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
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.