Do you live in Edinburgh and have a fondness for spicy curry? We mean really spicy, though. Like, sweating-in-places-you-didn’t-know-you-could-sweat spicy.
If the answer is yes, then you’re in for a tastebud tingling treat – we’ve created the ultimate list of Edinburgh’s spiciest curry spots.
How many of these bad boys have you tried (and survived) already?
Perhaps Edinburgh’s spiciest dish, Kismot’s so-called ‘killer curry’ hit the headlines a few years ago when two customers were hospitalised after attempting to guzzle a full bowl as part of a competition. You may be relieved to hear that while the killer curry is still on the menu, you won’t be forced to try it.
Instead, navigate your way to the hot or ’18 rated’ section of Kismot’s menu and take your pick of seven eye-wateringly spicy curries, from an extremely hot naga to a classic vindaloo.
29 St Leonard’s Street, EH8 9QN – more info
The Killer Restaurant
A newer venture from the Kismot team is The Killer Restaurant in Tollcross, which opened its doors earlier this year. For a more formal dining experience you can book yourself in to the curry house, or simply swing by when you like for the all you can eat Killer Buffet.
The selection of super spicy curries is smaller at The Killer Restaurant than on the Kismot menu, but there are more options for sharing and – if you’re crazy enough – you can order the original killer curry here too. The buffet is ideal for a more casual occasion, well-stocked and even has a few tongue-tingling treats in store for hot curry addicts.
4-8 Lochrin Buildings, Gilmore Place, EH3 9NB – more info
Gurkha Cafe & Restaurant
— David (@djlively55) September 23, 2015
You might have to specify that you like your curries to taste as hot as the sun on arrival at Gurkha, but – oh boy – will they deliver. Steel yourselves (and your stomachs) for some of the hottest Indian and Nepalese curries Edinburgh has to offer, from a burning madras to a toasty jalfrezi.
27 Cockburn Street, EH1 1BP – more info
She started out in a tiny former police box next to Bruntsfield Links, but earlier this year Nutan Bala upgraded to a full-sized restaurant further down the road in Tollcross. The food at Nutan’s is authentically Indian and simple yet tasty. All you extreme spice fans should order the spinach chicken vindaloo and make it clear that you can handle the heat – it will knock your socks off.
42 Home Street, EH3 9LZ – more info
— VinyasaEdinburgh (@VinyasaEdin) September 2, 2015
It’s only been around for a few years, but the family-run Vinyasa is easily one of Edinburgh’s most popular Indian restaurants and takeaways. Known for their friendly service, this place also has some tasty and red hot dishes up its chef’s sleeve and they’re well signposted on the menu. Both Vinyasa’s karahi and jalfrezi curries are sensationally spicy, but their chicken naga murgh comes with a ‘very, very hot’ warning label that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
34 St Mary’s Street, EH1 1SX – more info
It’s a promising sign when nearly everything on the menu has a little chilli illustration next to it, and that’s certainly the case at Golden Ambal. Medium or hot are basically the only choices here, but that’s okay because obviously we want our curry hot, hot, hot. Their traditional south Indian chettinadu is a great and unusual option for Edinburgh foodie thrill seekers, or you can play it safe with a tried-and-tested flaming hot madras.
1 Albert Place, EH7 5HN – more info
Mother India’s Cafe
An offshoot of the legendary Mother India restaurant in Glasgow, the Edinburgh cafe serves up an Indian take on tapas and recommends sharing three or four small dishes between two people. Although the menu doesn’t give much away, the majority of the dishes here are mega spicy, which is obviously excellent news for any avid chilli chompers in the Edinburgh area. Since you don’t have to commit to one curry, you’ll get to sample a little of everything Mother India has to offer until you find your dream dish – ideal.
3-5 Infirmary Street, EH1 1LT – more info
It’s a much more casual dining experience than some of the others on this list, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Kebab Mahal in Nicolson Square is a popular post-night out stop off, but it’s also a well-known and well-loved curry restaurant, with an extensive sit-in and takeaway menu. Even traditionally mild dishes have a spicy kick added here and portions are large, so you’ll be in hot curry heaven at Kebab Mahal – if you’re lucky enough to bag a seat, that is.
7 Nicolson Square, EH8 9BH – more info
Khushi’s opened in Edinburgh in 1947 and – according to their website, at least – was the city’s first Indian restaurant. Nearly 70 years on, the curry house is making a great case for the ‘original is best’ argument, offering an enormous and authentic menu devised by the experts. Try the Punjabi slow cooked roast lamb or the paneer butter masala for that spicy kick you’ve been craving.
10 Antigua Street, EH1 3NH – more info
The Spice Pavilion
Specialising in cuisine from the north west region of India, The Spice Pavilion on Dundas Street whips up the kind of curries you’d find locally in places like Mumbai and Kashmir. Unsurprisingly, an Indian restaurant with the word ‘spice’ in its name has more than one or two hot curries worth trying, but great flavour is just as much of a concern as heat here.
3a1 Dundas Street, EH3 6QG – more info
Main image: Charles Haynes / Flickr / CC