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