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

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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! )

Luv,
Mona

Gobi-Mirch Jalfrezi

Jalfrezi is a type of Indian curry in which marinated pieces of meat or vegetables are fried in oil or spices to produce a dry, thick sauce. It is cooked with green chillies, with the result that the jalfrezi can range in heat from a medium dish to a very hot one. Other main ingredients include Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes. – Wikipedia

It was a bright day today, got to see sun and sunshine peeking through the heavy dark clouds for a little longer time after quite an extended period. That made me very happy and cheerful. I wanted to cook something special today, a nice vegetarian meal, and I quickly thought of this dish.

This is my lovely little sister’s recipe. It is a simple recipe which gets prepared in a jiffy. I searched for the ingredients in my refrigerator and I had all those, so I prepared and enjoyed this Curry/Salan along with Zeera Rice/Baghara Chawal and Khatti Dal.

Gobi-Mirch Jalfrezi – Cauliflower and Capsicum in a Tangy Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower/Phul Gobi – 1, large, washed and cut into florets
  • Red and Green Capsicums/Shimla Mirch – 1 each, de-seeded, cut into bite-size strips
  • Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 2, large, sliced thin
  • Soya Sauce – 4 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1/3 tsp (optional)
  • Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato Paste – 2 heaped tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Nigella Seeds/Kalaunji – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Heat oil in a non stick pan on medium heat, and throw in the Cumin seeds and Kalaunji. As soon as they start to splutter add the Onions and saute them till they are lightly browned.
  • Add the Tomato paste, Garam masala, Salt and Red Chilli powder and mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the Cauliflower florets and stir fry them in the sauce for 3-5 minutes.
  • Later add the Capsicum strips, Soya sauce, and a little water and stir to mix. Cover the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes taking care the curry isnt becoming too dry or getting burnt. Keep giving it a gentle stir every now and then. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: We had it along with Zeera Rice/Baghara Chawal and Khatti Dal for a delicious meal.

Luv,
Mona

Sheekh Kewab Series~I

Kawabs are one of the most delicious non-vegetarian tandoori item next to Tandoori Chicken. I heard and read at a site that the first kawabs were invented during the war times, when the animal was slaughtered, cut into pieces, and pierced by the only things they had along, sword (!) and they roasted it over fire. We in the modern world continue to do so, but in a more decent way, we have replaced swords with skewers. ‘Sheekh’ means a ‘skewer’, and ‘Sheekh Kawabs’ are the ‘Kawabs grilled/roasted on Skewers’.

Sheekh Kababs – Minced meat Kebabs

Kawabs are vegetables, or meat pieces or ground meat marinated with spices and wrapped around the skewers and grilled or roasted over fire, charcoal, or in oven. They are very easy to prepare too. Marinate them with the required ingredients, and later you just have to grill them. There is no long process to it. Kababs can be Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian or both. They are a delicacy.

In this recipe I am using both minced chicken as well as minced lamb. The taste comes out very well. My Mother-In-Law usually prepares this type of kawabs. I learnt this procedure from her but modified it my way. An another version of Sheekh Kabab is posted here.

It is very important that after you wash the minced meat, the water from it has all been drained out completely, or else the shape doesnt come out very well. And while mixing the minced meat with the other ingredients, its important that you use your hands, and pulverise the mixture with your palm. You can marinate it for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator. Bring the whole marinated mixture to room temperature before you start grilling it.

Sheekh Kawabs – Minced meat Kebabs (I)

Ingredients:

Minced Chicken – 350 gms
Minced Lamb – 200 gms
Onions – 3, large, finely sliced
Dry Roasted Black Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry Roasted Sesame seeds powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry roasted Khus Khus powder – 3/4 tsp
Nigells seed/Kalaunji powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry Roasted Coriander seeds powder – 1 tsp
Dry Roasted Groundnut powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Green chilli – 6, cut and grinded to paste
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Raw papaya paste – 2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Eggs – 2, lightly beaten
Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Plain Parsley leaves – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Canola Oil – to baste the kababs, and to deep fry the onions.

Method:

1. Wash the meat and drain it well till all the water has been removed completely and the meat is dry. This is important or else the shape does not come out very well.
2. Fry the onions in oil oil they are crisp and brown in colour. Remove them once they are done from the oil onto a paper towel.
3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, with your hands till they nicely mixed. Knead the mixture till pulverized with your palms. Later wash your hands very well with an antiseptic soap. Let the mixture marinate for 2 to 6 hours.
4. Bring it to room temperature, and divide the mixture into 8 balls. Shape each one into a long cylinder.
5. Dip your skewer into oil and insert it into the cylinders just to make a big hole in each one. Remove the skewer and continue doing it with all the shaped cylinders.
6. Take a baking tray and line it with aluminium foil, place the holed cylinders on the tray and baste them with oil. Grill/Broil at low heat, 15 minutes, per side. Grill them till they are nicely done on both sides. (You can even grill them on a charcoal grill for the best smoked flavor).

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy the kawabs along with ‘Kaddu ka Dalcha’, or ‘Khatti Dal’ and ‘Baghara Chawal’ aka Zeera rice, or simply along with a chutney as a finger food.

Tip: Enjoy the leftover kawabs as delicious Pita pockets.

Luv,
Mona