The world's hottest curry

For those of you who think you  can cope with fiery food,  phall  (sometimes spelt fall, phaal, phal or paal) is a British Asian dish that is one of the hottest (often the hottest) on the menu.

Phall is basically a thick, tomato based curry made with Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers   (10 to 12 of them).  It originated in Indian Restaurants in the UK  so it’s not the most “authentic” dish and shouldn’t be mixed up with Phaal from Bangalore which is char-grilled without sauce and eaten as finger-food.

So is Phall spicy for the sake of it or does it actually taste of anything?

One point we noted from our research is that not many Asian people eat Phall. We think it’s a creation aimed at men (mainly) who want to prove they are “hard” by eating it.

A quick trawl of You Tube can show the after effects and we’re sure it’s a big hit amongst the Student community.

Some restaurants offer special prizes to those who finish the dish and some, such as the Brick Lane Curry House, take it even further by organising “The Phall challenge” – if you manage to finish it, you get a place on the Brick Lane P’hall of fame.

But is the pain worth the prize? One spokesperson said it is:

“An excruciatingly hot curry, more pain and sweat than flavour.”

Enough said we think.

Return to the section

Roving Reporter

Our roving reporter in the North of England.


  1. Steve Kirk on February 11, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I absolutely love spicy food and the Vindaloo just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.
    I’ve been eating the famous Phall curry throughout the years but be careful.
    You do actually get used to the heat and I find it gives your body a bit of a shake up, and have heard it’s good for you, now and again !
    What’s hotter then a Phall ?

    • Gino Farfalle on February 16, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Don’t know, but I have heard that pride comes before a phall 🙂

  2. Johnny Bach on July 25, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I order phalls if I want something spicy. Not because I’m trying to ‘prove how hard I am’ but because my tolerance to heat has built up so that vindaloos don’t taste particularly hot now. Nice hot curry and a sweet peshwari nan is a gorgeous combination!

  3. […] ache. If you need extra warmth, the British can do higher than vindaloo with a dish referred to as phall. This fully English creation is never consumed in India. Like Curry Culture describes phall, […]

  4. Stephen Wolstenholme on March 18, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    I worked on mainframe computers in Manchester with a maintenance engineer called Oscar. He also had a restaurant in Manchester. He described Phal as much too spicy for him but he would make one if we wanted to risk it. I discovered that cutting the Chilies into small pieces and spreading the whole mixture on Nan made it stop fight back! I had all mine without a problem. The other engineer with me took a little longer than me but finished his meal as well. The chilly plants I grew a few years ago I got some seeds from Pakistan that were too hot for me. Seeds must vary a lot. My wife wouldn’t go in the greenhouse when they were growing. Another chap I worked with said the seeds were a bit of a joke with the growers in Pakistan. Anything too spicy was sent to England!

  5. 15 International Hot Sauces And What Makes Them Unique – Tasting Table - Sephari United Kingdom on September 16, 2022 at 1:02 am

    […] is not only hot but also comes with an explosion of aromas. What’s interesting, according to Curry Culture, is that phall has become representative of British cuisine, with some restaurants offering special […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.