Chicken Phall

Chicken Phall

Chicken Phall is the hottest dish of the Indian restaurant cuisine. It is by no way authentic and was almost certainly invented in the UK, probably as some kind of revenge on drunken Brits who arrived at the Indian takeaways after the pubs closed. Still, I felt like I had to give this a try.

I took some clues from vague descriptions of a Phall that I found online and improvised this dish. It may need some adjustments, but the first try turned out tasty and very hot. Serves 2, or one very hungry person.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a 2.5" (6-7cm) piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 2 fresh habanero chilies
  • ½ bhut jolokia chili
  • 8 very hot dried red chilies
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can tomatoes and their juice
  • salt
  • ½ tsp extra hot chili powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp chopped green coriander leaves

Squeeze the garlic cloves through a garlic press and grate the ginger finely, then put both into a blender. Put on protective gloves. Chop the chilies and put into the blender. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, fennel and lemon juice. Add a little bit of water. Whizz. The resulting paste should be thick and just barely liquid. Add some more water if necessary. Whizz until very smooth.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken cubes. Stir fry until the meat is white on the outside. Open the windows and/or put the fume hood on full blast. Add the spice paste from the blender, keep stirring on high heat until the liquid has evaporated. Try not to inhale the chili fumes.

Put the can of tomatoes and their juice intio the blender and whizz until smooth. Add the tomatoes into the pan. The meat should be about covered. If not, add some water.

Salt to taste, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. You can now take off the gloves and turn down the fume hood.

Turn off the heat, add the chili powder, garam masala and coriander leaves. Stir, then cover with a lid and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Serve with lots of rice.

This is very hot, but I managed to eat a portion. If you find this insufficiently challenging, use a whole bhut jolokia chili. If you find it too hot, check out one of the milder curry recipes.

Chicken Phall