Spicy Recipes

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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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Chile Jam Recipe (Homemade Habanero Sauce) Recipe

Last season, my husband Lulu harvested so many peppers from the garden that I had to make a lot of preserves to use them up. If you've been following me on Facebook, I didn’t get a lot of sleep over the weekend because of an over-dose of caffeine. I went on a cleaning spree to pass the time, and while I was tidying up, I found our last jar of chile jam. We used a combination of red Habanero (which is probably the spiciest chile you'll ever taste), red Thai chiles and a small red bell pepper to temper the heat. Still, this recipe will knock your socks off!

When Lulu and I first got married, I remember him calling me a wimp when it came to spicy food. I used to find black pepper spicy! But over the last 6 years, I've learned to enjoy it. I guess marrying into an Indian family helped numb my taste buds. For Father's Day, we held a contest on who would be able to stand eating intensely spicy cuisine. Daddy, my father-in-law, is an expert and of course, he won, but I was able to do better than the girls.

Daddy said the chile jam wasn't as spicy as he had expected but if you're not as tolerant of the heat, prepare a tall glass of milk on the side and enjoy with some toast.

Habanero Jam Recipe with Picture


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Baghare Baingan (Indian Eggplant Masala Recipe) Recipe

Baghare baingan, also known as eggplant masala, is one of my father-in-law's favorite dishes. I learned how to make the Indian eggplant dish in thick masala sauce from Lulu's late grandma Baji. This South-Indian vegetarian dish is a specialty from Hyderabad, the city where Daddy is from. It's quite pleasing for vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters alike as the eggplant have a very meaty texture.

The cooking procedure requires several steps. First, the small eggplants are deep-fried to soften the firm flesh, then it's simmered in a thick sauce made from peanuts and sesame seeds. The dish is finished with baghar, which is the final red oil layer commonly in a lot of Indian dishes.

For this dish, you should use Indian eggplants. They have a shiny skin and a firmer flesh with less bitter taste than regular eggplants. Their flavor is fairly mild, but like other eggplants, the flesh acts like a sponge and absorbs all the strong flavors of the sauce. Make the effort to find these eggplants at your local Indian supermarket; it’s worth the try!

Baghare Baingan Recipe with Picture


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Aloo Gobi Recipe Recipe

Aloo Gobi Recipe

04.29.10 by Jackie

Aloo gobi is an Indian vegetarian dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and Indian spices. I also added peas, tomatoes and the usual ginger garlic paste.

I think aloo gobi was the first Indian dish I ever cooked when I got married. It's very easy to assemble all the ingredients, making it a good introduction to Indian cooking. First, a paste is formed from the spices, and then the vegetables are cooked in the paste until soft. Even though children may not love cauliflower, it is actually a kid-friendly dish. I’ve found it’s a great way to get my little munchkin to eat her vegetables. I just reduce the number of chiles, and serve it with a warm roti (flat Indian bread). Today I made it for us big kids, so I served it with basmati rice.

If you’re looking to try your hand at Indian cuisine, this is a great place to start!


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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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