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Mar 14, 2008 03:15 AM

Some Like it Hot

Is there anyone who likes extreme heat? If you're from lower Westchester you've been to the Candlelight, and I don't think they still make them, but they used to have a fiery hot wing called Chernobyl II. It was hot, damn hot. But honestly, I could throw down a dozen no problem. Maybe a little cough, and some serious fire the next day, but they went down pretty easy. A few months ago, a friend took me to Spice Village in Tuckahoe and I ordered the Lamb Phaal. The waiter explained that this isn't on most menus, and it's hotter than Vindaloo. He said they both have 3 peppers next to the item, but the Phaal is much hotter.

I took a bite and my buddy asked how it was. I said, "it's not that hot." All of the sudden this euphoric wave hit me. My insides felt warm, and the next thing I knew under my eyes were puddles. I felt the loss of control of my nasal passages and excused myself. I had to go to teh bathroom and freshen up. I came back, took a swig of my beer, and a little naan. I hit that bowl with a vengeance. I finished every last drop, much to the surprise of my waiter. A little naan between bites, a nice cold beer, a pitcher of water later, I had canquered Lamb Phaal. Honestly the heat was more extreme than anything I've ever eaten. I paid for it the next day, but to be completely honest, the dish was delicious. Depsite the heat, the flavor was amazing. I actually washed it down with my buddies curried chicken dish, which he felt was hot, and it felt like I was snacking on ice cubes.

I have to say, I haven't been there since, not because of not wanting to, but I think my story scared a lot of people away. Good food, good service, good time!

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  1. yeah man........some people obviously have a higher tollerance for sound like you like to test the limits.......i know that feeling of sitting down to a niceindian dinner and just sweating and tearing up......with a nice lager in your hand to temporarily extinquish the's a beautiful thing!.........something a little sadistic about it........but nontheless still very satisfying......i bought this hot sauce up in a "hot sauce" store in maine several years back called "hot as sh$%" sauce......i put a dot of that stuff on my eggs and watch out......mucho should enter a hot pepper eating contest or something........granted you'll pay for it the next day but it could be fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: southlake

      Southlake you reminded me of a time in Saratoga when my buds and I went to a pepper store. Thye had samples out with a chips, but then had a jar of toothpicks next to it. We asked what they were for and the woman behind the counter poointed to another row of sauces. We started out with something simple about 50,000 on the scoville scale and it was cake. Then we jumped up to 100,000, then 200,000 and then 300,000. We were both changing colors a bit, but we handled it. My buddy then said "give me the 500,000, which is basically like biting into the seeds of a habanero. He turned the brightest shade of red. I decided not to join him on that one, basically because we had eaten a bag of chips from four little dots of sauce on our tongue, and they seemed to be out.

      Now I can't vouch for Spice Village in Tuckahoe, but I read that traditionally the Phaal is twelve ground Thai chili peppers per serving. The Thai chili peppers are only about 100,000 scoville units, but imagine 12 per 6oz serving of lamb? Pretty damn hot!

      If you like heat, give Spice Village a try and get the Phaal. I guarantee it taste good too.

    2. Bailey's Smokehouse in Blauvelt has a great really flavorful extremely hot sauce for their wings. I think it's called nuclear. They are hot, but also full of flavor.

      1. Funny you should mention the Lamb Phaal, I read a blog about spicy food in Westchester in the Journal News the other day about that exact dish being one the spiciest the writer ever had in Westchester, aside from those deadly wings at Candlelight.

        I think I'll pass. I can tolerate spicy, but not the kind of spice that rips out your intestines. Is it possible to enjoy anything that spicy? Doesnt it kill your taste buds so much to the point that you cant really tell what you're eating, especially while nursing a fired up mouth with beer and water!! ??

        Wish I had it like you!

        1. we go to a great little all vegetarian southern indian place in hicksville.when they say spicy,they mean it.funny thing,last time we were there,my wife ordered their hottest dish.this waiter hadn't served us before and he wasn't going to take the order.i had to explain to him that it was ok and we've had the dish many times in the's become one of our favorite places.

          2 Replies
          1. re: davmar77

            I went to House of Dosas a couple of weeks ago, ordered something spicy and asked for it to be *very* spicy and... it wasn't all that spicy.

            1. re: Scott_R

              do you remember big daddy's in massapequa when they first opened? jp,the chef/owner could do some wicked things.too bad he's out of the restaurant thing these days.

          2. There is no place save an Indian friends house ( and my own) that I can get food hot to my taste. Even some of the wasabi at some Japanese places seems 'lite' to me (I tried Duo last week and the Wasabi was weak). There was an Indian place in Portchester on main st that was okay, but not great. The lamb dish (Phaal maybe?) that I had at my friends house was outstanding.. What is Phaal?, (I eat lots of things without knowing the name).

            4 Replies
            1. re: EmileJ

              I have to agree with Emile -- of course nothing is better than HOME COOKED Indian!

              I may be mistaken but I think the spiciness of wasabi is measured differently than the spiciness of other foods whose heat comes by way of peppers. I happen to love Wasabi. Wasabi has isothiocyanates which produces vapors that effect the nasal passages. I think comparing them to pepper spices is like comparing apples to oranges.

              1. re: RawTunaFan

                you are correct, but heat is heat. I like it all!

                1. re: EmileJ

                  EmileJ - try Spice Villages Lamb Phaal. If you don't find it hot enough. I'm impressed. And let me say, this was not hot to be hot with no taste. You tasted the lamb, the curry, and everything else. It had almost an inner heat!

                  1. re: jhopp217

                    You might try Bengal Tiger these days. I don't know if it will meet your heat requirements, but they have definitely increased the heat level in several dishes and have added one or two that they specify are really hot.