Indian cuisine is famous for some of the spiciest dishes in the world. Have you ever shared a meal with a foreign tourist who labelled it 'spicy' even when it didn't have chillies? You'd be surprised to know that the 'Bhut Jolokia' chilli, a non-hybrid pepper is so spicy it could be used a weapon against enemies during a war! This chilli is found in Assam and Nagaland in plenty and a few tribes in north-east India also use it to keep off wild elephants from their crops.Imagine what would happen when this chilli finds use in curries! Apparently only one Jolokia chilli is enough to spice up a curry for 200 people. From the spicy Chettinad cuisines to the traditional 'dum aloo' from Kashmir that is rich in local spices, here are 10 dishes for those who love experimenting with fiery food.
Bhut Jolokia Pickle: The hottest form of chilli ever, this ‘Ghost Chilli’ is found in Assam and Nagaland. There’s no way you can enjoy them raw, but the locals use it extensively to prepare pickles and curries. If you ever want to taste this pickle, keep a lot of water and ‘rasgullas’ handy.
Pork vindaloo: The fiery Jolokia chillies are also used in the preparation of Vindaloo. A Goan dish, there are many variations of vindaloo that you’ll find here. With garlic, vinegar and Kashmiri chillies, used in its preparation, this one will surely make you sweat.
Laal Maas: The ‘laal maas’ curry is not for the faint hearted. From the day-to-day spices you use in your kitchen to masala and the dry chillies that go in its preparation, this will set your taste buds on fire. There’s a lot of flavour in this dish, but you won’t be able to devour it for long because the chillies won’t let you.
Rista: From the family of Kashmiri Wazwan cuisine, this spicy meatball curry is prepared in red chilli powder and other spices. The Wazwan cuisine usually has a lot of lamb preparations and if you’re going to try this, you must keep a lot of water ready by your side.
Chettinad cuisine: Chettinad cuisine from Tamil Nadu is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and lamb.
Phall Curry: Phall is an Indian curry dish which originated in Indian restaurants in Birmingham, UK, and is not to be confused with the char-grilled, gravyless, finger food phall from Bangalore. It is one of the hottest forms of curry regularly available, even hotter than the vindaloo, using a large number of ground standard chilli peppers, or a hotter type of chilli such as scotch bonnet or habanero. Typically, the dish is a tomato-based thick curry and includes ginger and optionally fennel seeds.
Kozi Kari: This dish comes from Kerala and is believed to have been first introduced to India by early Jewish settlers. This is a hot chicken curry made with a combination of hot fresh green chilli peppers and dried ground red chilli peppers. The variety of spices used in this dish makes it one of the spiciest curries you’ll ever find in India.
Madras Curry: Madras curry or Madras sauce is a fairly hot curry sauce, red in colour and with heavy use of chilli powder. The curry was given this name by a few British restaurants. It includes dry red chillies and will always be red in colour owing to a mixture of chilli and paprika.
Andhra Chilly Chicken: This one could set your tongue on fire. Marinated in green chilli paste and simmered in, you guessed it, more green chillies, this curry could take a fitting revenge from your worst enemies on your behalf.
Misal / Usal (from roadside carts): The super-hot Misal or Usal could make your nose turn red and your eyes watery. The best ones are cooked in a broth of the spiciest dry red chillies, green chillies AND black pepper powder!