This past weekend I finally got to meet 4 of my blog buddies (Mireille, Nisha, Sandhya & Usha) that lived in the greater New York area. I invited them over to my house for lunch and we had so much fun chatting, eating and laughing. It was great to have foodies over because they took over the making of the naans when I had to attend to my 6 month old daughter. Big thanks to Valli for helping us make new friends and hugs to my new buddies, I hope we can do these type of things more frequently.
Here’s what I made for our lunch:
Appetizers: Aloo bajji Chaat & Sprouts in Puris with green chutney and khatta meeta chutney
Drinks: Strawberry and Peach Soda (recipe coming up soon)
Lunch or Dinner parties with Indian food theme usually involve a rice dish, one or more curries, Indian breads (naans, parathas, rotis etc) and a dessert. Today’s curry fits right into the gravy dishes that are perfect for parties. This is a variation to one of Hyderabad’s famous mirchi ka salan.
I have been watching quite a few Indian cooking shows in the past couple months and I have a notebook right next to me to jot down all the interesting recipes. I wish these channels have a website with the recipes, because it gets hard to follow the show and write the recipe all at the same time. This mixed veg salan was from one of the shows that I managed to write the recipe without the exact contents, of course.
Traditional mirchi ka salan is made with green chilies and the gravy has peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut. I used a mix of vegetables and skipped coconut. Also the original recipe called for deep frying all the veggies separately, but I shallow fried the veggies and then added them to the gravy. This dish can be served with a simple fried rice (bagara rice) or even rotis.
1Peppers- medium, chopped (I used half an orange & red peppers)
3chilies seedsLong green - slit in the middle and remove the and ribs
1 - 2tbspTamarindpaste
1tspchili powderRed (or more to taste)
For the Masala Gravy:
1Onion- medium, chopped
1tspGinger Garlic+ paste
Make the Masala: Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds and cashews separately until golden and nicely roasted. Saute onions in 1tsp oil until lightly browned around the edges. Then grind to a smooth paste adding little water. This masala can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
Make the Curry: Heat 3tbsp oil in a pan; saute the veggies (from potato to green chilies on the ingredient list) on medium-high flame either separately or all together for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until they start to change color. This step is only to crisp up the veggies and not completely cook them. Alternately you can deep fry them.
In a large pan, heat 2tbsp oil and add the nigella seeds. Once the seeds start to smell fragrant, add the ground paste, turmeric and cook on medium-low flame, stirring frequently until oil starts to leave the sides, about 8 minutes.
Next add the ground coriander and red chili powder. Cook for a minute.
Next add the sauteed veggies and salt. Add enough water to make the gravy of desired consistency. Bring the mixture to a boil , lower the heat and cook covered until the veggies are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Add the tamarind paste and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm with rice or roti.