Mirchi ka Salan from Hyderabadi Cuisines

Mirchi ka Salan is a traditional Hyderabadi dish prepared in weddings and special occasions. This is one of my favourite dishes as it is spicy and goes well with rice or chapati. The mirchi is cooked in  spices and peanut adds  a grainy texture to this amazing dish. Originally this is made with long spicy chillies available in India, but here  I tried substituting this with anaheim chiles and it tasted great . You can use any type of chiili based on availability and spice preference.

Mirchi Ka Salan

Ingredients

Mirchi Ka salan

  • Chiles( anaheim or serrano)--6-7
  • Onions--2 (chopped finely)
  • Peanuts (dry roasted)--4 tablespoons
  • Sesame seed  (roasted)--2 tablepoon

Mirchi Ka Salan

  • Dried coconut powder--1 Tablespoon
  • Ginger garlic paste--1 teaspoon
  • Tamarind Paste--1/2 Tablespoon
  • Cloves--4-5
  • Cinnamon--1/2 stick
  • Coriander powder--1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds --1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf-2
  • Garam Masala--1/2 teaspoon

Recipe

Remove the Chilli stems, slit them lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut them into long rectangles. Heat the oil in a pan and fry them over medium heat for around 2 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Add the finely chopped onions and fry for some time. Add all the spices one after other,add turmeric and saute for some time. In a grinder grind peanut, sesame seeds,coconut together and add little water .Add this paste to the pan and cover it and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes on low flame. Add some water if it appears to be thick. Add the tamarind paste and mix well. Add the chillies, salt and cook for another 6-7 minutes on low flame. Take out and serve with chappati or rice.

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Idli

Idli is best suited for a weekend brunch as it  has a unique taste and is super simple  to make.  For weight watchers it is a healthy option, as it does not contain oil and yet makes a delicious breakfast or brunch. It is usually consumed with piping hot sambar and coconut chutney. When we visited Banglore we saw a place with a big board saying "fast food restaurant" , we went in and saw a huge crowd eating  idli, dosa , Uttapam from  the banana leaves  . The food was amazing and it was the best "fast food" I ever had !

Idli

Ingredients

  • Idli rawa--3 cups 
  • Ural dal--1 cup
  • Salt --2 tablespoons

Recipe

Idli

Soak the urad dal and the idli rava seperately in water until soft (usually overnight). Take a sieve and put the idli rava in it and press gently to drain the excess water. Grind the ural dal to a fine paste adding some water. Add the paste to the rava and mix it with a big spoon. Let the mixture ferment into a batter. Do not mix the batter while it ferments.It usually takes 7-8 hours to ferment the mixture and it almost doubles in volume and has a frothy texture. When ready add salt in the mixture.

Idli Stand

Take a Idli stand and pour around half litre of water in it. Take a idli mould, grease it with little oil and pour the batter in the round compartments . Steam it for around 20 minutes before taking it off. Let it set for 2-3 minutes before taking them off with a spoon.If using a  pressure cooker follow the same procedure but dont put the whistle on the top.Serve with Sambar and coconut chutney.

Note--Pour only 3/4th  batter in the idli mould as they fluff when steamed.

Idli, Sambar with Chutney

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Sambar

Sambar is prepared alsmost everyday in South Indian households. It tastes great  with idli, dosa's , wada and rice. Cooked toor dal is cooked with spices and vegetables  till it is smooth and aromatic. 

Most of my south Indian friends make amazing sambar but each one is different in taste and flavor than the other. It can be made with  vegetables of your choice and availability.I love making sambhar on a quite morning,adding the ingredients one by one and taking the aroma of all the spices in , cooking is sometimes a great technique of relaxation!

Sambar

Ingredients

  • Toor dal--1 cup (cooked in pressure cooker and mashed) 

Sambar Ingredients

  • Onions--1 (sliced lengthwise)
  • Tomatoes--2 (small chopped)
  • Brinjals(eggplant)--2 (small pieces)
  • Drumsticks--2 (Cut and cooked )
  • Carrots--1-2(cut and micro for 2-3 minutes)
  • Curry leaves
  • Chilli powde--1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder--1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander seeds (dhania)-- 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger -garlic--1 teaspoon
  • Tamarind paste--1 tablespoon
  • Asafoetida(hing)--1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil--3 tablespoons

Recipe

Take a pan and heat the oil at medium heat. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add the curry leaves. Crush the ginger-garlic and coriander seeds and put them in the pan. Add turmeric powder, hing (asafetida) and toss in the onions and saute. Add the chilli powder, tomatoes and all the vegetables . Mix in the tamarind paste, and sambar powder and cook the mixture for 8-10 minutes on low flame till all the vegetables mix in with the spices. Now add the toor dal and some water. Cook for another 5 minutes to a smooth consistency and season with salt. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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Coconut Chutney

In South India restaurants dosa or idli plate consists of variety of chutneys. There is a famous restaurant chain by this name and this time when I visited India I could not wait to go there. The chutneys served there are amazing and the range is unbelievable. 

Coconut chutney is very simple to make and is good for several days if refrigerated. You can use fresh or frozen coconut to make this chutney. 

Coconut Chutney

Ingredients

  • Coconut --1/2 cup (fresh or frozen)
  • Peanuts--1/4 cup
  • Coriander seeds--1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal --1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind --1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried red chillies--3-4
  • Curry leaves
  • Jeera powder--1 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves-A handful
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Take a small pan and heat oil in it. Add jeera, peanuts, coriander leaves, urad dal, tamarind and saute on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add the dried red chillies and coconut and saute for few seconds. Transfer this to the mixer and toss in some coriander leaves and add salt. You can add little water at this time to grind  it to a smooth paste.

For tempering --Heat about 1 tablepoon oil and when hot add the mustard seeds to it. Add some hing(asafetida) and put it on the chutney. Serve with dosa,idli or wada.

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