Phaal curry is the world's hottest curry because it contains the world's spiciest chile, the bhut jolokia (ghost pepper), which is three times hotter than a habanero. This dish is exceptionally spicy and not for the faint of heart!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

  • ¼ cup water

  • 10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 3 ghost chile peppers, stemmed and coarsely chopped (use gloves)

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root

  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 pounds cubed lamb

  • ¼ cup clarified butter (ghee)

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste


  1. Combine tomatoes, water, garlic, ghost peppers, ginger, tomato purée, salt, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and pepper in a blender. Pulse several times to chop ingredients, then blend until liquefied.

  2. Transfer blended mixture to a large bowl. Add lamb and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  3. Melt ghee in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully pour lamb and marinade into the pot and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until sauce begins to thicken about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until lamb is tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.


Wear gloves when handling ghost chiles, and wash your hands well immediately after discarding gloves. It's easy to burn your eyes, mouth, or nose by transferring any of the pepper oils with hands that have not been carefully cleaned.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

316 Calories
17g Fat
8g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 316
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 120mg 40%
Sodium 1099mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 10mg 52%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 645mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love