Mirchi Ka Salan
EVENT: SUNDAY FUNDAY
THEME: COOKING WITH CHILES
RECIPE: MIRCHI KA SALAN
What is Mirchi Ka Salan?
Mirchi Ka Salan, is a slightly spicy, creamy and tangy curry that is usually served with biryani or any other rice dish. It also can be served with any Indian Flatbread like roti, paratha, naan. Mirchi Ka Salan is one of the popular traditional Hyderabadi dishes. Mirchi is the Hindi name for Chiles or Chillis and Salan refers to a curry. Some prepare a thin curry while others like a thick creamy one.
Generally, for this dish we do not use any of the thin or round, more hot variety of chiles/chillis. If possible it is best to use the Bhavnagri Chillis. However, if you don’t get Bhavnagri Chillis in your area feel free to use any big chilis that are not too hot.
Chillis And India
Though most of the food prepared in India ranges from hot to really hot, in terms of chilliness, chilis do not originate from India. Yes you read right! They were actually introduced in India in the 15th Century by the Portuguese. Researchers have found evidence that Chillis or Chiles were growing in Northwestern part of Mexico many centuries ago.
Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
What causes the hotness of the chillis? Its a substance called capsaicin. How hot or mild a chilli is depends on the amount of capsaicin present in the pepper. How is the hotness or heat of a chilli measured? Its measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Carolina Reaper is the hottest at 1900000 SHU, Jalapeño are 5000 SHU, our Kashmiri Chillis are 2000 SHU, Jwala Chillis are around 20,000-30,000 SHU and bell peppers are 0 SHU. Bhavnagri Chillis that I’ve used for this dish are mild to moderate in hotness. Did you know that the white part or the placenta as its called is packed with heat. Remove it and the hotness reduces considerably.
Not All Indians Eat Hot Food
Its a misconception that because I’m an Indian I eat extra hot food. Actually hubby and I cannot stand food that is loaded with chilis. Most of my dishes are mildly hot.
Chilli, Chili or Chile?
Let us clear that for once and all. Chile is the Spanish word referring to these hot pepper pods which are actually berries. American English use Chili while the British English is Chilli. So basically all refer to the same hot berries.
Remember the time when traveling was not marred by Covid? Doesn’t it seem like eons ago? Well, before all this pandemic began, luckily my dad was able to travel to Bangalore (where hubby and I were) to spend some time with us. That was at the beginning of 2020. During his visit, obviously he wanted to enjoy all the different, delicious dishes that the wide Indian Cuisine offers. Biryani was obviously on top of the list. While we ordered biryani from the take away place Potful, I made the mirchi ka salan to go with at home. By the way Potful biryani is simply the yummiest and I love how they deliver it in eco – friendly clay pots. One year down the road, not only my dad but we too miss the tasty biryani.
Some Chilli/ Chile Recipes to Check Out:
Potato Stuffed Chilli Bhajia – big chilis are stuffed with a spicy potato filling. Then the stuffed chilis are dipped in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. Generally served along with a main meal or as a snack.
Raiwala Marcha – hot chilis pickle with mustard powder
Sunday Funday is a group of Food Bloggers who every Sunday share some fun, traditional, hearty or easy recipes to make Sunday Family Meals a bit more exciting. To join this fun group, visit the Sunday Funday Facebook Page. Request to join in. This Sunday the theme is COOKING WITH CHILES suggested by Karen. You have to check out her blog Karen’s Kitchen Stories for her awesome bakes.
Here’s What Other Members Made Using Chile:
- Chile Pancakes from Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking
- Chili Plum Sauce from Food Lust People Love
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Stew from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Enfrijoladas from Making Miracles
- Homemade Salsa Verde from Sneha’s Recipe
- Maharashtrian Green Chilli Thecha from Cook with Renu
- Mirchi Ka Salan from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Roasted Monkfish Over Mole Negro from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Spicy Carrot and Broccoli Salad from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Thai Curry Noodles from Palatable Pastime
Ingredients Required For Mirchi Ka Salan:
- Fresh Chillis – best to use the large and not too hot variety. If you don’t get Bhavnagri Chillis then you can use poblano, Anaheim Peppers, Jalapeño. Slit on one side from the head about ¾ of the way. Not fully. Slowly remove the seeds and a bit of the white part using the tip of a knife or a small spoon.
- Onion – any – red, white or yellow, peeled and finely chopped
- Garlic – peeled and chopped
- Fresh Ginger – minced
- Peanuts – roast and remove the skin
- Fresh Coconut – grated and roasted lightly
- Fresh Tomato Puree – thick
- Curry leaves – one sprig or 6-8 leaves
- Sesame Seeds – tal, simsim, roasted
- Poppy Seeds – khus khus. If you don’t have poppy seeds add melon, sunflower seeds. Roasted
- Cumin Seeds– jeera
- Mustard Seeds – rai
- Nigella Seeds – kalonji
- Salt – according to your taste
- Red Chilli Powder – optional
- Cinnamon Powder
- Clove Powder
- Tamarind Paste
- Jaggery – can use brown sugar or white sugar instead
- Oil – any vegetable oil, coconut oil or mustard oil. I have used sunflower oil.
- Turmeric Powder – haldi
- Water – normal tap water
- Chopped Fresh Coriander/ Cilantro – for garnishing
- Gluten Free
MIRCHI KA SALAN
- 6 big Bhavnagri Green Chillis (or Anaheim Pepper, Pablano, Jalapeno)
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup peanuts roasted and skin removed
- ¼ cup fresh coconut grated and roasted lightly
- 4 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp nigella seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds roasted lightly
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds roasted
- ½ cup fresh tomato puree thick
- ½ -1 tsp red chilli powder optional
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- 1 tsp jaggery powder
- 1-1½ cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro chopped
- 2 tbsp onion choped (optional)
- Wash the chillis and wipe them dry. Make a slit from the head towards the tip but only ¾ of the way. Scoop out the white part and seeds using a knife or small spoon. Keep them on the side till required.
- Place a wide pan over low heat. Add poppy seeds and roast them lightly, stirring all the time. Remove from the pan into a wide plate once they begin to pop.
- Add sesame seeds to the pan. Roast them, stirring all the time till you get the roasted smell and the seeds begin to pop. Add the roasted sesame seeds to the roasted poppy seeds.
- Add grated coconut in the pan. Roast, stirring all the time till you get the aroma of coconut. Add it to the plate with sesame and poppy seeds.
- Roughly chop up the roasted peanuts.
- Put a wide and slightly deep pan over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the prepared chillis.
- Stir fry them for a minute or two. Sprinkle a bit of salt from the measured amount over the chillis.
- Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat. Allow the chillis to cook for 4-5 minutes or till they become soft.
- Remove the chillis from the pan using a slotted spoon. There will still be some oil left in the pan.
- To this hot oil add chopped onion.
- Saute the onion till its a bit soft. Add the chopped garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato puree, turmeric and red chilli powder. Mix well. Cover the pan and allow the sauce to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add salt, peanuts, roasted coconut, sesame and poppy seeds. Mix well. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit.
- Process the tomato mixture into a smooth paste.
- Heat the remaining oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add mustard, nigella and cumin seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle, add the curry leaves. Mix well.
- Add the tomato paste, water and jaggery. Cover the pan and bring the sauce or curry to a simmer.
- Add the chillis. Mix gently. Cook further for 3-4 minutes.
- Top the Mirchi Ka Salan with chopped coriander.
- Serve hot with biryani,pulao, any rice dish or any Indian Flatbread.
- Cook the chilis according to your preference, soft or a bit crunchy.
- If you're serving the salan with a rice dish then leave the curry base a little watery.
- If you're serving the salan with roti or paratha then make the curry base thick.
- Add salt and red chilli powder according to your taste.
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