Why you will fall in love with the Dalle Khursani

Why you will fall in love with the Dalle Khursani

Love hot and spicy food? If the chilli currently in your kitchen isn’t doing it for you, your taste buds haven’t yet been introduced to the dalle khursani, also called akabare khursani.

Dalle Khursani at a stall in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazaar
Dalle Khursani at a stall in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazaar

These heirloom peppers are indigenous to the Eastern Himalaya – Darjeeling, Sikkim, and the Eastern districts of Nepal – and feature right amongst the hottest chillies in the world. A household meal staple in the region, they are eaten raw with bhaat-dal-tarkari (rice-dal/lentils-curry), or as a side pickle made in vinegar or oil, made into a base paste and used as a curry flavouring agent, and added to chutneys and relishes. Any which way, there’s no escaping the dalle’s very unique flavourful zingy pungent bite. The heat does not hit immediately, but a striking burn will slowly take over the back of your throat and will take time to mellow off. Try the dalle khursani once, and you will never want any other chilli ever again! 

Exercise caution if you’re trying this chilli for the first time; it is not for the faint-hearted.

The Scoville Heat Units of the dalle khursani is 100,000 to 350 000

The SHU of the dalle is quite similar to that of habanero chilies. The Scoville scale is a measurement of spiciness or heat of chillies. Despite their heat, the dalle peppers do not come with any hazardous aftermath burning unlike other hot chillies. A solid plus for pepper lovers!

The Dalle pepper (species Capsicum annum) grows better in temperate climates; too much water kills the plant. The green pods turn into a bright red colour when fully ripe. The pepper looks like the cherry bomb chilli or pimento; however there’s a vast difference in their heat, with the cherry chili or pimento at 1000-5000 SHU only.

The dalle is one of the hottest chillies around. And it comes with a whale of health benefits as it is loaded with antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, has anti-inflammatory properties and fights infections! It is packed with Vitamins C, A, B, K, E.

Including the dalle in your regular diet will help (amongst other things): 

  • Mitigate cluster headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches
  • Eliminate long-term sinus infections
  • Offer relief from ulcers and inflammation-related bowel disease (IBD)
  • Reduce arthritis pain
  • Maintain gut health
  • Speed up metabolism and help curb weight gain
  • Boost heart health
Why you will fall in love with the Dalle Khursani

With the popularity of the dalle khursani growing, it’s become an excellent cash crop for farmers. In fact, the Sikkim dalle is set to get a geographical indication (GI) tag from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) basis an application filed by the Guwahati-based North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (Neramac). Though a positive move for the dalle khursani, this GI tag for the Sikkim crop only will potentially adversely affect the demand and price for the same peppers that is grown in the neighbouring areas of Darjeeling. How this situation will play out is yet to be seen, and will be a matter for another blog piece.

With its thick skin and excellent flavour and bite, the dalle khursani is ideal for pickling. Pickled dalles have a long shelf life. The peppers are pickled whole in mustard oil with a range of spices or ground into a paste. The peppers are also pickled with other regional vegetables like bamboo shoot (‘tama’), radish (‘mula’), fermented soybean (‘kinema’) and meat products.

Our Store has a range of farm-fresh harvested chilli pastes and pickles – available in our Pickles store.

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Hello! Our Dalle pickles can be ordered online from the shop, here’s the link https://darjeelingconnection.com/collections/pickles-chutneys-relishes

We deliver to all pin codes across India.

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