Like many varieties of the Chinense species, the Naga chili is a small to medium shrub with large leaves, small, five-petaled flowers, and hot fruit. It has a wrinkled texture as opposed to the smoother flesh of similar varieties.
The plants are cultivated in Bangladesh, North East India, especially in Nagaland and Manipur, thus the origin of the name “Naga”. They are also grown in the United States, United Kingdom (as subspecies Dorset Naga) and Australia for the production of hot sauces, and in Finland, where it is mainly sold fresh in supermarkets. It is also available in West Africa.
The Naga chili is hot. Many specialists say that the Naga chili has a sweet and slightly tart flavor, followed by slight undertones of woody, smoky flavors. The chili is traditionally used green by the Bangladeshis, often eaten raw as a side dish, or in pickled form as a relish with rice and curry.