Sweet chilli pepper in a tangy nutty sauce / Mirchi ka Salan

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Salan is a hyderbadi speciality. It is normally served as a accompaniment for Hyderbadi Biryani, but goes well with plain white rice or any kind of Indian rice or biryani varieties.

There are many salans made, more popularly Mirchi or Chilli peppers salan, Tomato salan, Bell pepper salan.

The mirchi ka salan is made traditionally with large green chillies but I instead used the sweet chilli pepper variety. This is my take on the Hyderabadi speciality of Mirchi ka salan.

Ingredients needed –

  • 250 gms Sweet chilli peppers , slit the ends and de-seed with the stem intact

For Salan

  • ½ inch piece Ginger

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 tbsps groundnut – dry roasted

  • 1 tsp white Sesame seeds dry roasted

  • 1 tbsp melon seeds – optional

  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder or as per your heat preference

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • 2 tbsp dessicated coconut

  • 2 tsp roasted cumin

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 3 tbsp cooking Oil

  • Handful of mint leaves finely chopped

  • 1 large onion cut into big cubes

  • coriander leaves for garnish – optional

  • 2 large tomatoes cut into cubes or 1 tsp tomato puree

  • ½ tsp nigella seeds

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp tamarind paste or tamarind extract

Procedure

  1. Blend the ginger, garlic, nuts, sesame seeds, roasted cumin, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala to a fine paste with little water.

  2. Also separately blend the onion, tomatoes, coconut, turmeric powder and tamarind extract to a paste.

  3. In a pan with oil, fry the sweet chilli peppers until they lighten in colour and keep aside. The chillies should not be too soggy and tender but still hold its shape. Please take care while doing this as frying the chillies in hot oil might splutter hot oil around.

  4. In the same pan with the leftover oil add the nigella seeds till the seeds sizzle.

  5. Add the onion, tomato paste along with salt and sauté until the oil separates from the sides. Use a lid to half close it as the mixture will splutter.

  6. Mix in the nut paste and sauté for 2 further minutes, along with the finely chopped mint leaves and check for seasoning.

  7. Drop the sauteed sweet chilli peppers into the gravy and simmer with closed lid for a further 2 to 3 minutes ensuring it does not burn at the bottom.

  8. Garnish with coriander and serve with your choice of main dish.

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