September 14, 2008

Mirchi Ka Salan - Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe

Update: I have tried a few different versions after posting this and now have an updated better Recipe for Mirchi Ka Salan. Do check that instead. Thanks!

It's been a while since I sent in anything for RCI - Regional Cuisine of India. I especially enjoy this event since it calls for a lot of experimenting and exposure to recipes that I haven't tried or tasted before from regions all over India. Some of favourites range quite a bit, starting from the Saarina Pudi I made for RCI - Karnataka to Bihari Shahi Paneer to Gujarati Khattay Aloo, all are recipes that soon became occasionals in my kitchen, not to mention the absolute ball I had during RCI - Kerala.

Mirchi ka Salan is a typical Hyderabadi dish that's made with chillies and masala to serve with Biryani. Mirchi ka Salan really elevates the taste of the Biryani to the next level, especially for Hyderabadi-style Biryani recipes. 

Mirchi Ka Salan-Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe
Mirchi Ka Salan (phone pic, so please excuse!)

Bhavnagri Chillies

This time's RCI is featuring Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine. Ahh, Hyderabad! In my two and a half years in the city, I have tasted a bunch of authentic dishes like Dum Biriyani, Bagara Baingan, Do pyaaza, Rawgani Roti, Mirchi ka salan, Double ka meetha and a lot more. I personally didn't like Qubani ka meetha and haleem.

Of all these dishes, Mirchi Ka Salan is my absolute favourite. It adds a wonderful flavour as a side dish to Biriyani. RCI this month gave me a good excuse to try it out myself. The process is slightly time-consuming since the dish is based on the traditional slow cooking method. Its definitely worth it though!

Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe
Recipe source here.
Serves 4

2 cups long green chillies (bhavnagri chillies) or capsicum, cut into thick strips
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (methi/uluva) seeds
1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji/karum jeerakam)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander (malli) seeds
1 tbsp jeera (jeerakam)
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp/paste
5 tablespoons oil
A few curry leaves
Salt to taste
To be roasted dry and ground into powder:
2 tablespoons peanuts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (til/ellu)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
To be ground into paste:

6 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

How to Make Hyderabadi Mirchi ka Salan:
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 and cumin seed powder, chilli powder and powdered peanut-sesame mixture. Cook over a medium flame, stirring continuously until the oil separates.

4. Add 2 cups water and tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.

5. Add the fried green chillies and salt and simmer until the gravy thickens. This takes a good 20-25 minutes. 

Serve Mirchi ka Salan with Biryani and Raita.

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