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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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Khatta Recipe: Indian Sesame and Tamarind Sauce Recipe

Khatta is an Indian condiment that is generally served as an accompaniment to khichdi (coral lentil basmati rice). Unlike raita (Indian yogurt sauce) or chutneys, khatta has a thin consistency. Toasted sesame seeds are ground into a thick paste (tahini) and mixed with green chiles and tamarind. The sauce is then diluted with water and mixed with thinly sliced onions. The finishing touch is the usual top layer of baghar, which consists of fried garlic, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dried chiles.

The recipe was provided by Lulu's aunt, Sheerin Auntie, who is an amazing, gifted cook. Love is the most important ingredient that is required in any dish, and she has it in boundless quantities. She has agreed to teach me several Indian dishes that I've been wanting to learn, and of course, I'll share them with you once I know them well. Thank you, Sheerin Auntie for teaching me so many valuable lessons, culinary and otherwise.


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Aloo Gobi Recipe with Purple Cauliflower and Potatoes Recipe

Aloo gobi is an Indian vegetarian dish made with potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi). I gave a little twist to the dish by using purple cauliflower and Peruvian purples, which are Fingerling-sized, purple-tinted potatoes. Except for these changes, the recipe remains the same.

The lilac color from the cauliflower slightly fades once it's cooked, but it's still a great addition of color to the Indian dish. It stokes curiosity and brings a new experience to the dinner table. I've made the same recipe using orange cauliflower and sweet potatoes in the past, and it also worked quite well.

Now, I'm off to test carrot purée using Okinawan sweet potatoes and purple carrots. I’ve been having way too much fun with this!


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Harissa Recipe Provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti Recipe

This recipe was provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti. To learn more about the life of a chef in Vegas, check out his interview (click on the link to view):

"Here's a recipe of one of my favorite accompaniments when I'm eating Mediterranean food. This is a recipe I learned when I was in school (Culinary Institute of America, New York) and I've held onto it ever since. Hope you try it out and enjoy it as well.

Harissa, a spicy red chili paste, popular throughout the Maghreb, was created long after Islam occupied the Iberian Peninsula. Not until the 16th century and well after the discovery of the New World, did the rest of the Mediterranean accept the pepper as an edible and flavorful ingredient."


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How to Make Mirchi Bhaji (Mirchi Pakora Recipe) Recipe

My father-in-law really loves spicy food, so I thought I would surprise him with stuffed mirchi pakora, which are whole green chile fritters. Before getting started, I had to estimate the level of spiciness of the chiles. It turned out the green chiles we bought from the Indian market this week were painfully spicy. So I made an incision in each chile and removed all the seeds.

The preparation method I learned from Lulu’s grandmother involves stuffing the chiles with tamarind paste, then dipping them in (besan) chickpea batter before deep-frying them until golden brown.

I have to admit I didn't try any, but in my defense, even Lulu, Daddy and the girls found the peppers really spicy. Don’t get me wrong; they really enjoyed them even though the girls ended up chugging milk to help offset the spiciness. I’m just saying, you’ve been warned!


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