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?
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…
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!
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?
I didn't think it was that insane. I've had it twice at each of Brick Lane Curry House's locations in NYC almost 10 years ago. It definitely packed a punch, but it doesn't always taste wonderful and I taunted the chef the second time to "actually make it spicy."
I've made spicier chili (the American dish with meat, beans, veggies and such) using bhut jolokia and extract. The goal is to get a lot of heat, but still have a solid flavor. Mild dishes, including some Indian curries, don't always hit the spot a spicy one can.
I suspect that the US version of phaal might be slightly different than the dishes served in Indian curry houses in the UK. I certainly have never had a mexican chilli that comes anywhere close to the heat of a phaal. That said, you might be one of those people who can handle spices exceptionally well?
Perhaps you could give my recipe a go and let us know how you found it and how it compared to the one you had in NY? I’m going to bet it will be somewhat different.
Good luck 🙂