Chiles Recipes

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Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe Recipe

Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe

03.13.11 by Jackie

I've made several sweet and spicy preserves in the past and this is one of the many variations we made last summer. As I might have told you before, Lulu's favorite hobby after work is gardening. He takes such great pride harvesting the hottest chiles. He started them from seeds and grew them in those cool Jiffy greenhouses. We should be starting planting the seeds again in the following weeks.

Last August, we harvested jalapeño and Habanero chiles. I paired the spicy peppers with delicious apricot juice and made my own pepper jelly. The problem with canning and making so many experiments during the summer is that we have to store all the jars in the garage. The preserves taste much better if you let them sit for a few weeks so the flavors are at their fullest. By that time, we usually forget about them until we do a huge clean up! It just took us 6 months to find these 3 jars. I’m glad we did; this apricot pepper jelly tastes delicious!


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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe Recipe

Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe

02.26.11 by Jackie

I just learned how to make a variant of mirchi ka salan by Sheerin Auntie, who came to visit us during winter break week. This version is made with only white sesame seeds and originated from the region of Lucknow (Lakhnau) where Abbi, my husband Lulu's late grandfather was born. The previous version was taught by Baji (Lulu's late grandmother); they lived in Hyderabad where mirchi ka salan is made with peanut, fresh coconut and sesame.

The sesame seed variant is quite a bit milder. The sesame seeds are blended into a thick paste (tahini), then added to cumin-flavored oil (baghar). Whole chile peppers are cooked in the sesame mixture until softened. A drizzle of lemon juice finishes the dish. It's as simple as that. Prior to cooking the mirchi ("chiles" in Urdu), I had to be brave and estimate the level of spiciness of the peppers. If the heat is too fiery, you could cut a longitudinal slit and remove the seeds and more of the sesame sauce will enter in the cavity of the chiles for a milder taste.


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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe (Indian Spicy Food) Recipe

I think I've said it many times: my husband's late grandmother (I called her Baji) was an exceptional cook. She used to make a specialty from Hyderabad called mirchi ka salan very often for my father-in-law. He absolutely loves spicy food. I know Daddy misses Baji's cooking, so I try to make his favorite dishes as often as possible.

The dish is very spicy due to the use of a large quantity of chiles (mirchi in Urdu) and the sauce (salan) is the same masala sauce made of onions and Indian spices that is used in many other Indian dishes. For this particular dish, you don't want to go over-board and use fiery chiles such as Habaneros. I chose milder Anaheim peppers. Finally, if you’re afraid of the heat, don't forget to accompany this dish with a tall glass of lassi to soothe your taste buds. 


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Hari Chutney (Spicy Indian Cilantro Mint Chutney) Recipe

Hari chutney (green) is a spicy preparation served as a condiment to pakora (Indian-style savory fritters) and vadai (fried urad dal). The preparation is very basic: a blend of green chiles, cilantro, mint, garlic and some sweetener to balance the flavors.

The result is a very intense, refreshing dipping sauce that contrasts extremely well with the heaviness of fried food. If you have extra spicy green chutney leftover, it makes a great companion to steamed fish. Once you try it, I'm sure you'll come up with your own uses for this truly versatile chutney.


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Spicy Garlic Chutney Recipe

Spicy Garlic Chutney

03.12.10 by Jackie

Spicy garlic chutney is meant to knock your socks off. I used Anaheim peppers which are mildly hot; you can decide on the level of spiciness by using hotter peppers such as Serrano peppers. If you're really masochistic, habanero or scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you're like me and can't handle spicy food, you could use green bell peppers instead. 

This Indian chutney is a great condiment for subtly flavored dishes such as fish en papillote, meat, Indian potato cutlets, basmati rice and dahl or even a piece of toast. It's also very healthy for you due to the large quantity of fresh garlic. We make this chutney very often, as it stores well in the refrigerator. The only no-no would be to serve it during a romantic dinner !!


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