Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!
This dish is all about memories. I was newly married, just a couple of months, I recollect. Like a typical new wife, I was trying my hand at every nice dish in the zest to impress Abhisek. Not that he was not already impressed, but you tend to do more everyday to keep your love happy. So, I made Hyderabadi Mirchi ka Salan, and that has been my best shot till date. I have tried so many dishes, so many cuisines, but this one has surpassed everything else. Even after 2 years into our marriage, when I ask him about what has impressed him the most, the list starts with Mirchi ka Salan.
I have keep it for special days since then. Had a couple friend visiting, and they were not unaware of my love for cooking, so thought of making it again. Not sure if I impressed them as much, but this recipe remains close to my heart, like the first love of life.
Here is how I make Mirchi ka Salan.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- desiccated coconut – ¼ cup (I didn’t have fresh, so I soaked the coconut powder in 1 tbsp coconut milk. You can also soak it into normal milk)
- mix of peanuts and cashews (roasted) – ¼ cup
- sesame seeds (roasted) – 1 tsp
- onion (sliced) – 1 medium
- garlic – 2 cloves
- ginger – ½ inch
- red chili powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
- turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- garam masala powder – ¼ tsp
For the curry:
- green chilies – 6-8 (use the less hot ones)
- tamarind dissolved in ½ cup water – 1 tbsp (soak tamarind atleast 15 minutes before)
- cups water – 2 to 2.5 (it has be thick in consistency so you can increase or decrease accordingly)
- mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- nigella seeds – ½ tsp
- cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- curry leaves – 5-7
- tomato – 1 medium (roughly chopped)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- salt to taste
For the paste
- In a pan, saute the onions until translucent
- Add the dessicated coconut and saute for a few minutes, until it turns golden
- Add ground nuts, cashews and sesame seeds to the pan and roast for 1-2 minutes.
- Add this to a blender. Add in the garlic ginger paste, all the spices mentioned in the paste ingredients. Add little water to make it into a smooth paste.
For the Mirchi ka salan curry
- Rinse and pat dry the green chilies.
- Slit the chilies vertically and shallow fry them in a pan with some oil. Fry the chilies until they turn soft and white.
- Drain on an absorbent paper.
- In the same pan, add some more more oil.
- Add the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add the nigella seeds and cumin seeds.
- Add the curry leaves and saute for a minute.
- Add the ground paste.
- Saute for 3-4 minutes or more until the oil starts separating. Keep stirring and sprinkling water to avoid burning and keeping it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomato and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add tamarind pulp, salt and 2 cups water.
- Keep stirring while you simmer it for another 5 minutes
- Finally, add the green chilies.
- Simmer for 7-9 more minutes. Do not cook on high heat.
Serve with biryani, steamed rice, or naans. I served it with tomato naans, and it was super yummy.