South Kalimantan village home to Indonesia's hottest chilli

Chillies planted in the Hiyung village have a spiciness level of up to 94,500 parts per million - 17 times spicier than a normal chilli.
Chillies planted in the Hiyung village have a spiciness level of up to 94,500 parts per million - 17 times spicier than a normal chilli.PHOTO: REUTERS

(THE JAKARTA POST) - A village in Tapin regency, South Kalimantan, is now home to the hottest chilli in the country.

According to the local administration and residents, chillies planted in the regency's Hiyung village have a spiciness level of up to 94,500 parts per million (ppm), 17 times spicier than a normal chilli.

Tapin Regent Arifin Arpan said the chillies could only grow in the village. "When the seeds were planted in other areas, (the chillies) became less or not spicy," he said in Rantau, South Kalimantan, on Tuesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Dubbed cabai Hiyung (Hiyung chilli), its spiciness has led to the chilli becoming a top commodity. Among the village's 420 family heads, 85 per cent are said to be working as chilli farmers.

The chilli was first planted in 1993 by Subarjo, who brought 200 seeds from the mountain. Subarjo said that, aside from spiciness, Hiyung chillies could also last up to 10 days at room temperature.

The current rise in chilli prices has allowed the farmers to enjoy some benefits. "When we started growing the chilli, it was priced at 1,500 rupiah (S$0.20) per liter. Now (the price) per kilogram has multiplied and reached 150,000 rupiah," said Subarjo.

Tapin regency has developed 200 hectares of a total 3,000 ha of land targeted for Hiyung chillies. The development is based on the registration of local crop varieties with the Agriculture Ministry, which requires the regency to be responsible for the cultivation of local crops.