Friday, October 13, 2006

mirchi ka salan


according to tarla dalal, the over 400-year old culinary history of hyderabad is unmatched by any other state in india. though i haven't been to hyderabad myself, its food evokes for me an old mughlai world of curries that took all day long to make, fragrant biryanis, lavish dinner feasts and lots of chillies in the food.

i first encountered mirchi ka salan at shalimar in san francisco and hence mistook the dish for a typical punjabi curry. when rumy pointed out in a previous post that mirchi ka salan was hyderabadi, i was curious and so looked in all my cookbooks and chanced upon what looked like an authentic recipe for this dish in tarla dalal's "swadisht subziah." if you have an hour or so to spare, this is a perfect curry to whip up on a cold and dreary london afternoon.

prep time: 20 mins
cooking time: 20 mins
serves: 6

2 cups long green chillies (bhavnagri chillies) or green peppers, cut into thick strips
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
6 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsps coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
2 tbsps chopped coriander
5 tablespoons oil
salt to taste

to be ground into a dry peanut-sesame powder

2 tbsps peanuts, roasted
2 tbsps sesame seeds (til), roasted
1 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted

to be ground into a paste

6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsps freshly grated coconut

1. wash and slit the green chillies. remove the seeds and fry in hot oil until they turn whitish in colour. remove and keep aside.
2. in the same oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds and curry leaves.
3. when the seeds crackle, add the paste and cook for 2 minutes. add the turmeric powder, coriander-cumin seed poweder, chilli powder and powdered peanut-sesame mixture. cook over a medium flame, sirring continously until the oil separates.
4. add 2 cups of water and tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.
5. add the fried green chillies, coriander and salt and simmer until the gravy thickens.

i like my mirchi ka salan with naan and a few slices of raw onion.


Blogger cal said...

Sounds yummy. If you don't happen to have any fresh coconut to hand do you think you could use dessicated? Maybe rehydrating it a bit first?

10:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That, lovely curry *yummy*
Me, a Hyderabadi *all proud*.
Thank you!

3:15 am  
Blogger gs said...

thanks lulu for the recipe. i will ask gb to try it out. i too love mirchi ka salan which is a hyderabadi speciality.

10:03 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi cal,
to be honest, i've never used fresh coconut outside of india. i tried once in san francisco but i ended up hurting myself really badly when trying to break open a coconut!
so now i rely on frozen coconut which you can get in indian grocery stores. they are a good substitute. i don't like dessicated coconut - i don't think it has the same freshnness that even the frozen variety can provide - but i'm sure it will be fine in a pinch.

hi sandhya,
good to hear from you after ages!

hi appa,
not sure the dish will taste the same without garlic :)

10:50 am  
Blogger cal said...

Ooh, I didn't realise you could buy frozen coconut. I'm not too far from Brick Lane and there are some great Indian stores there - I'll have a look.

(BTW - have you been down to Whitechapel Market yet? There are some great Indian veg stalls there - lots of veg that I don't know the names of - and a beauty salon that does very cheap threading!)

10:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have some hatch chillies in my freezer and I think this recipe might work well with those.

How much tamarind do you use to make the paste. Did'nt see it in the list of ingredients.

6:33 pm  
Anonymous parul said...

I tried your recipe for Mirchi Ka salan and have served it at my parties.It got appreciated a lot and above all I love it a lot....Keep writing lulu....

3:55 am  
Anonymous parul said...

Hey! and btw I tasted it first time in Shalimar in San Francisco too:)and had been looking for a recipe eversince online!

3:58 am  
Anonymous Dietician Expert said...

thanks for the recipe. FInd it yummy and good for health as well. Keep writing ...
Happy eating

10:18 am  

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