Thursday, September 17, 2020

Shishito Pepper Salan

A curry made using nuts and spices; this Shishito Pepper Salan is a delicious take on Hyderabadi Mirchi ka Salan. It is an easy and great side for roti, rice or biryani! 


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What is Salan?


A Hyderabadi side for biryani or to serve with roti or rice; Salan is a delicious recipe that is easy to make. 

This salan is often served with blistered chillies (Mirchi ka Salan) in it or without. This peanut coconut based sauce is a great side for the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. 

Every time I get the Vegetarian Dum Biryani from the Indian restaurant I get a small container of salan with it. The salan is always the sought after sauce at home! 

So making a BIG batch at home is a great idea. Serving this with home made biryani makes a GREAT dinner for sure! 

What all you need to make this Salan?


This Mirchi ka Salan needs a handful of ingredients. It has three parts; the masala, peppers and the gravy ingredients. 

The masala is made using peanuts, coconut, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, kalonji, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. 

These ingredients are ground together to make a super flavorful masala. The masala is the heart of the salan and is nutty, earthy and super delicious.

The peppers used for this recipe can vary from the spicy jalapeños and Indian chillies to the mild banana peppers, shishito peppers or green peppers (capsicums).

Make sure these are slit and blistered before adding to the curry. Deseeding them before frying is an option too. 

The gravy needs ginger, garlic, chilli, onions and yogurt. These ingredients are cooked till they are completely soft and give the gravy a great taste and flavor.  


Why make this with Shishito peppers?


The peppers that are used in this recipe vary based on preference. 

Most people like to use SPICY chillies in their Mirchi ka Salan. However, we like to use the milder version of chillies for the recipe. 

Shishito peppers are available around this time of the year. They are mild spicy but super flavorful. 

They are great to blister and serve with some salt and pepper or use it in recipes that need mild peppers. 

If you like spicy chillies, replace these by the spicy ones. The resultant curry will be spicy for sure. 

What to serve this with?


This recipe makes a gravy and uses it to make a curry with peppers. 

The same gravy can be used without any peppers to serve with Vegtarian Dum biryani. This salan does not generally have any additions. 

Okra salan is another popular curry served with roti or rice. To make this fried okra is added to the curry and served. 

The dish looks super to serve for any party. The peppers on a bright yellow sauce is a favorite side for all kinds of rice dishes! 


My favorites to serve this with are:


Steps


In a pan add all the ingredients for the masala. Dry roast till the coconut is fragrant. 


Turn down the flame and let the ingredients cool completely. 

Grind to a smooth paste using a few teaspoons of water as needed. Set aside. 


Wash and dry the peppers. Make one or two slits in them.  



To blister the peppers; heat oil in the pan. Once hot, add the peppers and let the skin blister. 

Turn them over and let the other sides brown too. Remove and set aside. 


In the same pan add the remaining oil. Heat it.

Once hot, add cumin seeds. Once they pop, add ginger, garlic, green chili and onions. 

Cook on medium flame till the onions are completely soft. 


Add the masala purée and cook for another minute. 

Then add red chili powder, salt and turmeric powder. 


Mix well and add 1.5 cups water. 

Simmer till the gravy boils and the oil floats to the side. 

Add whipped yogurt, mix well. 



Simmer for another minute or so. Add the blistered peppers and cook covered for 5 minutes.



Serve topped with cilantro. The salan is best served with biryani, roti or steamed rice. 


Ingredients

For the Masala

Peanuts 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds 3/4 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tbsp
Coriander Seeds 1/2 tbsp
Methi/ Fenugreek 4-5 seeds

For the Peppers

Oil 2 tbsp

For the Gravy

Onion 1 medium, diced fine
Ginger 1/2 inch piece, grated
Garlic 2 cloves, grated
Green Chili 1, grated
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp

Method


In a pan add all the ingredients for the masala. Dry roast till the coconut is fragrant. 

Turn down the flame and let the ingredients cool completely. 

Grind to a smooth paste using a few teaspoons of water as needed. Set aside. 

Wash and dry the peppers. Make one or two slits in them.  

To blister the peppers; heat oil in the pan. Once hot, add the peppers and let the skin blister. 

Turn them over and let the other sides brown too. Remove and set aside. 

In the same pan add the remaining oil. Heat it.

Once hot, add cumin seeds. Once they pop, add ginger, garlic, green chili and onions. 

Cook on medium flame till the onions are completely soft. 

Add the crushed masala and cook for another minute. 

Then add red chili powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and add 1.5 cups water. 

Simmer till the gravy boils and the oil floats to the side. 

Add whipped yogurt, mix well and simmer for another minute or so. Add the blistered peppers and cook covered for 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro. The salan is best served with biryani, roti or steamed rice




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Friday, September 11, 2020

Raw Papaya Chutney (Sambharo)

A crunchy chutney made using unripe papayas; this raw papaya sambharo is spicy, sweet and salty. It makes a great side for Fafda, Thepla, Khandvi and Khaman.




Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

If you have had farsans like khaman, khandvi, patra, fafda from a Gujarati store in India, you would have probably tried this papaya sambharo with it. 

Some stores in Mumbai specialize in it and the sambharo is SO good that they run out of it in a few hours. 

What is Sambharo?


Sambharo is a Gujarati term that refers to a side that is crunchy, can be made quickly and super versatile.

These are generally made from sliced or grated vegetables and it is somewhere between completely raw and well cooked. It has the crunch of the vegetables and tastes great as a salad too.

The popular vegetables to make sambharo are carrots, cabbage, ridge gourd skin and of course raw papaya. 

A super popular dish served at Gujarati weddings; there are several ways to make and serve sambharo.



What all do you need to make this?


This recipe of raw papaya sambharo is super easy to make. Once you have the raw papaya, the other ingredients are essentially just spices. 

Papaya: Pick a papaya that is green in color and super firm. These papayas are easy to grate, taste amazing and do not fall apart while cooking. 

Chickpea Flour: In order to bind the strands of papaya; besan or chickpea flour is used. It gives the chutney a great texture and taste. 

Green chili: The spice in this chutney comes from green chilis. I like to add a couple Thai chillis for spice and mild ones to chew. 

Adjust the number of hot and mild chilis based on your taste preference. 

Spices: The spices used here are turmeric powder, salt, sugar and lime juice. 

A characteristic of Gujarati cuisine is a hint of sugar in several recipes. I would strongly recommend not skipping that. 

Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, asafetida and curry leaves are used for flavor. If you do not have any of these, skip them. The taste will not be altered significantly.

You will need a mandoline to grate the papaya. This one is my favorite in the kitchen. 

Once you have the ingredients; the recipe comes together in under 15 minutes! 



What to serve this with?


This sambharo is BEST served with fafda gathiya and jalebi. 

It can also be served with snacks like khaman and khandvi. It is a great side with roti too in a Gujarati thali. 

A similar recipe using raw papaya is the Bengali plastic chutney. Made using sugar and lime juice, this sambharo is the salty version of it. 


Variations


A couple of popular snack stores in Mumbai serve this with fafda. However, they slice the papaya super thin instead of grating. While the shape is different; the taste does not change. 

If you like fried chilli, the chili can be fried separately and added to the papaya.  

Another type of sambharo is made without cooking the papaya. To make this, just add salt, sugar, lime juice and grated green chili to grated papaya. Mix well and serve. 

It is often said that halwai add leftover khaman to make this sambharo. While there is no evidence to prove this, it can definitely be done. 

As khaman is already cooked, it does not need to be cooked further. Just add it after the papaya is translucent, mix and serve. 




Ingredients



1 medium Raw Papaya (2 cups grated)
Thai Green Chili 1-2 
Mild Indian Chili 3-4 
Chickpea Flour/ Besan 4 tbsp 
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafetida a pinch
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves 5-6
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Lime Juice 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Cilantro to top


Method



Wash, peel and deseed the papaya. Grate it using a thick blade. Set aside. 

In a pan heat the oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add asafetida, cumin seeds, green chillis and curry leaves.

Once the cumin seeds pop, add the papaya. Mix well. 

Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. 

Once the papaya becomes slightly translucent add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and mix well. 

Then add the chickpea flour and mix it into the papaya. Add 2-3 tbsp water if the chickpea flour sticks and does not distribute well. 

Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The papaya should be translucent by now. 

Turn down the flame, add lemon juice and cilantro. Mix and serve with fafda gathiya and jalebi.