Phaal, Sweat and Tears!

by Melody Kettle

Phaal Monster Giles Colwell, participant Andy SilowitzSunday evening  Brick Lane Curry House, 540 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ, hosted the 2011 Phaal Curry Challenge. 

Among the eight brave participants were locals Richard Newton, Elizabeth Starnes, Andy Silkovitz, Sasi Kumar, Ritesh Patel, Giles Colwell, Melody Kettle, and Josh Crandall.  But of the eight, only two - Giles Colwell and Sasi Kumar - triumphed over a steaming 16 ounce bowl of excruciatingly hot Phaal!

The option of chicken, lamb or vegetable Phaal was offered to the participants.  Thinking strategically, I opted for the vegetable. But after I swallowed the first piece, it hit like a bomb to my stomach, and fearing ulceration (among other things) I threw in the napkin and quit! 

But sweat, tears, and stomach cramps couldn't stop the other intrepid curry soldiers. According to first place finisher, Sasi, his strategy was to "drink the soup, eat the meat." And drink it he did!  Giles Colwell, who finished second, bravely persevered to completion with a little help from Sapporo and Boddington's.

Many local spectators showed up to observe the event that 6-year-old, Joe Colwell deemed "marvellous madness." We were also pleased to have food blogger extraordinare, Jason Perlow, and his wife, Rachel, among the intrigued spectators.

I haven’t verified Sasi and Giles’ completion time, but I think they consumed their individual Phaal portions in less time than Adam Richman did! Watch the video to see the battle!

Chef Karthik Kumar, Raghu Murthy

Melody KettleElizabeth Starnes and Richard Newton