Video: Paharganj Delhi Main Bazaar – Heaven or hell?

The Main Bazaar in Paharganj is by some Delhiites considered hell due to it’s reputation for drugs and shady characters. But as my good Indian friend told me “you can find these things everywhere in Delhi – they are just more obvious in the Main Bazaar”.

However, unlike many capital cities, Delhi actually feels pretty safe to me. This might be an illusion of course, but I like Delhi a lot and I also like the Main Bazaar. I have stayed there three times now and feel both comfortable there and quite at home. It is also the cheapest place to stay in Delhi and has lots of cheap restaurants, travel agencies and shops.

This video gives you a small idea about the character of the Main Bazaar – heaven or hell? Judge for yourself.

World’s hottest chili pepper makes AP reporter cry

Associated Press reporter Tim Sullivan recently took a trip to a region in northeastern India that boasts the world’s hottest chili pepper, according to the folks at Guinness World Records.

Known as the bhut jolokia, the pepper registers at over 1,000,000 “Scoville units,” the industry-standard measurement that was invented by pharmacist Wilbur L. Scoville in 1912. Scoville relied on his tongue, but today a machine known as a High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph handles this hot job. For reference, a garden-variety bell pepper is a zero, while a typical Mexican habanero rings in at about 350,000 Scoville units. Tobasco sauce can be up to 5,000 units.

So 1,000,000 is pretty damned spicy, as Sullivan discovered when"”on the stellar advice of his editor"”he ate an entire bhut jolokia:

It was awful. My eyes watered uncontrollably and my nose ran. I felt like I was gargling with acid. My hands quivered. As the minutes passed, the pain grew worse.

I shoveled in yogurt: No relief. I chewed bread: Nothing. My head felt like it was expanding. My ears felt as if hot liquid was draining from them. Picture one of those old Tom and Jerry cartoons, with steam blasting from Tom’s ears as a train whistle blows. That was me.