Thursday 23rd February marks National Chilli Day, and Manchester cult favourite Zouk Tea Bar and Grill are celebrating in style with a red hot challenge. They will be offering the world’s hottest curry, the Reaper Karahi, as a special at their Manchester restaurant between Monday 20th-Friday 24th of February, as well as holding their annual Chilli Challenge on Thursday 23rd where diners can take on dishes featuring the Carolina Reaper, which holds the Guinness Book of Records title of World’s Hottest Chilli.
The Chilli Challenge will include a choice of the Chicken Reaper Curry, the Veg Reaper Curry and the new Reaper Kebab – spicy twists on Zouk classics. Anyone bold enough to complete their dish will get it for free and there’s a range of prizes to come back and enjoy at a later date. But be warned, this is seriously hot food and you must read and sign a disclaimer to ensure you understand what you are taking on.
When considering what dish should feature the Carolina Reaper Chilli for the challenge, Zouk decided on its popular and much-loved chicken karahi and vegetable karahi. A traditional karahi originates from the Northwest region of Pakistan. It is usually prepared in a wok and cooked over hot flames with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and cumin forming the sauce base.
A karahi can be cooked with chicken, lamb, seafood or vegetables but for the Carolina Reaper Karahi Zouk uses chicken or veg. The curry includes dried Carolina Reapers which are the hottest chilli in the world deemed suitable for human consumption. Zouk’s chefs even struggle with the heat a little when preparing the dish, and the team at Zouk believe it to be the world’s hottest curry and the world’s hottest kebab.
Zouk owner Tayub Amjad said: “The Carolina Reaper is a chilli that packs a serious punch. Manchester has some real chilli lovers out there and every year we are amazed by how many people want to take on the Reaper!
“Our food is usually more about flavour than heat but it’s National Chilli Day, and we know our customers love this challenge. For those who complete the challenge we have got the offer of a chance to come back and dine on us at a future date. So, you will still get to experience the real Zouk too.”
Those wanting to try the curry should make a reservation for 23rd February and if possible, add a note to the booking saying ‘Reaper Challenge’ as quantities of the dish will be limited. Anybody who completes the entire portion of Carolina Reaper Karahi or Reaper Kebab will win a prize to be enjoyed at a later date. They will also get their reaper free and a Zouk Ice Cream Sundae on the house to help them cool down. There is also a special Chilli Margarita Cocktail (£11) to enjoy all week as part of the chilli day celebrations, but this uses a milder chilli than the Reaper to make it palatable for all.
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, 5 The Quadrangle, Chester St, Manchester, M1 5QS.