What Is Phall?

Eugene P.

Phall is the name of an Indian-style curry dish that was created in England. It is characterized by its intense spice and heat and is known as one of the hottest types of curry that can be ordered in a restaurant. The heat comes from the inclusion of a very large amount of hot chili peppers that are formed into a paste and cooked with the rest of the ingredients. The remaining elements of phall include ginger, garlic and tomatoes. The dish is often made with meats such as chicken, lamb or beef, but it also can be made as a separate curry and then poured over rice or other dishes, almost like a condiment.

Habaneros are often used in phall.
Habaneros are often used in phall.

The incredible amount of heat in phall has given the dish a reputation in some areas as being almost a challenge to actually eat. Competitions are held regularly that task diners to eat phall, sometimes in increasingly hotter servings. The dish is not truly part of traditional Indian cuisine, but it has become an established meal in its own right. The name is similar to an Indian finger food, but it bears no relation to it at all.

Garlic and onions are indispensable ingredients when making phall.
Garlic and onions are indispensable ingredients when making phall.

To make phall, a large amount of hot chili peppers needs to be prepared. This usually involves dicing at least 12 chilies, sometimes considerably more. They can be any variety, although habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers are popular because of their heat. Dried chilies also are used because the drying process concentrates the spicy heat and their brittleness makes them easier to crush or dice into fine pieces. Water is added to the chilies to make a paste.

Meanwhile, garlic, onions and ginger are fried in a pan until they have cooked. The paste is added to the pan and allowed to roast with the rest of the ingredients. At this stage, the chilies in the phall will start to release some chemicals into the air. If enough chilies are used, cooks in the kitchen sometimes need to wear a mask or use effective ventilation to avoid being overcome by fumes that can cause irritation, watery eyes and even breathing problems.

After the mixture has cooked for a sufficient amount of time, tomatoes and their juices are added and simmered until everything comes together and the curry is the desired thickness. Cubed meat can be added and cooked in the phall, or it can be cooked separately and assembled on a plate. The heat in the dish leads to it often being served with yogurt or generous portions of white rice.

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