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Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan / Curried chillies in a nutty sauce

We are so pleased to announce  that this recipe of Mirchi ka salan, a specialty from city of Nizams, Hyderabad has been mentioned on Wikipedia, and unfortunately we do not know who has referred it there, must be one of our valued reader. Getting a referral from Wikipedia is consider as a mark of authentication and ingenuity and for that we thank you all for loving it, for recommending it to others and we convey our thanks and gratitude to those who has helped us spread the love for food.

Mirchi ka salan

This recipe is a keeper for sure, over and over again I have made it, with same distinct and characteristic flavor. One more thing that I have discovered recently is that, the recipe that calls for curry leaves and the dish that has rich and complex flavor like this one, using a crushed and dried curry leaves in gravy can heighten the flavor many times.

With a tall list of ingredients and precise method, it looks very tedious but believe me it is worth every effort. Couple of days back, we once again enjoyed it with our guest and I took the opportunity to re shoot it once again.

Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan is a very well-known classic dish from the treasure of Hyderabad cuisines and is definitely not for the faint hearted 🙂 . It needs lots of time, patience and passion for cooking. This single dish alone defines the criterion for a passionate cook.
It was in the paradise circle where I have heard it first, Paradise circle – a place for shoppers and foodies alike, it houses restaurants that serve good Hyderabadi biryani (though not best) and Irani chai cafe, then there was Dadoo’s who used to sell best Bengali sweets and the nearby General market for shopping, all in one place.

mirchi salan

We had ordered the famous Hyderabadi biryani (they have another dish called Keema Biryani / keema rice which is very unique to Hyderabadi cuisine) and was looking for some accompaniments, when the waiter suggested this unusual dish called “mirchi ka salan“.  Salan is Hyderabadi lingo for curry or gravy based dishes. I was new then, gradually soaking the taste of Hyderabadi cuisine, pushing my limits to absorb the spiciness of Andhra chillies, but mirchi ka salan, no way. We had it with raita or dahi chutney as they use to call it, and later treat ourselves with khubani ka meetha.

Few months later one of my colleague, brought this mirchi ka salan in her lunch box, and persuaded me to taste it. With much reluctant I had it with dosa and I oh yes … I loved it !  Popular notion is that it will be too spicy and hot, but no..it was mildly spiced (yes mild and not hot). The chillies lends a mild heat to the peanut – coconut based gravy, with rich and complex flavor, I was sure it is going to be on my list of recipes. By that time I have developed a taste for Hyderabadi cuisine and if you ask me about the hottest dish I ever had – it was the Nellore fish curry from Fishland in Ameerpet .

Mirchi ka salan

Since then mirchi ka salan, and Hyderabadi baghara baingan (tempered eggplant), has become two of my favourite dish from Hyderabad and slowly with time I had learned to perfect the recipe, they way they used to prepare in Hyderabad. You can tone down the heat as per your tolerance level and in every case it is a win-win situation, sesame seed and peanut based nutty curries can not go wrong, they are an instant crowd pleaser.

Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan / Curried chillies in a nutty sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mirchi ka salan or curried chillies in a nutty sauce is one of the classic dish from Hyderabad and over the years it has become our family favourite too.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian (Hyderabadi)
Serves: 4
  • Green chillies : 250 g
Tempering the oil
  • Cumin seeds: 2½ tsp
  • Curry leaves : few
  • Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
  • Nigella seeds: ⅓ tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds: ⅛ tsp
Spice mix / Masala dry
  • Poppy seeds : 1 tbsp
  • White Sesame Seeds :2 tbsp
  • Groundnuts / peanuts : ½ cup
  • Freshly scraped Coconut : ¾ cup
  • Dry roasted Coriander seed : 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1½ tsp
  • Dried and crushed curry leaves : 1 tsp
Gravy / sauce
  • Vegetable oil : 2-3 tbsp
  • Onions – 2, large,
  • Ginger garlic paste:2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder– ½ tsp
  • Cilantro / coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Thick tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the green chillies (you will easily spot it in local market in South India), leave the stalk intact and pat them dry.
  2. Slit down the middle to top and discard the seeds with the help of a spoon. These tiny seeds of chillies are real cause of the spiciness.
  3. Since this recipe consumes lots of time, so try to do some time management.
  4. Heat a tawa or griddle and dry roast the scraped coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, peanuts, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, all separately.
  5. While this is going on, heat another pan and roast the sliced onions till they turn brown. Add a pinch of salt to quicken the process of browning.
  6. Grind the roasted coconut, sesame, poppy seeds, peanuts, coriander seeds and cumin seeds all separately in a small masala grinder / mixer. Keep it aside.
  7. Grind the roasted onions (remember to cool it before putting in a mixer) to a fine and smooth puree.
  8. Now heat some oil in a pan up to smoking hot and add the chillies carefully. As soon as the chillies comes in contact with hot oil, blister will form on its surface.
  9. Lightly toss the chillies in hot oil and with the help of a slotted spoon, take them out and drain on a tissue paper.
  10. To the same oil add the spices meant for tempering and let them splutter for few seconds.
  11. Add the pureed onion and mix it well, so that the roasted onion can absorb the flavour of spices.
  12. Fry for some time on a low heat and add next the ginger garlic paste. Let it fry for couple of minute.
  13. Next add the coconut paste, freshly ground sesame powder, poppy-seed powder, peanut and stir fry for few more minutes until the oil separates out.
  14. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Stir fry it for few more minute until the rawness of peanut and coconut disappear.
  15. Add the cumin, dried curry leaves and coriander powder and mix well.
  16. Add around 3 cups of water and the diluted tamarind pulp. Mix thoroughly, gently add the tossed green chillies to it , stir it and cover, simmer it for 20 minutes till done.
  17. At the end chillies should be soft, intact and well absorbed in the creamy masala gravy.
  18. Serve the hot mirchi ka salan with Hyderabadi biryani, the best accompaniment it can get.
  19. Nevertheless it taste good with steamed rice or plain roti / paratha.


Verdict: Mirch ka salan was simply fabulous. The soft and luxuriant textured chillies soaked in the creamy and mildly spiced sesame-coconut-peanut gravy with a hint of sweet and tangy tamarind will definitely entice you.

Small change  in the recipe – Use dried and crushed curry leaves in the gravy to heighten the flavor.

Enjoy the weekend


  • Reply
    Priya Mahadevan
    March 12, 2011 at 12:58 am

    WOW! That looks like a tongue-tickler – Delicious!!!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Omg, lipsmacking mirchi ka salan truly tempting!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2011 at 6:41 am

    This recipe has been sitting in my draft for ages now..thanks for the reminder 🙂
    I love this very much n your version sounds YUM!

    US Masala

  • Reply
    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal
    March 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Looks awesome dear. I always wanted to make it as I only tasted it once. I will surely give it a try. I have few recipes bookmarked 🙂

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    March 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I like this! Looks really good. I absolutely love Indian food and spicy dishes. This is going on my list. Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. You have a very interesting site here, will return to visit you again. Have a lovely weekend.

  • Reply
    Malar Gandhi
    March 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Perfect with ghi pilav…love hyderabadi dish so much

  • Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I am so glad you enjoyed my recipe. One of my favorite curries along with Rumali roti, or Biryani.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

    A wonderful recipe this one S! Spicy and just the way I like it. 😀

  • Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow,this sounds amazing,I love this chilli,so sure it would taste great too!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Wow looks spicy and delicious mirch ka salan.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2011 at 8:00 am

    spice spice .. i love spice .. can’t get enough of those spice !!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

    thanks everyone for your beautiful words, your feedbacks meant a lot to me

  • Reply
    megha agrawal
    July 9, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Hii this is megha .we are looking for good chef who can participate for our show food food maha challenge muqabla.This show will be telecast on food food channel.The show is bout the competition between male and female cook and madhuri dixit willl be representing the female cook and sanjeev kapoor will represent the male cook.The judge of the show is MR SANJEEV KAPOOR . If any one is interested you can call on 02242769017 between 11 am to 6 pm.
    The auditions date are 8th july mumbai
    10th july nagpur
    14th july delhi
    17th july kolkata
    20th july hyderabad.

    • Reply
      July 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

      wow this is really exciting, but unfortunately am staying now in USA. but am sure my readers and blogger freinds from India will sure lap it up.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 12:46 am

    This is a wonderful looking dish. Not sure I would have the courage to try it myself though, I am a noted wimp when it comes to chillies 🙂 You’ve described it so beautifully, that I can almost taste the dish myself.

    Thank you so much for linking to Sweet Heat Chilli Challenge, I can’t imagine a more apt dish for the challenge.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe! It’s well worth the effort and care it takes to make it. I like to make it with “finger hots”.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Thank you so much Kay for your views on our most treasured recipe of ” Mirch ka salan” It indeed takes lots of time but once it is done it will be fingerlicking goodness, and your idea of making it finger hot sounds “devilish”, we would love to try that ! 😀

  • Reply
    Kitchen Queen
    April 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

    i just love this dish. going to make it soon.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Hello friend, it has been months since I left my original comment and I just wanted you to know that I still make and love this dish very much, so, thank you again! You deserve the honor of the Wikipedia mention for sure. It is such a yummy dish and as you say, well-spiced but not hot. A true Dhanyavad to you for taking the time to photograph, describe and clearly instruct this dish so we can enjoy this tasty treat.

    • Reply
      June 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you so much for those kind words of appreciation. Some recipes are tried and tested, and liked by many, guess this happens with this too. And above all, you take time to test it in your kitchen, then come back and leave your feedbacks here. what else a food blogger needs ? These will inspire to regain our faith, if ever we loses it. Your note has made my day ! Thanks once again.

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