Mirchi – is basically a chilli. Traditionally, green Indian chillies are used.
But here we are going to replace the traditional Green Chillies with Poblano Peppers. Why?
Because, why not? If you have tried ever Chilli Relleno, you will have tasted the goodness of this massive chilli – without the spice and all the great taste it has to offer. So, why not make a mirchi ka salan featuring this awesome pepper?
Quick Recap: We need roasted peanuts (about a cup), sesame seeds (about half a cup) and freshly grated coconut or dried coconut powder (about a third of a cup) – and we need to dry roast these
We need to chop up a couple of small onions, a few (depending on how spicy you want this) green chillies – serrano/thai/indian whatever. I chose Jalapeno peppers, but took out the really spicy parts, plus a table spoon or so of ginger garlic paste, some garam masala, turmeric and a bit of red chilli powder. Heat up some oil and add the onions and green chillies, then add the rest of the items and cook till the onions are glassy and almost brown.
– Then throw this (after it cools down a bit) and the toasted stuff from Step 1 into in blender and blend it well – you will need to add some water so its smooth enough.
Heat up some more oil, and roast whatever main chillies you chose. Here we had poblano which were very long, so I cut them up and let them sear in the hot oil, we want them to be semi cooked – but well seared.
Here is where it all comes together…
Heat up some more oil (always about a table spoon worth – I prefer coconut oil) – add some tadka or tempering as people call it – basically this is the spirit of all Indian cooking – in the hot oil add some mustard and cumin seeds and when they start popping, add some fresh curry leaves (if you have them) or continue with the rest of the ingredients.
Here we are going to add the blended peanut/sesame sauce and a bit of water (unless you had to add some to blend it smoothly) and let it cook. We want this to sort of thicken, and as it is, add the seared poblano peppers in here and mix well, taking care not to break up the peppers.
The secret ingredient here is the tamarind. This adds an exquisite tanginess to the whole mixture and is the secret superstar of the final dish. (You can get a ready made concentrate, or seedless tamarind pack – which you will need to mix in hot water ahead of time so it mixes well with the curry – or use what I did – a premade tamarind homemade sauce for just this type of shenanigans)
Cover and let cook stirring occasionally. Once the poblano peppers cook well (they will become softer – they are already good to go when you add them – but depending on how you like them) as long as the peanut/sesame sauce has reduce somewhat and has spent some time bubbling up, we should be good to serve.
This dish is traditionally served as a side with a biryani, but that’s too much work for today 🙂
You can serve this with hot white or brown rice, or with tortillas, chappathis, tandoori roti, paratha or some naan bread.
MMM, MMM good. Try it out and let us know.