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1 April 2020

With this phaal curry recipe, you can make the spiciest, hottest curry in the world with chicken, loads of seasonings, and extra fiery ghost peppers. And, I’ll show you how to make it even hotter!

It’s spicy hot curry in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends, and when I say “spicy hot”, I truly mean spicy hot! Why? Because today we’re making Phaal Curry, and if you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a wonderful experience.

This is a recipe for true spicy food lovers, so be warned. However, I discuss how you can lower that heat a bit in the Recipe Tips & Notes section below. And also how to make it even hotter!

But first…

Spicy Chicken Phall Curry in a bowl

What is Phaal Curry?

Phaal curry is considered one of the hottest curries in the world, and the hottest of Indian curries, even hotter than vindaloo. It is a British Asian curry that originated in Birmingham, UK restaurants. It is often made with fiery habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers, though many restaurants are now making it with ghost peppers, which are incredibly hot for most people. 

Phaal curry goes by other names and spellings, like phal or phall curry, fall curry, faal or fahl curry or paal curry. It is usually served as a tomato-based curry, which I have done here, and I am using ghost peppers, which not only bring the heat, but a wonderfully fruity flavor that I love.

Let’s talk about how we make phaal curry, shall we?

Chicken Phaal Curry in a bowl, ready to eat

Phaal Curry Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast, chopped (or use lamb)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 ghost peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (I use 2 tablespoons in mine!)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (or use equivalent fresh)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or use vegetable stock)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from fresh limes + lime wedges for serving
  • Chopped cilantro and spicy chili flakes or parsley for serving
  • 2 cups cooked rice for serving

How to Make Phaal Curry – the Recipe Method

First, season the chopped chicken with a bit of salt and pepper.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok to medium heat.

Add the ghost peppers and onion. Cook them down about 5 minutes, until the peppers and onions have softened. It’s a good idea to cook in a well-ventilated room with ghost peppers. I tossed in a couple serrano pepper as well because I love them.

Add the chicken and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring  a bit, until the chicken is mostly cooked through. 

Next, add in the garlic, ginger and most of the green onions. Cook another minute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add in the curry powder, paprika, cardamom, turmeric and cumin. Give it a stir.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Adding the spices to the chicken in the pot

Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and stir. Bring to a quick boil and reduce the heat.

Adding the tomatoes and sauce to the phaal curry

Simmer for 15 minutes or more to let the flavors develop, and the chicken to cook through. The curry will thicken up a bit for you.

Spicy Chicken Phall Curry simmering in the pot

Serve the spicy chicken curry over prepared white rice, then squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the top.

Top with extra green onions, parsley or cilantro, spicy chili flakes and lime slices or wedges.

Boom! Done! Easy curry recipe, isn’t it? Most curries are super easy to make, even the hottest curry in the world. Crazy hot! Perfect for my spicy food lover people.

Chicken Phaal Curry in a bowl

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Peppers. Most phaal curry recipes will call for hot peppers, like the habanero pepper or scotch bonnet peppers, which are roughly 300,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. Those are definitely hot, but ghost peppers are very commonly used. Ghost peppers tip the heat scale at over 1 Million SHU. They really bring the heat!
  • Lower the Heat. If you’re looking for a milder version of this recipe that still has a good heat level, go with a single habanero pepper, but core it out first. Or, you can make it with serrano peppers, which are about 50,000 SHU. Still hot, but not crazy.
  • Make it Even Hotter. Want to make this a true “hottest curry in the world” recipe? Make it with Carolina Reaper peppers, the hottest peppers in the world at the moment. Try it with other superhot chili peppers too, like 7-Pot peppers or scorpion peppers. Oh baby! You can also use extra hot chili powders, sauces and seasonings. Light it up!
  • The Proteins. I used chunks of chicken breast for this recipe, but it realistically works with any protein. Try it with chicken breast, chicken thigh, chunks of lean pork, shrimp, fish, or tofu.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my phaall curry recipe. This one will really spice you up! I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Phall Curry in a bowl

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Phaal Curry Recipe - the Hottest Curry in the World
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5 from 7 votes

Phaal Curry Recipe: The Hottest Curry in the World

With this phaal curry recipe, you can make the spiciest, hottest curry ever with chicken, loads of seasonings, and extra fiery ghost peppers. And, I'll show you how to make it even hotter!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: chicken, curry, spicy, superhot
Servings: 4
Calories: 343kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast chopped (or use lamb)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 ghost peppers chopped (use habanero peppers for less intense heat, or use extra hot peppers like 7 Pot peppers, scorpion peppers, or the hottest pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper, for the hottest phaal curry ever!)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder I use 2 tablespoons in mine!
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes or use equivalent fresh
  • 1 cup chicken broth or use vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from fresh limes + lime wedges for serving
  • Chopped cilantro and spicy chili flakes or parsley for serving
  • 2 cups cooked rice for serving

Instructions

  • Season the chopped chicken with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok to medium heat.
  • Add the ghost peppers and onion. Cook them down about 5 minutes, until the peppers and onions have softened. It's a good idea to cook in a well-ventilated room with ghost peppers.
  • Add the chicken and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirringĀ  a bit, until the chicken is mostly cooked through.
  • Next, add in the garlic, ginger and most of the green onions. Cook another minute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add in the curry powder, paprika, cardamom, turmeric and cumin. Give it a stir.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and stir. Bring to a quick boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or more to let the flavors develop, and the chicken to cook through.
  • Serve the spicy chicken curry over prepared white rice, then squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the top.
  • Top with extra green onions, parsley or cilantro, spicy chili flakes and lime slices or wedges.

Notes

Heat Factor: VERY HOT++. Phaal curry is the hottest curry in the world, so expect some heat, my friends! You can adjust the heat down with milder peppers, or go even hotter with superhot chili peppers, like the Carolina Reaper.
Calories calculated with rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 926IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg
Phaal Curry Recipe: The Hottest Curry in the World
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