Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mirchi Ka Salan

Mirchi ka salan is a curry made with chillies, peanuts and sesame seeds that originates from Hyderabad, India.  It is typically served with the famous hyderabad biriyani. As this curry is made using green chillies, people wrongly assume it to be very spicy. It all depends on the type of peppers you choose for this curry. With the right amount of spices, you can end up with a tasty dish that might soon become a favorite in your household.


6-8 anaheim peppers (you can use jalapeno or serrano peppers too)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 tbsp tamarind pulp (adjust to taste)
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt, to taste

For the Salan:

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup peanuts, dry roasted and skin removed
6-7 red chillies, dry roasted
3 tbsp shredded coconut, dry roasted
1 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted

For seasoning:

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 tbsp oil


Wash the anaheim peppers and pat them dry.  Slit each pepper and remove the seeds from the peppers to reduce the spiciness.

In a medium-heat pan, dry roast the coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, red chillies and coriander seeds one by one separately for 2-3 minutes until they are slightly brown and place them separately on a plate.

In a blender, add all the roasted ingredients, salt (to taste) and 1-2 tbsp tamarind pulp. Grind to a smooth paste, adding little water, if necessary.

In a deep pan, heat 1tbsp oil and add the anaheim peppers. Sear the peppers for 4-5 mins but make sure not to burn them. Remove the peppers and set aside.

In the same pan, add 3-4 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. After it splutters, add the finely chopped onions and fry them until they turn slightly brown. Now, add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Stir the ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the ground salan paste to the above ingredients and add more salt and tamarind pulp, if desired.  Cook the gravy for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat until the gravy starts to thicken. If you find the gravy to be too thick, you can add 1/4 -1/2 cup water and mix well.

Finally, add the seared peppers to the gravy and cook for 10 minutes or so until the peppers blend well with the gravy. Remove from heat and serve with rice or rotis.

Makes 4-5 servings.