Do you why cultures living some of the hottest places eat spicy food? Think; Mexico, Thailand, India, Caribbean, Africa. There is a reason to this. Eating spicy hot food and chillies raises body temperature, in return helps you sweat and cools the body down. Other reasons chillies grow best in hot climates, again India, Mexico, Thailand, the Caribbean so people eat what grows locally.
On the contrary eating and drinking cold food and drinks cools the body. However the effects don’t last that long. That’s because cold foods and drinks cools down the parts of your body that it is in contact with, mouth digestive tract, the body transfers heat back to these areas to offset the difference in temperature, ultimately over compensating. So you are back to feeling warm again.
This hot spicy curry called Mirchi Ka Salan finds its roots in India’s south eastern state of Telangana. Food from this region is one of the hottest and spiciest you will find in India. Traditionally it’s served with the famed Hyderabadi Biryani, in my opinion it’s delicious enough to stand on its own. I have tempered down the heat a few notches to make it a pleasant experience, yet keeps all the delicious flavors. Use any chillies or green peppers to your heat tolerance and availability. I found Japanese shishito peppers works really well. Serve it with plain rice or biryani.
- 200 grams Shishito peppers or any peppers you like
- 2 tablespoons any neutral oil
- 1 medium onion grated
- 1-400 ml can organic light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon cashews, soaked and ground to a paste , use peanuts for an authentic taste, I don’t use due to allergies
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Coriander ground seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin seeds
- 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot chili powder
- 1 inch piece Ginger minced
- 3-4 cloves Garlic roughly minced
- 3-4 tomatoes puréed about 11/2 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Tamarind pulp dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
Salt to taste
In a large sauce pot. Warm 1 tablespoon oil and add the peppers whole. Cook on high heat till they start to blister and pop. Cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer and keep warm.
In the same pot warm oil and add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes till slightly golden. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and sauté for a minute.
Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and tomato purée. Sauté and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Now add coconut milk, tahini, tamarind and cashew paste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes till everything comes together. Add water as needed. Finally add the chillies and take it off the heat. Serve with rice or any carbs you like.