Chicken Phaal Recipe | The #1 Hottest Curry in the World.

How hot do you like your curry? A bit spicy… Or are you someone who absolutely has to go as hot as possible? If you’re the latter I’ve got something for you. Our chicken phaal recipe is about as hot as curries get. This article will tell you what phaal is and how to make it.  

What is Phaal?

Phaal is a curry that was invented in the UK and is commonly believed to have begun life in the curry houses of Birmingham. It has since spread to become world-famous as a fiery and spicy curry that isn't for the faint-hearted.

Phaal is a tomato-based curry with thick red gravy.

Phaal gets its spice and heat from the use of a few ingredients. Namely chilli. A Chicken phaal recipe will contain bird-eye chilli, naga chilli. It will also include blisteringly hot spices such as Kashmiri chilli powder.

What is the Hottest Curry in the World?

Simply put…


Phaal is the hottest curry in the world. I can handle a nice madras with no problem at all. I sometimes even go up to a vindaloo… But phaal is too much even for me!

How Hot is Phaal Curry

In a couple of words?

Ridiculously hot. Seriously.

There's a good chance that if you eat this, you will regret it. Phaal curry is probably the hottest in the world. It is certainly hotter than a vindaloo!

Want to see how hot it is? Check this out…

How to Make Our Chicken Phaal Recipe

Ok, listen. I'm not going to mess about. If you are serious about your hot curry, here is how to make a chicken phaal.

Phaal Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Phaal Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1

Heat Level: Insane

Phaal Ingredients

Spice Mix

For the Curry

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 large chicken breast, chopped into thick chunks
  • 4 naga chillies chopped
  • 2 bird eye chillies chopped
  • 5 tbsp diluted tomato puree
  • 2 cups heated base gravy
  • 1 handful chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Take a large frying pan, add the oil and place over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the fennel seeds and stir for 30 seconds. Then add your ginger and garlic paste.
  3. Cook the ginger and garlic paste for 30 seconds, then add your chicken and turn the heat to high. Stir the chicken around the pan until it is browned on all sides. As soon as the chicken is brown, add your naga chillies.
  4. Stir the chilli and chicken mix for 30 seconds, and then add your spice powder. Stir the chicken around to coat it in the spices. Cook for around 2 minutes or until the spices turn slightly dark and fragrant.
  5. Add your tomato puree and move the ingredients around the pan until the spices have become incorporated into the puree. Cook until thick bubbles appear.
  6. Add 1 cup of hot base gravy to the pan and stir to combine with the ingredients. Allow this to bubble down until it forms a thick paste. Then add the second cup of base gravy along with the lemon juice and the coriander.
  7. Cook the curry down to the desired consistency and then serve immediately.
  8. I'd say enjoy… But when it's this hot, you aren't going to!

Cooking Phaal | 8 Top Tips

  • When making our chicken phaal recipe, you'll notice that we use a lot of chillies. When you're cutting the naga chillis, make sure that you wear gloves. Chilli oil can get under your nails and re-emerge later when you touch your eyes (or go to the bathroom… Ouch!)
  • You will want your kitchen to be well ventilated. The chef at my restaurant used to hate it when people ordered this curry. When you cook the chilli and spices, it creates a spicy chilli vapour that burns your nose and eyes.
  • I recommend pouring yourself a large glass of cool milk if you are going to eat this curry. Seriously. It's so hot it isn't even funny!
  • If you want to add extra depth to your curry, try adding a spoonful of mango chutney. This sweetness also rounds off the chillis and does allow you to taste the phaal a little more.
  • Be careful when adding garlic and ginger paste. It can spit a little.
  • When we talk about browning the chicken, it doesn't have to be brown… Just wait until it turns white on the outside.
  • When cooking the second stage of base gravy, leave your curry just a little on the looser side of what you would consider 'done'. You'll find that the sauce thickens slightly as it cools.
  • Don't blame me when you've made this and you spend the rest of the evening wondering why you ate it… You have been warned!

Closing thoughts…

Honestly, why you'd want to make a chicken phaal recipe is beyond me. It's unpleasantly hot!  Even the chilli lovers amongst you are going to struggle with this one. Why not let me know how you found it in the comments below?

Enjoy Making Curry Yourself?

Hey folks, thanks for reading this article. I hope you found it useful, and that you learned something new allowing you to make your curry extra special. Here are a few things that can really elevate your curry game to the next level. 

These are affiliate links, so if you use them I receive a small commission, but this won't cost you any extra. In all honesty, I use very similar items myself, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to my friends.

A Complete Curry Kit: - Literally, everything you'll need to make curry all in one place. Cookware, storage, utensils, even the spices! This is my dedicated guide to getting you up and running all for the price of few takeaways.

Curry pans: - You need one, and one only. A frying pan exactly like this is really easy to use, and is exactly the type that authentic Indian chefs use to make the type of curry that you'll have in your local takeaway. You can see my full reviews of several pans right here...

Spice Storage: - Being organised is half the battle in making great curry. Spices can be notoriously hard to keep tidy. That's why I tend to use a spice rack like this. You can arrange your spices by size, heat, or any way you choose. I've got a detailed review of several Indian spice racks in this guide.

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