Curry Hell to rival the Bollywood Burner

July 13th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, July 13 (IANS) Chefs in Britain are rather getting hot under the collar over claims to the world’s hottest Indian curry. London chef Vivek Singh this week claimed his creation, titled the Bollywood Burner, is the hottest in the world and he is applying for an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. The lamb dish, inspired by Andhra cuisine, uses two of the world’s hottest chillies, the Dorset Naga and the Scotch Bonnet. The Dorset Naga is over 100 times hotter than the Jalapeno pepper.

The dish is so hot the restaurant that serves it, The Cinnamon Club, requires clients to sign a health disclaimer when ordering it.

But the Bollywood Burner now has a rival claimant to the title of the world’s hottest curry.

Bangladeshi restaurateur Rukon Latif, owner of the Rupali Restaurant in the city of Newcastle, says he has cooked a curry that is hotter than the Bollywood Burner. He calls it Curry Hell - a dish that he says was created by his father Abdul Latif when he opened Rupali in 1977.

“How dare they claim the Bollywood Burner is hotter than Curry Hell?” asked Latif. “Dad would be turning in his grave. We’ve been serving the Curry Hell for years now and it’s one of our most popular dishes.”

“But we’ve been thinking of ways to make it stronger - we are experimenting with using Mexican chillies rather than the crushed Indian bird’s eye chillies we use traditionally. The heat does not come from the chillies alone. There’s a secret ingredient too which gives it its kick,” he added.

Meanwhile, celebrities have been sampling the Bollywood Burner and sweating with delight.

Popular chat show host Jonathan Ross wolfed down the dish on television Friday night after signing the ‘by-my-own-will’ disclaimer. But Hollywood actor Steve Carell politely turned down Ross’s offer to sample a spoonful.

Lianne la Borde of the Daily Star newspaper said: “It is the hottest I have ever tasted. At first, it tasted delicious. Then my mouth caught fire. It even made me feel dizzy. Definitely, one for the connoisseur. ”

Chloe Scott, food editor for the Metro tabloid, said: “It is the seeds of the pepper, which make it unbearably hot. The chemical in chillies, the capsaicin, doesn’t burn but fools the brain into feeling pain.”

Metro taster James Ellis said: “I’ve tried the Bollywood Burner and, while scorchingly spicy, it is daal-icious. The lamb-based curry is innocuous enough at the first bite, especially if you only try the filling.

“But a mouthful, including the Scotch bonnet casing, saw my taste buds melt in fury at the inferno in my mouth. Meanwhile, my heartbeat, which started at a resting pace of 68 beats per minute, zoomed up to 128 - the equivalent of doing aerobic exercise.”

Toby Steele, a 19-year-old student who was the first person to taste the Burner, said: “The initial taste isn’t that hot but now, a couple of minutes later, I feel a bit floaty and light-headed.”

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