Mirch ka Salan Recipe

Mirch ka Salan Recipe
Mirch ka Salan is a traditional vegetarian dish from the South Indian city of Hyderabad, located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. “Mirch” is the Hindi word for spicy chili pepper. Now traditionally this dish is spicy & I do mean fiery hot – because in India, the locally available chili peppers are much hotter & there are lots of different varieties of chili peppers as well. So feel free to make this dish using your favorite chili peppers or you whatever is available locally in your area.

I have decided to make this dish using Anaheim or Cubanelle peppers instead, the sweet baby bell peppers or banana peppers also work well. If you love slightly spicy peppers, then feel free to use jalapeños or even Hungarian wax peppers for this recipe. If you wish to omit the spiciness altogether, just use regular bell peppers – I have made this dish using a delicious combination of green, red, orange & yellow bell peppers.


MIRCH KA SALAN (Spicy Hyderabadi Pepper Curry)

Ingredients:

2 to 2½ cups of peppers, cut into 1” wide strips
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly grated coconut (or you can use coconut milk)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi), coarsely ground
5-6 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ cup tomato puree
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
pinch of ground cinnamon
salt & pepper, to taste
¼ cup toasted unsalted peanuts, ground to a coarse powder
1½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds, ground to a coarse powder
1 tbsp tamarind paste (or tamarind concentrate or tamarind powder)
½ cup coconut milk + 1 cup water
3+ tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

METHOD:

If you are using the thin spicy chili pepper varieties for this dish, simply slice them in half lengthwise & remove the seeds. Then chop them into bite size pieces.

In a large deep skillet or wok on very high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the peppers and flash fry them very quickly. This may need to be done in batches. Basically you want to stir fry the peppers very quickly for a few minutes, they should still be slightly crispy. If they are slightly charred, that’s good! Remove quickly & set aside until needed.

Now to the same deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add a little oil if needed. When hot, add the onions along with the garlic, ginger & coconut. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant & aromatic – when the onions begin to brown, remove from the heat & allow to cool slightly. Then using a blender or food processor, grind the onion mixture into a smooth paste using a little water as needed.

To the same pan, add another tbsp or so of oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, add the cumin seeds & let them sizzle for just 30 seconds. Then quickly add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves & asafetida. Stir for another 30 seconds or so, then add both the ground onion paste & tomato puree. Stir well & let cook for 4-5 minutes before adding the spices (ground coriander powder, turmeric, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, ground cinnamon, salt & pepper). Let the spices cook for a few minutes, then add the powdered peanuts & sesame seeds. Mix well to combine & add the tamarind along with the coconut milk & water. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients. Then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for another couple of minutes. Lastly, add the peppers to curry & let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves & serve as part of any Indian meal with fresh chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice.

Mirch ka Salan photo Mirch ka Salan.jpg

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