Mirchi ka Salan is a flagship dish from the Southern Indian city of Hyderabad. In colonial days Hyderabad was a princely state ruled by the Nizam and the culinary culture there represented a beautiful fusion of regal Moslem traditions from the north and the light yet fiery spices & ingredients from the south. The dish traditionally consists of pan seared (almost blistered) hot peppers in a sesame peanut gravy. Upon taking a bite of this, the initial soothing & smooth taste of the seasoned peanut & sesame gravy is 'ear splitting-ly' interrupted by the bite from the smoky green chili, a shot of pain so delicious, it keeps you coming back for more.
My interpretation of this dish calls for stuffing roasted Poblano peppers (not a chili pepper used in India as yet) with a mix of seasoned Paneer & Israeli Feta cheese and cooking it in a a peanut & sesame gravy. —Panfusine
stuffed poblano peppers
Crumbled Feta cheese
paprika or cayenne powder
dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
white sesame seeds
Tamarind pulp or pomegranate molasses
grated frozen fresh coconut
Large vidalia onion cut into pieces
fresh ginger root, minced
Finely chopped Cilantro for garnishing
Grill the poblano peppers directly over the flame on the stove top. When the skin is blistered and blackened, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside. When cool, rub off the charred skin off the peppers. (use gloves if your fingers are sensitive to capsaicin). Make a slit and carefully scoop out the seeds from the cavity & discard.
Combine the feta, paneer & the cayenne/paprika. Carefully stuff this filling into the cavity in the roasted poblano peppers. place the peppers into a rectangular ceramic baking dish.
Ina hot skillet, toast the cumin & sesame seeds till they turn a golden brown color, remove from heat, combine with the peanuts, arbol chile, tamarind/pomegranate molasses and coconut and grind to a paste. Set aside. Clean out the blender jar with a cup of water and add to the paste.
In the same blender jar add the onion, ginger & garlic & blend into a smooth paste. heat the ghee in a skillet and add the onion paste & fry on medium/low heat till the paste turns a light brown.
Add the sesame/peanut blend to the onion paste, add salt & turmeric and simmer on medium heat till the gravy for 10 minutes.
Pour the gravy over the stuffed poblano peppers, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (with holes pierced through for the steam to escape). Place in a 300 F oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Naan, Biryani or plain Basmati rice.