Mirch Ka Saalan
Plump Green peppers cooked in a nutty curry
The Hyderabadi Mirch ka saalan is special! if you asked me to pick one dish, and only one, that stood out to me during my many visits to Hyderabad, it’s definitely not the famous Biryani but the underrated saalan served with the biryani that stole my heart. The wonderful thing about this seemingly humble side dish is that it looks very coy and innocent but is bursting with flavors. It’s spicy, sweet, salty, and a tad bitter all at the same time and holds its own with a dish like the mighty biryani.
- 100 grams Thick Green Chillies
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1tbsp Coconut Powder
- 3 tbsp Peanut
- 1tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 3 tbsp Oil
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- ½ tsp Chili Powder
- 8 Curry Leaves
- 4 Cloves
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 pinch Asafetida
- 3 Red Chilies
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/8 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 100 gm Yogurt
- 2tbsp Tamarind Pulp
- Salt to Taste
- Whisk the yoghurt with ½ cup water.
- Finely chop the onions.
- Wash and pat dry the green chilies. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide pan and lightly fry the chilies until they are charred and start to look softer. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1tsp of oil in a pan and add the peanuts to it.
- Saute the peanuts on low flame till lightly colored and fragrant.
- Add the sesame seeds and roast for about a minute or two till the sesame seeds turn golden.
- Add the coconut powder and saute for few seconds till lightly colored.
- Blend the mixture with ½ cup water to a fine paste.
- Add the remaining oil in the pan. To medium hot oil, add the cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute for a few seconds till the spices are fragrant.
- Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and the whole red chilies. Allow to splutter.
- Add the onions and sauté the onions till the onions are golden brown.
- Add a pinch of Asafetida, curry leaves, turmeric, ginger – garlic paste and mix well.
- Add ¼ cup water and cook till the raw smell disappears.
- Add the red chilies powder, coriander powder, saalan masala and let it cook till the oil comes to the surface.
- Add the yoghurt, the paste of peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut powder to it and cover the pan and let it cook till the oil surfaces.
- Add the tamarind pulp, 1cup water and jaggery or sugar.
- When the gravy comes to a good boil add the slit green chilies to the gravy. Simmer for about 15 minutes over low heat till the oil comes to the surface.
- Adjust the seasonings according to taste. Serve hot.