Monday, December 07, 2009

Mirchi Curry -- 'ants on fire

Lovely Long Hot Peppers

There now Winter is here. We had our first Snow this Saturday. I am not too fond of winter. The thing I hate about winter is bundling up the kids in layers to even go to the grocery store. A simple task takes hours in just preparation. Coats waiting to be zipped, leggings to be worn, the cap messing the hair, the car seat now gets uncomfortable, the two young things shout out protests, the thought itself drives me nuts.

I like winter as long as I am allowed to stay inside. Inside the home it is warm and cozy and you truly start appreciating what "warm and cozy" means. Such was this Saturday, snowing in white fluffs outside while we sat in the warm glow of the fireplace, eating hot hot Mirchi Curry.

This curry is inspired by Nupur's alu dum which again was inspired by Trupti's alu dum recipe. Instead of potatoes I decided to use long hot peppers in the creamy curry. Some heat to warm up the palate.

Ok truth be told I wanted to make a Mirchi ka salan like this or this. But then except for the long hot peppers I had no other ingredients. But I still desperately wanted to have Mirchi in a Curry and so in a fit of inspiration used Nupur's curry as a base for the beautiful hot peppers.

The Mirchi Curry or Long Hot Peppers in a creamy gravy was truly delicious and enjoyed by all barring the kids. The dish does have a fair amount of heat (though long hots are not too hot) and so be careful while cooking and eating. Though I have used long hot peppers for this dish you can use other type of hot peppers. For other kinds you may need to de-seed to reduce the heat


Mirchi Curry -- Long Hot Peppers in a gravy

Serves: 5-6 people

Cut 8-10 long hot peppers in 4ths each(i.e. each cut in 4 ). Sprinkle salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast in one single layer at 375 for 30-40 mins.Note: These are my toaster oven settings and time may vary in a regular one. Take care not to burn but just brown the peppers. More on roasting long hot peppers.

Soak 1/4 cup of cashew or slivered blanched almonds in water. Yes, what can I say, I have too many almonds in my pantry :-)

Heat oil in a frying pan. Saute 1 medium onion diced + 2 cloves of garlic + 1" ginger peeled and chopped till onion is soft and lightly browned. Add 1 medium tomato chopped in large chunks and fry till tomato softens

Cool the above and grind to a fine paste along with the cashew(or
blanched almonds) and very little water

Heat Oil now for cooking

Temper with 1/4 tsp of Nigella seeds and 1/2 tsp of Cumin seeds

Add the masala(onion + cashew etc.) paste that you have prepared and fry till you see oil seeping out of the masala

Add 1 tsp Kasoori Methi, Turmeric, salt and a little Paprika for the color. Mix well.

Add about 1 cup of 2% Milk. Add water if required for the gravy. Let the gravy simmer to a boil

Add the roasted long hot peppers and cook until the gravy thickens to a creamy consistency. Add a little sugar to taste, a little garam masala and very little chopped corriander.

Serve with Roti or Rice. It is fiery hot but in a pleasant way.

Trivia: There is debate whether or not men and women sense capsaicinoids(the substance that gives chilli peppers their intensity) similarly. Research carried out by the University of Reading shows that the effect of Capsicum chinense is elevated in the conjunction with testosterone. Thus men are more affected than women. Now you know why a pepper spray is effective


  1. This is one hot deal! He he, and in our family men always hate to have spicy food while women have always been big fans of curries such as the one you posted :).

  2. Definetly we should love this type of heat in winter days!
    After a decade, Northern CA got some snow today - I was happy to see those white mountains after 5 years!
    I remember bundling my son to take him out -blaming the weather and want to get out of East coast...

  3. do your kids eat the spicy food you make? I cant make my food hot and spicy because I've a 2 yr old at home :(

  4. Nice Mirchi curry!
    We had the first snow of the season here today too. I totally agree with you when you said that winter is good only when you to stay inside and really appreciate what 'warm and cozy' means! I am not a big fan of winter too.

  5. Steaming rice and mirchi curry... um!
    Why I'd even dunk some crusty french bread in this curry and call it a meal!

  6. Anon

    Forget a 2 year old even my 6 year old would not eat this :-) See I said "enjoyed by all barring the kids"

  7. Musi

    My side of the family is not at all fan of spicy food, the hubby's side is though.


    Yeah snow after 5 years is definitely welcome ;-)


    Ahhh, the woes of winter


    Yeah crusty french bread is a good idea

  8. hot nd perfect for winters,.;-)

  9. Dear sandeepa
    Very nice recipe!! Try Korbo...but I don't have any almonds, quite expensive here :-).
    Regarding chili eating, one must induct a child to chili eating when they are 1 yr old. I did it for both my daughters and they can eat any amount of chili now. Giving chili to a kid is painful for the parents but not for the child. believe me. They will have running nose and cry but want more too. We parents taught them that chili is bad..dont eat etc..and they follow that

    In my engineering college hostel, I used to feel sad to see some friends could not eat food even if it had very little chili.
    People who go to south India, face this problem as no eating joint will give a reasonably low chili dish.
    So catch them young :-)

  10. Loved the headline Sandeepa.

    The dish sounds similar to Hyderabadi Mirchi Salan which I had at Khane Khas ages back.

    Do you get paler chillies. I think the lighter they are, the less spicy they are

    Your post reminded me of a morning thirty years back at iran when my Mom told me that it was snowing outside

  11. I have been eyeing Indira's mirchi ka salan since a year but never had the courage to make it. Yours sounds good. A lot of taming has happened with the peppers I believe by deseeding, roasting etc. But I crave some with soft rotis right away as Chennai too is chilled lately :)

  12. I wouldlove to have thos hot chillie curry, but i think if i make them my daughter and hubby will run a mile.
    They do love spicy food, but i think this on would be going a bit far for them.
    Droll here from my side ;-)

  13. I have tasted this curry at my friend's place long back, I have never regretted it :) your curry looks hot and yum, with some plain white rice and papads will make a great meal for this cold climate :)

    my kids love food and they don't mind eating hot dishes at all!! Even if their eyes pour out, if it is delicious, they finish it till the last bite :):)

  14. Sandeepa,
    this looks very hot and spicy ....
    eyi ta ki hebrano diye O banate para jaye ...thanda r dine garam bhate hot mirchi curry khete bhalo lagbe :)..
    hugs and smiles

  15. A nice twist to aloo dum. they use peanuts in michi ka salan, you have substituted almonds - all the same.

    Kids were ecstatic at the appearance of the first snow. Me not too much. Thoughts of driving in the snow make the rounds in my head as it is falling down. The roads were not as bad as I dreaded them to be.

  16. Noteyet
    Thanks :)

    Is that good or bad :-)


    Ushnish Da

    Really at 1 ? Wow !!! I dare not. My older one eats spicy food but not very hot ones


    paler pepers ? I am not sure. These are not as hot as habaneros or anything


    No, I did not de-seed them as they weren't too hot. I have never had Mirchi ka Salan but really want to

    : ):)


    Wow I am amazed, that is very good. My daughter can't eat too hot food

    Habanero diye banate paro, khub jhaal hobey kintu


    The salan also needs sesame seeds right, I never buy sesame seeds at all so don't know if I can ever make it

  17. "Long hots are not too hot" Why does that want to make me ROFL? I recently made a mirchi ka salan with long and fat hots believing in the above statement and boy, was I proven wrong!!!

  18. baapre ki baniecho. ami jano age akdom jhal khetam na tabe biyer pare khai aar hubby age kheto akhon chere dieche. amar gaache dhani lanka hoeche...o die habe na :-). khub jhal jhal tomar ei post ta...

  19. Hi, I'm Bengali and live in Netherlands as a graduate student .. and thanks to your blog that I stumbled upon a few days back while surfing the net for Macher Kalia .. I was in for such a treat! Your blogs are so amazing .. they remind me of home too! Thank you a lot.

  20. you're like me... I bring the chillies home hoping to make mirchi ka salan...but I make some curry each time. I like this curry you've made.

  21. Besh jibhe jol asha byapar.. kichu gorom paratha diye ;-) it is below 25 here, amar besh kichu gorom gorom jhal khete ichey korchay...

    we left NJ for all the reasons that u mentioned here ;-) 20 minutes in the foyer to get out and another 20 when you come in.

  22. Mumbai has a huge variety of chillies Sandeepa...including so very light coloured ones which are hardly hot

  23. Spicy food. I can eat it 24/7. I grew up eating green chillies :)

  24. more like pants on fire !!!! I love mirch ka salan and I must try this variation too.


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