Bagara Baigan or Mirchi-ka-salan. Mirchi means chillies, Salan is Curry or sauce. In Hyderabad, India., My Mom Makes Mirchi ka salan using the same green chillies that we use for making the Mirchi bajji ( Stuffed green chilli fritters). I found it really difficult to find the right kind of Mirchi ( green chillies) here in Toronto. I was totally lost with various kinds of Green peppers /chillies available. Initially, I did not even understand what heat level exists in each variety of chillies.
Here is a funny anecdote I would like to share with you.... My mom makes capsicum curry in India. I missed it so much and wanted to try it here in Toronto. I totally mistook Scotch bonnet peppers( extreme hot peppers) to be mini capsicums. They appeared colourful, cute and little and I was tempted to make the curry to go with roti. Guess what?? I literally burned my tongue with a single morsel.... :)) Eventually, I learned about each kind of peppers/ chillies available in the market, and their heat intensity.
Green chillies are so hot and I used to wonder how they make it without the heat quotient dominating in it. I realised soaking the green chillies reduces the heat and also adding the tamarind and Jaggery balances the heat perfectly, making it hot, sweet and tangy flavoured sauce.
Here for this recipe, I picked Banana peppers.
Big size Green chillies - 1 lb,
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Onions - 1 chopped
Red chillies - 3
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
Dry Coconut or coconut pwd - 2tbsp
Cashews - 6
Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1tsp for making powder,
1/2 tsp for seasoning
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala whole -1 tbsp,( Mix of cloves, shahi jeera, cardamom, cinnamon , bay leaf, etc)
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - lemon size soaked and pulp squeezed out
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Asofeotida - a pinch
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp( adjust accordingly)
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 tbsp
1.Slit the green chillies in the middle and take out as much seeds as possible and soak in the salted buttermilk for atleast 1 hr., This method reduces the heat in green chillies. Keep the stem and the crown intact. It depends on what kind of peppers you are using. Banana peppers don't have lot of seeds in it , except at the stem. It has less heat. I just chopped them without the slit in the middle.
2. Soak the tamarind and squeeze out the pulp. keep it aside.
3. Dry roast sesame seeds, peanuts, cashews and coconut. Blend it and make a paste adding water. Keep it aside.
4. Dry roast cumin and fenugreek seeds and make a powder.
Heat a pan, Pour oil and add mustard, jeera, and whole garam masala spices, red chillies and curry leaves one after the other. Add onions fry till turn slightly brown . Add Asofeotida and mix.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry. Now add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder , fenugreek pwd, jaggery and red chilli powder and mix well.
Add the soaked green chillies and fry for 2 mins. or until it is half cooked.
Add the tamarind juice and allow it to cook for another 2 mins. Add the masala paste and mix it well.(Once you add the paste, It is most likely to burn at this point, a constant check is required) keep stirring, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10- 15 mins or until the oil starts to float.
Garnish and serve with pulav, Biryani and Vegetarian dishes.
Tip: Wear the gloves while slitting the green chillies.