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Eating world's hottest curry in Grantham 'was harder than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro'

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

Ian Rothwell is congratulated by Bindi Indian Restaurant's managing director and executive chef Muhammed Karim

Ian Rothwell is congratulated by Bindi Indian Restaurant's managing director and executive chef Muhammed Karim

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The first person to finish off what is believed to be the the world's hottest curry claims the experience was harder than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro...which took him seven days.

Consultant radiologist Ian Rothwell succeeded where more than 300 have failed by polishing off The Widower curry - which tops a whopping 6 million scovilles - served at Grantham's Bindi Indian Restaurant.

Fifty-five-year-old Mr Rothwell was hailed as 'a legend' by Bindi managing director and executive chef Muhammed Karim after he consumed the entire chicken curry on Wednesday evening during an outing to the London Road restaurant with his family.

The dish comprised between 15 and 20 Naga Infinity chillies - the second hottest on the planet and grown in Grantham by Fire Foods - boosted by Naga extract.

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One Infinity is more than 200 times hotter than a jalapeno, can reduce a grown man to tears and cause mouth blisters and burns.

Mr Rothwell, who works at Lincoln Hospital and lives in Sudbrooke, told granthampeople: "Obviously it was very hot, but I enjoyed it.

"It was fine at first and then it started getting hotter...and hotter...and hotter.

"My eyes were watering and my throat was burning.

"At one point I had to go for a little walk - I'm not sure I was hallucinating as the restaurant says, but things did feel a bit surreal.

"It was at that stage I wondered if I should go back, admit defeat and just give up gracefully.

"But the family were very keen and I realised that as I'd started I had to finish.

"Although I enjoyed it, I wouldn't eat it again and I wouldn't advise anyone else to unless they are really experienced in hot curries.

"I walked up Kilimanjaro last year and eating The Widower was a harder experience than that- and the walk took me seven days.

"I may have risen to, and beaten the challenge, but it was a foolish attempt."

Any curry connoisseur will know that the morning after the night before can be, to put it delicately, a less than pleasant experience.

But Mr Rothwell came off relatively unscathed.

"I can confirm it was a little uncomfortable, but nothing terrible.

"I think over 35 years of eating hot curries stood me in good stead - maybe I have a iron constitution - but I felt perfectly healthy the next day.

"My wife was concerned I was going to succumb to terrible after-effects, but that didn't happen," he said.

Mr Rothwell ended up tackling the super-hot curry challenge thanks to his medical student daughter, Alice.

"Her boyfriend and some of his friends went to Grantham to take on the curry - and failed miserably.

"My daughter told them I could eat it easily and, somewhat mistakenly, I said I would give it a go.

"I wasn't nervous until I got there and realised the magnitude of the challenge.

"The restaurant was making a big thing about it, telling me no one else had finished The Widower before, and I had to sign a disclaimer.

"The staff even showed me where the emergency exits were in case I wanted to be sick."

Mr Rothwell didn't make any special dietary preparations before tackling the curry.

"I only ate a banana during the day because I wanted to go to the restaurant hungry.

"The restaurant was lovely and the rest of the family really enjoyed their meals, I'm glad I beat The Widower."

Mr Rothwell attributes his iron constitution to his student days.

"I went to university in Leeds in the 80s and got exposed to curries.

"It was a cheap way of eating and I've always enjoyed them hot," he added.

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