Mirchi Ka Salan

Talk about Hyderabad’s cuisine, and Hyderbadi Mirchi Ka Salan is sure to become a topic of interest there. This is one of the classic Hyderabadi curries with its characteristic lightly tangy and very subtly spiced creamy gravy.

Green Chillies /Hari Mirch – stems kept intact – slit and seeds shaken off

The masalas in this curry are all braised/bhun-na until oil floats on top, which is a critical procedure to draw out flavors from the various spices added to the gravy, and only in the last stages, water is added to give it a gravy consistency.

I have used spicy medium sized thick green chillies for this curry as shown in the picture, which are the usual kind favored. The chilies preferred for this curry should have smooth skin, not wrinkly, medium thick, straight and long and fresh with stems intact.

white poppy seeds/khus-khus

Do not be be under the misconception that as green chillies are being used in this curry, the curry is going to be fiery hot. Do not worry~due to the addition of spices like poppyseeds, sesame seeds, groundnuts and coconut, the gravy has a mellow and creamy attribute which is utmost delicious. Furthermore, the seeds from all the green chillies, which are main reason for the hotness of the chillies, are discarded before being added to the gravy, hence they are mild after being cooked.

Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan – Green Chillies in Sesame Seeds Sauce

The procedure to prepare Baghare Baingan and Tamatar ks Salan is also almost the same as this curry. Also, you can also add any firm fish fillets (Red snapper, Haddock, Cod, etc) to the gravy instead of green chillies to make it a fish curry/Machli ka Salan . There is no difference, except for the fact that in Baghare Baingan, brinjals are used; in fish curry, fish fillets are used; in Tamatar ka Salan, tomatoes are used and in this curry, the green chillies are used.

Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan – Green Chillies in a Tangy-Sesame Seeds Sauce


Green chillies (thick and long, as shown in the picture) – 250 gms in weight
For dry paste/masala:
Khus Khus/White Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp
Till/Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Groundnuts/MoomPhalli – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Dry desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup/50 gms
Dry roasted Coriander seed/Dhania powder – 1 tsp
For gravy:
Canola oil – 1/2 cup
Yellow Onions – 3, large, sliced slightly thick into semi circular rings
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric/ Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro/ Kothmir – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Thick tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp
For baghaar/tempering:
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 2 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves/ Kariyapaak – 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds/ Rai – 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds/ Kalaunji – 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana – 1/8 tsp


1. Wash, drain, then pat dry and slit the green chillies. Shake the seeds off the chillies to remove the extra spiciness (use gloves while you work with chillies to avoid your hands getting burnt with its chemicals). Keep the stems intact. Keep aside.
2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan at medium high heat and once it is hot, dry roast the desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, khus khus, peanuts, coriander seeds and 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, all one by one separately for just 2-3 minutes until they are a few shades darker and remove them into separate bowls. Do not burn the spices. Once cool, rub off the skins of the peanuts. Grind them all separately in a spice grinder to a fine powder or a smooth paste without adding any water and keep aside.
3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan at medium high heat, and as soon as it warms up add the sliced onions. Let the onions sweat and keep stirring them until they are just starting to brown up in color as shown in the picture below. Once the onions are soft and lightly browned in color, remove them to a platter and keep aside. Once the dry roasted onions are cool, puree them in a grinder until smooth. Keep aside.
4. Pour oil in a cooking pot and once hot enough, carefully add the green chillies and cover with a splatter screen. The oil spits as soon as you add green chillies, so be careful. Stir fry them till blisters form on the skins. Using a slotted spoon remove the chillies to a platter and keep aside.

Clockwise from top – Fried green chillies, roasted desiccated coconut, roasted peanuts,
roasted sesame seeds and fried onions

5. In the same hot oil, add remaining 1 tsp cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let the spices splutter for a minute. Add the pureed roasted onion paste and immediately cover the pan with a lid for a minute. Lower the heat to medium low and shake the pan to thoroughly mix. This is done for the mixture to absorb all the flavour from the baghaar(tempering). Uncover, lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the desiccated coconut paste, sesame seed paste, khus-khus paste and peanut paste and stir fry it for 2-5 minutes or until you see that the mixture comes together and starts leaving oil. Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and keep stir frying it for a further 2 minutes on medium low heat. Once the raw odor of the peanuts, ginger-garlic paste and coconut is no longer coming, add the dry roasted coriander and cumin seed powder and chopped cilantro and mix well. Pour in 3 1/2 cups warm water and the tamarind pulp. Mix well. Add the fried green chillies and stir. Cover the lid and let cook on simmer for 20-25 minutes while stirring frequently, until the oil has all separated and the chillies well cooked in the masala gravy. Remove from heat and serve the curry.

Suggested Accompaniments: Basmati Chawal/Plain Long White RiceMurgh Biryani/Fragrant Rice+Chicken Casserole, Gosht Ki Biryani/Fragrant Mutton+Rice Casserole, Naan/Indian Flat Bread.

This is my contribution to Think Spice Think Poppy seeds event being hosted by RV at her blog.

( I am posting this recipe again as due to some problem this post of mine was deleted! )


39 thoughts on “Mirchi Ka Salan

  1. I love this blog! Have bookmarked it, and tried many, many recipes. Your Chicken 65 was a big hit at a potluck lunch in the school where I teach.

    Is there any substitute for poppy seeds, as neither are they available in KSA,nor are we allowed to carry them with us when we come from India.

    Just omit them if they are unavailable

  2. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

    Dear Mona

    Mabrook! How’s the li’l one doing? Hope she has been blessed with ONE beautiful and meaningful name inshallah!

    Have bookmarked your wonderful website. I have a query on this recipe as I do want to try it out. The Middle East doesn’t allow the sale of poppy seeds as it’s derived from the opium poppy plant from which the narcotic drug opium is extracted. You would know that having lived in Saudi Arabia. So what can I substitute for poppy seeds in this recipe without compromising the texture and flavor?

    Mrs. Sheikh

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Mrs.Sheikh, simply skip poppy seeds if unavailable. Inshallah it wont matter.

  3. Mona

    Just wanted to let you know that your recipe was wonderful..My guests enjoyed it so much!! Can see the authenticity in the recipe…will post it in my blog today!!

  4. aswk mona

    can u please give me the serving size for this recipie?

    WaAlaiKuMAsSalaam Fatima, this recipe serves almost 15-20 people or more. It depends on the amount of water you add, the degree to which you cook it, and the end consistency.

  5. 80 people enjoyed your Mirchi ka salan with my mother’s ande ki biryani!

    And then we ate the salan as a snack too!… thank you for everything…


  6. Dear Mona,

    Phenomenal recipe…. comes out wonderfully…

    One query: what do I do with the cumin that we first dry roasted and powdered?

    Any specific reason for grinding all of them separately?


    Aseem, each spice takes a different time to get roasted, and hence I roast them all separately. Also I have corrected the typo.

  7. You can add mirch and baigan both together and taste excellent. The spcices you gave is for what quantity.I mean how many people can eat.

    Syed Ali, the above recipe serves around 6-8 people.

  8. Asak mona,

    Nice recipe…but this recipe doesn’t need tamarind pulp as we add it in baghare baigan and fish curry? kindly let me know..

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Humera. You ought to add tamarind paste to Mirchi ka Salan as well.

  9. Adaab Mona,

    I tried this recipe but my turned out bitter. wonder where I went wrong.


    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Saniya, there might be teo reasons for this. One is that you must have overdone the process of buun-na for the masalas. The other reason might be that the chillies which you have used for the curry must have been bitter.

  10. Hi Mona,

    I made mirchi ka salan as per your recipe and it turned out superbly. I know the gravy becomes thick due to groundnut and til paste. Do have any tips on how to make it less thicker as it is easier to eat with biryanis?

    thanks.. awaiting your reply

    Jaya, you can add a little more water and adjust the consistency of the gravy to your desire before you add chillies.

  11. This turned out very good. I made a couple of adjustments though. Substituted peanut butter for the peanuts and after the “bhagar”, I simply dumped in everything excluding the fried chilies, covered and let the flavors mingle for some time. Once the oil came to the top and the masala tasted good, I added the peppers which then simmered for another 10 minutes covered. It saved a few steps but turned out amazing. Also your proportions were perfect. Thanks. 🙂

  12. Could you please convert the weights in gms to tea or table spoons please?

    I do not have a weighing scale 🙁


    Aseem, I have updated the post. ~Mona

  13. Mirchi ka salan is one of my favorite restaurant recipes. Didn’t know that it is prepared just like Bhagare Baingan, will try this one soon. Your instructions are so descriptive and I am loving the picture of the curry. It looks really hot!!!

  14. monajee, as mirchi ka salan is signature recipe of hydrabad, i belive there would not be any variation much. yet just for the name sake , if i have to ask you , can we have subtitute of tamarind pulp? thanks

    ShaikhMohammed, you cannot omit or substitute tamarind in this recipe. ~Mona

  15. I want to try this recipe but am wondering if we need ginger-garlic paste? Please let me know..thanks.

    Rani, Ginger garlic paste is needed for Mirchi Ka Salan. ~Mona

  16. I love this dish so much- it was one of my first posts, but I will surely try your recipe next time. When I prepared mine, I used jalapenos and didn’t remove any of the seeds…it was quite hot! Bearable, but next time I will take your advice and de-seed most 🙂 of them so that my head doesn’t feel so light. Such a luxurious dish, is it not?

    Pelocano! Removing seeds is optional, some people like it too hot, till fumes come out of their ears, and some cannot bear it. So, do it according to your taste. Its is one of the most Authentic Hyderabadi dishes. ~Mona

  17. Hey Mona,
    I noticed the recipe gone missing from your blog too, anyways…

    Mirchi ka salan is one of my favorites and your recipes looks easy to cook.
    I however make it a bit different…for my version visit my blog as soon as I update it :p


  18. I love mirchi ka salan with biryani. they serve this in office every day (cuz we are in hyd, the biryani hub!). somehow making it myself seems too tedious! 🙂

  19. Mona, I’m glad you posted this recipe again since I missed it the first time you posted it. Thanks for an authentic mirchi ka salan recipe. I can imagine the flavors reading the recipe and savoring the picture.:)


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