalle Khursani. Known as the fireball it is considered to be one of the hottest chillies in Bhutan and possibly in the world.

If you want to know more about how to grow chillies like a pro, consider coming on the Chilli Growers Workshop right here at the Chilli Ranch. Keep it Hot!


  1. Steve 29/03/2021

    Bhutan, who knew! Obviously Shawn 😉

  2. Gill bassett 30/03/2021

    Good to see all this . Thanks , Shawn , very interesting. Look forward to the next edition.

    • Thanks Gill. I’m working on it. Two new articles written and more to come. 🙂 Hope you are safe and well. See you soon.

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