After my previous post Eggplant Sambhar, we continue to explore the food from Southern India and our next stop is Hyderabad. Hyderabadi cuisine, a princely legacy of Nizams (rulers) of Hyderabad, is an amalgamation of Mughal, Turkish, Arabic and even Persian cuisines while having a strong influence of the native Telgu and Marathwada culinary traditions.
In the olden days, the royals and elites would have extravagant banquets and weddings where multiple courses of food were prepared and served as a feast. Most Hyderbadi recipes include meat, Biryani being the most popular. What accompanies the Biryani is ‘Burani raita’ and ‘Mirch Ka Salan’.
Mirch Ka Salan is a vegetarian delicacy from Hyderabad and is prepared from peanuts, coconut, sesame and coriander seeds. The complex flavours blended together result in a mouth watering gravy that will make you come back for more.
You don’t need a biryani to enjoy this delicious Salan. Last weekend I made Pulao for lunch and to spice things up, I served it with this Salan. It also tastes great with Lachha paranthas.
- Serves: 3
- Preparation Time: 20 min
- Cooking time: 15 min
What you will need
- 4 big green chillies or 2 bull horn capsicums
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup peanuts/groundnuts
- 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably thick and creamy)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/2-1 tsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 tsp jaggery
- Salt as required
How to Make it
- Dry roast the coriander seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and peanuts one at a time. Remove the skin of the peanuts by rubbing them.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and saute the onion until transparent. You don’t need to brown it.
- Blend the onion with coconut, peanuts and all the roasted seeds from step 1 to form a thick paste. Keep it aside.
- If the chillies are too big, you can cut them into halves. The bull horn capsicum is not hot but if you are using green chillies, deseed them to reduce the heat.
- Heat oil in a pan. Saute the chillies until slightly browned and cooked. Remove from the pan. Leave the oil in.
- In the same pan, add more oil. When hot, add the ginger garlic paste.
- When the raw smell is gone, add the ground paste from step 3. Add salt.
- Fry the paste for 2-3 min. Next add the tamarind paste and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Stir-in the yoghurt and mix well.
- Add water to get the desired consistency.
- Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat. The Salan should be thick like a soup.
- Next add the fried chillies. Do not cook them for long as they should remain crisp.
- Finish with jaggery to balance the flavours. Always do a taste-test and adjust accordingly.
Enjoy with pulao, biryani and paranthas.