Scotch Bonnet Chili Peppers

Scotch bonnet is a variety of chili pepper named for its resemblance to a Scottish tam o’ shanter hat. It is native to West Africa. Most Scotch bonnets have a heat rating of 80,000–400,000 Scoville units. For comparison, most jalapeño peppers have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000.

This is a pepper I had not grown before in our Sunnyvale garden. In May 2019 I planted a small seedling from Yamagami Garden Nursery into a 5 gallon pot. I gave it lots of sunlight and hooked the pot into our drip-irrigation system. The smaller Cayenne chili peppers starting ripening in August. These larger Scotch Bonnet chili peppers are ripening in September. The Ghost chili peppers probably will ripen in October.

These peppers are used to flavor many different dishes and cuisines worldwide and are often used in hot sauces and condiments. The Scotch bonnet has a sweeter flavor and stouter shape, distinct from its habanero relative with which it is often confused, and gives jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavor. Scotch bonnets are mostly used in West African, Antiguan, Kittitian/Nevisian, Anguilan, Dominican, St. Lucian, St Vincentian, Grenadian, Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, Haitian and Cayman cuisines and pepper sauces, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes. It is also used in Costa Rica and Panama for Caribbean-styled recipes such as rice and beans, rondón, saus, beef patties, and ceviche.

Fresh, ripe Scotch bonnets can change from green to yellow to scarlet red; some varieties of this pepper can ripen to orange, yellow, peach, or even a chocolate brown.

Scotch Bonnet – Mango Hot Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 11 kcal


  • 5 habanero peppers chopped
  • 1 mango peeled and chopped
  • 1 small white onion chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth.
Add to a large pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool then transfer to serving bottles. Refrigerate.

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