Nothing says "satisfying comfort food" quite like 1.2 million Scoville units (that's the heat of 400 jalapeno peppers combined), right? No? Well, according to chef Geeta Bansal at Clay Oven in Irvine, this kind of heat is definitely on the menu. She's serving a dish featuring the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chile.
Some, including Clay Oven, call it "the world's hottest chile pepper," a tiny red ball of fury, featuring a bumpy texture and a telltale tail. Unfortunately (or perhaps not), the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is not the hottest pepper, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was dethroned in December 2013 and replaced by the Carolina Reaper, which can reach a whopping 2.2 million units on the Scoville scale.
Regardless, Clay Oven's lamb dish featuring the scorching chile, called the Shiv, is sure to pack a punch and test the guts of diners. Shiv is a reference to the name of the Hindu god of creation and destruction known for performing a fiery Tandav dance. I predict diners at Clay Oven will perform a fiery dance of their own after trying the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.
Diners who successfully finish the entire plate will receive a certificate of congratulations and a chance to win Clay Oven’s Thanksgiving tandoori turkey. Whether that chance is worth the pain remains to be seen, but a person who can stomach a chile of this Scoville magnitude should definitely earn some serious bragging rights.
According to Bansal, the dish is not just about the heat.
"When combined with the other ingredients, the Shiv features a wide spectrum of flavors like salty, sweet, spicy, piquant and astringent," Bansal said in a statement.
The Shiv is available at Clay Oven through Sept. 30, for those who dare.
Clay Oven Irvine, 15435 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, (949) 552-2851, www.clayovenirvine.com