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Devon Chilli Man – Box of Pain By The Chilli Diaries

By Blog

Devon Chilli Man Box of Pain. The name says it all. Devon Chilli Man is probably known best in the Chilli Growing Community for being one of the biggest UK growers of Carolina Reapers. But he does grow other interesting Chillies as well, and he’ll happily send you a box in exchange for a few of your hard earned pennies in the form of one of his Boxes of Pain.

It is, unfortunately a bit hard to really review these boxes as each one is pretty unique in that you get what you’re given. The one thing you can guarantee is that you’re going to get some of the hottest chillies that are available today and that they are going to be fresh.

I’ve literally ordered a Devon Chilli Man Box of Pain one day, and it be sat in my kitchen the following. I live about 250ish miles away. It’s a pretty impressive feat to be fair. Now, he can’t take all the responsibility for that, I know. It’s not as though they are hand delivered. But it does show a certain commitment to his customers that they arrive fresh.

Which, is good.

In fact, I’ve ordered a few of these now and one time it fell over a bank holiday weekend. He took the time to drop me a message asking if I minded waiting so then he could be sure they wouldn’t get stuck in a warehouse. You can’t argue with that kind of customer service.

For £8.00 you can look forward to (approximately) 150g worth of Chillies. Now, that might seem expensive to some but you do have to remember that you can’t buy these chillies by going to your local shop. They aren’t mass produced. They’ve not been through any kind of factory. Pesticides haven’t been used and the man has his own bills to pay. All things considered, they’re pretty bargainous in fact.

More than anything else, it’s a chance to get your hands on a great selection of new chillies to try out for yourself. I’ve had some crackers in the boxes I’ve had.

Setting aside the more famous ones like the Carolina Reapers of this world I’ve been introduced to some beautiful fruits. The Brain Strain Chilli for example.

Previously these where like something I’d heard of round a camp fire. With a name like Brain Strain, come on – Who wouldn’t want to try them? As it happens they are a proper little fire cracker and delicious.

Another Chilli I was glad to get my hands on was the MOA Scotch Bonnet.

The MOA (Ministry of Agriculture) Scotch Bonnet is the original “Scotch Bonnet”. As I’ve said more than once, Scotch Bonnets are amongst my favourite chillies to cook with. Over the years with cross pollination, I guess the true Scotch Bonnet got changed to something else without anyone really realising. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d suspected something labelled as Scotch Bonnet was more of a generic Habanero more than anything else.

So, I more than welcomed the chance to try a “real” one. And, as it turned out, I was slightly disappointed. They where actually much milder than I was used to. Still tasted great, but I used my normal four in my sauce, and, it could have done with a bit more of a kick.

Of course, there all kinds of surprises to be had in these boxes. Including chillies I’ve never heard of, like the Moruga UV.

The Moruga UV (Unknown Variety) is an unstable version of the Moruga Scorpion Chilli, I don’t know much about them but the plant is known for throwing out all kinds of different shapes and pod types.

In one box I got this year (2017) there was one in particular I’d never heard of. Brown Bhutlah. I was originally sent just the two of them. At the time this struck me as odd, there are normally at least four of each type. But, I didn’t think much of it other than that. I did however decide to use them in my Chilli-Con-Carne that night, just to get them used more than anything else.

Boy, was I in for a surprise. Hand on heart, NEVER have I had a chilli THAT hot. To say that I just used two was ridiculous. Those things are just silly. And yes, I do mean never. Hence me putting it in capitals, bolding it and using italics. I’ve cooked the same meal with four Carolina Reapers and never felt heat (or pain) like it. I’ve cooked the same meal with four Moruga Scorpions and never felt heat (pain) like it. I’ve cooked the same meal with four kinds of all kinds of super hot chillies and never felt heat (pain) like it. You get the idea.

If I’d used four Brown Bhutlah then I think, quite possibly, there would have been some medical attention needed.

They are crazy hot. And, I’d never even heard of them before!

And, of course. Another thing in the plus common for buying Super Hot Chillies, is that you get free seeds for all these crazy chillies you’ve never heard of.

There are of course many other varieties that you could get sent, it really is whatever he has ripe at the time but that just adds to the excitement of it all. For me at least. Kind of like an early Christmas even.

We all like a bit of hot pod action so here is just a small selection of the ones I got in some boxes I ordered this year (2017).


Primo Red

Black Habanero

White Bhut Jolokia

7 Pot SR

7 Pot Infinity

OK. That’s enough. I’m sure you get the idea 😉

If you’re looking for a random selection of super hot chillies to buy, it’s safe to say I’d recommend the Devon Chilli Man Box of Pain as a good source of them.

If you’re interest purely lies with the Carolina Reaper then he is also more than happy to ship a box of those to you as well, or perhaps you’re not feeling quite that brave, in which case there is a Mild and Tasty box to consider as well!

Chilli Flatbreads

By Recipes


  • 280g Plain Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 200ml Warm Milk
  • 1 Tsp DevonChilliMan’s Chilli Flakes
  • Or A Whole Fresh Chilli Sliced Thinly (Fatalii is my favourite)


1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl then kneed for a couple of minutes.

2. Put the dough back in the mixing bowl & cover with cling film, then leave to rest for 20 minutes.

3. Once rested divide the dough into 8 balls, put them on a plate & cover with cling film to rest for a further 10 minutes.

4. Heat a heavy based frying pan, roll out the dough balls as thinly as possible putting one at a time in the pan, after a few seconds it will start to bubble, then turn the flatbread over to do the other side (approx 15 sec).

5. Stack one on top of the other and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep moist.

These freeze really well but you need to interleave them with grease proof paper, then reheat over naked flame.

Indian Style Chilli Pickle

By Recipes

By David-Louis Gouedard

I should prefix all recipes with the Mexican saying about cooking “no hay reglas fijas” – there are no fixed rules. But for this recipe in particular, not only is there more than one way to make or process this pickle, but every region has its own particular tweak, and possibly every household in that region has its own particular slightly different formulation.

The two processes are basically using oil as the preservative or using salt.  The oil based one is cooked to reduce the water content of the chillies and the salt based one is not cooked.  Of course both recipes have Chillies in common, and you can use any kind of DevonChilliMan’s Very Hot, Super Hot, or Nuclear chillies. The milder end of the Medium chillies just cannot stand up for themselves in this dish and so would not recommend using them. Of course the classic chilli to use is the long thin Indian chilli (you can use a cayenne type chilli or Guntur Sannam if you can get it) and often used green, but I have seen many versions of this pickle that use red chillies and even red nagas! I await the commercial production of the first using Carolina reapers.

Two of the other common ingredients are mustard seed (black or yellow or a mix of both, coarsely ground) and turmeric. Two other ingredients often found are fenugreek and asafoetida, both are very “interesting” and not to be included in too high a quantity, in the case of asafoetida the teeniest amount (less than quarter of a teaspoon) will be more than enough. Garlic and ginger are often found in home cooked recipes in India and I think should be experimented with if you use the cooked oil recipe. Another thing both recipes have in common is the curing of the pickle in sunlight for a few days.  Here it is important to remember that it is the suns light and not the heat that does the curing, so when you do this part of the process it is important to put the jars in the best position for light, so indoors on a window sill or a greenhouse is not a good option since the light is diminished slightly in the behind glass, but more on that when we come to that stage.

The oil method


  • 1 lb chillies
  • A tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 4 fluid oz of lemon juice
  • Half a bulb of garlic (4 or 5 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 8 fl oz of mustard oil (to be authentic… though sunflower oil is just as good, as the mustard oil becomes quite subdued in the cooking process).
  • Half a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon nigella (black cumin) seeds
  • A quarter of a teaspoon asafoetida


Wash and dry the chillies (make sure they are very dry, as excess moisture will cause the pickle to spoil), remove the stalks and chop into 1 inch long pieces. Place in a strainer and mix with the salt. Put the strainer (containing the chillies and salt) over a bowl and leave, covered, overnight.  A couple of hours will do at a push but overnight is best. Once the chillies are ready, grind the mustard seeds coarsely and puree the garlic (i love my mortar and pestle and would do both of these processes in it, but you can use a coffee grinder for the mustard seeds and whatever method you prefer for making a paste from fresh garlic).

Heat the oil in a large pan. If you are using mustard oil, heat until it just starts to smoke, if using sunflower oil heat until just hot, but NOT smoking.  Add the nigella and fenugreek seeds and stir for about 15 seconds until the fenugreek is nicely toasted looking (golden brown). Add the garlic, the coarsely ground mustard seeds, lemon juice, asafoetida, the chillies, and any liquid that drained from the chillies, in the bowl.  Cook gently, stirring often until the chillies are soft, and sink in the oil which should take about 15 mins.  If you are using very hot chillies remember to have good ventilation in the kitchen, unless you enjoy re-enacting trench warfare gas attacks, temporary blindness and uncontrollable crying. You should ready enough jars that are sterile and dry (again any hint of moisture can cause the pickle to spoil) to accommodate the quantity of pickle you have made and hot bottle them.  By this I mean heat the jars in an oven so that they will not crack when the hot pickle is added to them. When you have put all the pickle into the hot jars, wipe the mouths of the jars with a clean and sterile dry cloth and put the lids on tightly. Allow to cool.

When the jars are cool enough to handle, place them outside in bright sunlight for about 3 days, longer if the days are cloudy. Bring them in at night and put them out again during the day.  If it is a winter day or cold outside do not put the hot jars out until they have cooled or they will crack.  After the sun curing, place the pickle in a dark cupboard and once opened store in the fridge. It will last a few weeks once opened but it is better to put the pickle into smaller jars and consume them quickly than to put it into larger jars and take longer to finish it.

The salt method


  • 1 lb chillies
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons mustard seed coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 8 fluid oz mustard oil
  • 4 fluid oz lemon juice


Wash and dry the chillies, again they must be very dry. Remove the stalks and chop into 1 inch long pieces.  Into a clean and dry jar (or food safe Tupperware type container, or a Pyrex dish with a sealable lid – in which case you will need to decant the pickle into jars for the final stage after the oil has been added) add the chillies, coarsely ground mustard seed, and the salt. Stir in well to mix, or shake if in a jar. Leave in the sun for 2 or 3 days (if it is particularly intense sun then just 2 days).  Again bring the pickle in at night and put out again in the morning. After the 2 or 3 days add the lemon juice and turmeric, mix in well then put in the sun again for another 2 days.  Heat the mustard oil until it starts to smoke then let it cool enough to add to the pickle mix so that it will not crack the glass. Mix it in very well to the rest of the ingredients. Again if you are using any other oil, just heat until hot, not smoking.  When you have added the oil keep the pickle at room temperature for 4 to 5 days sealed in the jar.  It is then ready.  Once the jar is opened keep in the fridge.

Experiment with the quantities, i have seen some pickles that claim to contain 99% chillies in which case the quantities of the other ingredients will be very minimal.  Other ingredients include tamarind, vinegar instead of lemon juice, ginger, brown sugar, red chilli powder, black pepper,  jaggery (an unrefined sugar product), and amchoor (dried unripe mango powder).  In fact i think you can travel all over India and find a thousand more other ingredients so go ahead and experiment, choose your favourite spices to add and invent a pickle tailor made to your taste buds.

Chilli Biltong

By Recipes


  • Beef (Preferably Silverside)
  • Rock Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Black Pepper Corns
  • 1 tbsp. Coarse Ground Coriander
  • Vinegar (preferably Apple-Cider vinegar)
  • DevonChilliMans XXX Hot Powder Blend or some of
  • DevonChilliMans’s Chilli Flakes

Courtesy of Ryan Bowbanks

Get some half-inch thick strips of beef (silverside) make sure it’s cut with the grain. The pieces should be about 6 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. Liberally sprinkle rock-salt on each side of the pieces of meat and let them stand for an hour.

After the hour, scrape off all the excess salt with a knife (don’t soak it in water!). Then get some vinegar – preferably apple-cider vinegar. Put some vinegar in a bowl and brush or dip the strips of meat with the vinegar – just so that the meat is covered in the vinegar. Hold the biltong up so that the excess vinegar drips off.

Crush up (I use pestle and morter) about 2 tbsp. of black pepper corn with about 1 tbsp. of dry coriander into a nice fine (ish) powder, now add as much or little XXX Hot Powder Blend or Chilli Flakes as you like (I use about 1 tbsp.) and give a good mix up. Then sprinkle the mix over the meat on all sides and rub into the meat.

Once you have done this, the meat is ready to dry, I use a dehydrator with variable heat control, set it to around 20/30c if yours goes that low. Lay out the strips of beef and turn on.

Once a day I shuffle the trays around to get a more even drying process, now it’s up to you how you like your biltong,I prefer it slightly soft in the middle but not raw, it usually takes 2 or 3 days to get it like that but if you like it drier then leave it for longer. A little squeeze of the meat should give you a good idea of how dry/soft it is.

Once your happy with it then slice and eat and Enjoy 🙂

“First Year Bulk Growing A Great Success” – Devon ChilliMan

By Blog

October has thankfully been a great month in my Chilli grow after a very disappointing so called summer. Ive been so busy that I’ve completely forgotten about getting round to doing this blog, so I’m sorry it’s late for those of you who are kindly following me. The Autopot Watering System along with nutrients from Growth Technology has proved a very successful partnership and I can’t thank all involved in this first year of growing on this scale enough !!

The UK chilli community is certainly a great one indeed as I’ve also had great encouragement from them also of which I’m extremely grateful. Ive got some really exciting plans for next year which I’m bursting to announce but I am awaiting confirmation right now.

Devon Chilliman suffers a Sugar Rush!

By Blog

September has been pretty much “as we were” in previous months in Channingswood Prison & just making sure the 2000 plants on the Autopot system are ok. The Great British weather really has made this year a challenging one for growing chillies what with the cold nights and lack of sunlight during July & August.

My most prolific plants this year are the new kid on the block “Sugar Rush Peach” this is a rare Peach colored Capsicum bacattum variety from Peru that is very sweet.

It might be the only Peach colored Aji type seen. Similar to Aji Amarillo but much sweeter and that’s why it’s called Sugar Rush! & they have an abundance of fruit on them and have been a challenge to cane and support with one plant even toppling right over under all the weight ! (if anybody wants Sugar Rush by the kilo please contact me)

I’m now looking forward to using this years produce and bringing out some new lines to add to the Devonchilliman range of products.

After trialing various different substrates this year it’s clear which one I will use next year & that is Alpha Gold,this has out performed all the others by a country mile.

2000 Chilli plants Drink 7,000 Lts in a weekend at Channingswood Prison

By Blog

Here is my August update of my Channingswood Prison grow of 2000 chilli plants using the Autopot Watering System.The plants are using a staggering amount of water/nutrients now. I’m using a specially formulated two part feed from Growth Technology that has been made to suit the water supply in the prison. We have to make sure that all seven of the 1000L Flexitanks are constantly topped up, to give you an idea of the usage come Friday lunchtime all of them are full to the brim & when I return to the prison on Monday morning all 7 are near enough empty,so that’s 7000L (7 ton) gone over the weekend!

It is rewarding working with the offenders & seeing them enjoying and learning from this unique “Chilli” project,although it has been frustrating & challenging working in this environment with regards to Health & Safety/Security issues. One thing that has amused me is that “Chillies” are the new currency on the wings!

Other things that have been done this month are the Polytunnel doors have had the polythene sheeting removed and replaced with a fine mesh to allow more airflow.Also a couple of the offenders have started making permanent concrete plinths to support the Flexitanks instead of pallets as security deemed these to be a risk.

All 2000 plants are now fully supported by canes/string and this has mostly been done by one offender that has past experience of working on a tomato farm in Greece for over 7 years, his skills have been a huge help on our team. The plants are looking awesome now but where has summer gone? We really do need an Indian summer to help ripen the pods now.

These will be available through my website.

DevonChilliMan – 2000 Chillies in Channingswood Prison

By Blog

July has come & gone where did that month go ?, I know… was spent in Channingswood Prison where I now have 2000 plants across 7 completely set up polytunnels using the Autopot Watering System, phew with the help of the offenders we got there in the end, it’s taken a lot longer than I would have liked but I see this first year as a working learning curve & next year I will have a big head start on this as the majority of the work this year was to get the tunnels fit to use & to install the Autopot watering system.

All 2000 plants are now caned and tied as they need support and yes I don’t half get some funny looks turning up at the prison gates with armfuls of canes day after day after day !!. The tunnel doors are slowly being replaced with mesh to allow a better airflow to help the plants in the really hot days.

Outside each tunnel we are constructing permanent concrete plinths for the 1000 Litre Flexi Tanks to sit on as they weigh 1 ton each.Now onto the pods…they are slowly but surely starting to form and the odd one ripen, I sent a ripe “King Naga” to Adam Marks of Mr Vikki’s the other day to see if he approved & he gave me a BIG thumbs up & says he wants his first shipment of 50 kilos ASAP.

My friend Henry Font from Italy has supplied me with some wonderful seeds this year and one of the Varieties is called a “Trinidad Dog” its a cross between a Red Moruga & a 7 Pot Barrackpore and the first tasting of one was by my friend Rickard Haglund from Sweden and his thoughts were & I quote ..

“Quite powerful, rather similar to a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (TMS),fruity but with a powerful (and pretty instant) kick”

Anyway back into prison I go bye for now.

Devon Chilliman – 4 Tunnels Complete

By Blog

I’m now pleased that finally I have over 2,000 Chilli plants now potted up into their final pots which are the Autopot 15L & 25L. I would like to say how extremely greatful I am to the companies who have supplied me with the growing media for this project at HMP Channingswood and they are…

Atami , Growth Technology, Nutrifield, Mills, Plagron & UGro.

I can honestly say “what on earth have I got myself into !!”, but on the other hand I love a challenge and to have such a massive passion for my chillies I am in my element and have now spent a whole month in the prison ,although my body is telling a different story as I never knew I had so many muscles that could ache.

We now have 4 of the 36M x 9M polytunnels up and running with the Autopot Watering System and hope to have the last three completed in just over a week,it’s been extremely challenging in the heat that we’ve been having the last few weeks,but the plants are thriving.

Heres some of the varieties that I’m growing this year…

Carolina Reaper, Sugar Rush Peach, Bhut Red, Borg9, Chocolate Borg9, Naga Morich, King Naga, Black Naga, Red Scorpion, Yellow Scorpion, Chocolate Scorpion, Fatalii Yellow, Trinidad Moruga, Red Ghost, Peach Ghost, Red Habanero, Yellow Habanero, Wartyrx, Yellow Pimple, Faces, 7 Pot Primo ,Shabu Shabu, Katy, Genghis Kahn & Apocalypse.

The pods are starting to appear as of the last week,so hopefully I will be able to share lots of pictures with you all soon.

DevonChilliman – MAY be in prison?

By Blog

Finally after almost six months of planning and frustration with various set backs the Prison project is very much back on track.So far there are over 1200 chilli plants on site and the others are almost ready to be potted into their final pots which will be a mixture of the Autopot 1Pot Module which holds 15Litres & the Autopot 1Pot XL Module.

I have a variety of substrates available to me to trial with this system and in due course I will be posting my findings as the season progresses.The polytunnels have been prepped for the laying of the white Mypex this should be a great help on the ripening of the pods as it will reflect the light up under the plants.

Each polytunnel will have a 1000Litre Flexi tank which will supply the nutrients of which have been made specifically to suit the growing of chillies and the water in the it and 7 rows of 40 Autopots so in total 280, I was supposed to be using 8 polytunnels but one was damaged in the storms so there will be a total of 1960 modules in total.

We were going to use more but decided to give each plant a metre so to allow it to grow properly. I have been working with four offenders and they are extremely keen and very willing to learn about the growing of chillies of which I find it rewarding to pass on the knowledge I have to them.

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