Yesterday saw two people being sent to hospital after they tried their hand at the Kismot Killer – a curry concocted by two local restaurateurs, who are naturally gifted with minds for publicity. Take this back almost three years to a show hosted by myself and a friend on local radio station, Leith FM. After running a little late, I walked in the door to find myself confronted by a hazard box containing the now revered Kismot Killer curry….
Akbar Ali and his brother are the brains behind creating what is unofficially the ‘world’s hottest curry’. It’s made up of various chillies, including the Naga Chilli whose origins can be traced back to Bangladesh. What is vital to know is that “this is not just an extra hot Vindaloo, this is a completely new recipe that took years to perfect”. The Ali brothers then went on to say that, “even their own mother has to leave the room whilst it’s cooking because of the potency of the chillies!”
Although people were taken to hospital, complaining of vomiting and stomach cramps it cannot be said that there was no forewarning. In fact, there is a rather ominous disclaimer that needs to be signed to continue the process, and you really are signing your life away: “Kismot restaurant will take no responsibility for your bodily functions after you eat the curry. If you die whilst eating or as a direct result of eating the curry, members of the table will share the cost of your Kismot Killer.” There is one silver lining – you get the curry free of charge if you do successfully stomach it all.
On that fateful day, there was no escape. I was live on air and under immense peer pressure, and even as it was being prepared in the kitchen, the smell that drifted into the studio was toxic. As I digested the curry, I realised I had made a huge mistake in trying the chicken version – there is more chewing involved which somewhat draws out the experience. It can only be compared to swallowing fiery, molten lava, and no one would do that in a hurry!
As an aid there were several litres of milk on standby – although Akbar did point out I would probably feel better with double cream. Nevertheless there was not a full carton in sight afterwards, the brothers, relishing my pain, told me that, “We’ve had boys come in all the way from India who’ve thought they could handle it, hard boys from the worst estates of Edinburgh, but not even any of the Kismot staff have been able to handle this, everyone’s reaction is the same,” so I could feel comforted by that fact at least.
The worse was still to come though, with another friend in the studio willing to power his way through what to him as a seasoned hot curry eater, seemed like the ultimate challenge. His name will not be disclosed due to the unfortunate and embarrassing outcome of eating his way through six gigantic spoonfuls in comparison to my mere one spoonful. For a while he had left the room for reasons unknown only to reappear half an hour later with no explanation of his whereabouts. After much prying we discovered he had fallen asleep on the toilet, as he just could not move – unexpected, hilarious and at the same time a little bit tragic as he had been defeated by his greatest love of all, a hot curry.
The Kismot Killer is the only 18-rated curry in the world, it has a death disclaimer and a hall of fame dedicated to those who have risen to the challenge – but still has not entered in to the Guiness Book of World Records. After trying the goods, it was discovered that the brothers ultimate aim is have created the ‘official hottest curry in the world’, but according to Ali they need, “almost £3000 to pay for people to come and test the curry and their stay whilst they are here to even be considered.” So while there might be plenty of media attention for this small family-run business, the cost of reaching their ultimate goal is still a burning issue.
For the more faint-hearted it is recommended that you try another invention from the Ali brothers – the chocolate naan bread. This can contain a chocolate bar of your choice and is made fresh up for you in the restaurant. This might be a more humane option, one that doesn’t have any repercussions and won’t get you on national news. In the words of Akbar Ali, “anyone who tries this curry is a complete dunderheed” – we do all love a challenge though, don’t we?