• The world’s hottest chilli challenge and cook-at-home spice kits: Zouk's 15th anniversary

The world’s hottest chilli challenge and cook-at-home spice kits: Zouk's 15th anniversary

18 February 2024 by Rhiannon Ingle

For anyone brave enough to celebrate National Chilli Day this week (22 February), Zouk is putting on its famous chilli challenge with prizes ranging from £10 gift cards and a £50 brunch for two, to a £100 Sunday Roast dining experience for those who can truly handle the heat.

Three limited edition new dishes will be available between Monday (19 February) through to Fridat (23 February), all of which have been made using dried Carolina Reaper chillis — the hottest in the world deemed suitable for human consumption.

Such dishes include a Chicken Reaper Karahi Curry, Vegetable Reaper Karahi Curry and Mixed Keema Reaper Seekh Kebab - all of which use the notorious Carolina Reaper reaching over 1,500,000 units on the Scoville Scale.

Tayub Amjad, Owner of Zouk Tea Bar & Grill said “What I love most about National Chilli Day is the excitement it creates and the fact that we now have Carolina Reaper Connoisseurs who come back every year to take the challenge on. With constant queries for our too-hot-to-handle curries and Mancunians having the biggest appetite for heat that I’ve ever seen, we had to create something extra spicy for our customers for 2024.

“Paying homage to a chilli that packs serious punch, there are lots of prizes up for grabs for those who manage to complete the challenge, and they’ll also have their reaper on us – it’s the least we can do. Last year, we saw around 15 diners complete the challenge, so it will be interesting to see how many feel up to the challenge this year and who can beat the reaper!”.

And that's not all. Any Zouk lovers out there will be happy to know it's launched its first-ever product range giving people the chance to try and replicate the venue’s famous flavours from the comfort of their own home. 

Coinciding with the restaurant’s 15th anniversary, the first product drop including four spice kits all of which are made using premium ingredients and blended in small batches in the UK. All vegan-friendly, the mixes - which include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Tandoori Masala and Biryani Masala - are available to purchase online and in the restaurant at £6 per 60g tin, or £3 for refillable pouches.

Even better? Zouk has also created a bunch of recipes to give any aspiring chefs out there some culinary inspiration, which can be found by using the QR code on the tin.

Tayub Amjad, co-founder of Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, said: “Over the years a lot of our diners have asked about the ingredients we use in our dishes at Zouk and after a lot of research, we felt the time was right to launch our own product range so that people can enjoy Zouk-inspired dishes in their own home.

“We’re incredibly happy with the quality of the ingredients and the design of our packaging, and hope that by using our refill packs, the tins will become a mainstay in people’s kitchen cupboards for years to come. This is just the start of our range and we’re looking forward to introducing further products over the coming months.”

You can have a gander at Zouk’s new product range online here.