Mirchi Ka salan (Banana peppers in a peanut gravy)

One of my friends came back from India last week and when we were talking about Indian food and restaurants she mentioned a dish called “ mirchi ka salan”. This is a specialty from Hyderabad, a city known for its rich choice of spices and the slow method of cooking. This dish is usually prepared as a side for the famous hyderabadi biriyani. This is a little unusual because the gravy is peanut based as opposed to the regular onion tomato gravy. So when my friend found some lovely banana peppers at a store, she got them for me and wanted me to try this dish. When I started looking for recipes on the internet it was a little overwhelming because there were hundreds of recipes with lovely pictures. But I found a recipe by chef  Harpal singh Sokhi the most appealing. So last night I went ahead and tried this one out and I think it came out quite well.

Here is the recipe for Mirchi ka salan. The traditional recipe calls for Jalapeno peppers but I used banana peppers instead and I have modified the original recipe to make it a little easier.


1.Onion – 1 large (finely chopped)

2.Banana peppers – 4 3.Garlic – 3 pods

4.Ginger – I inch square

5.Green chili- 4-5

6.Tamarind concentrate – 2-3 tsp

7. Garlic 2-3 cloves

To grind:

1.Peanuts – ½ cup

2.Grated Coconut  – ½ cup

3.Sesame seeds- 2 tsp

Other spices:

1.Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

2.Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

3.Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

4.Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

5.Curry leaves

6.Cumin powder-1tsp

7.Corriander powder- 1tsp

8.Chili powder- ½ tsp

9.Salt to taste

Paste 1: Dry roast peanuts, grated coconut and sesame seeds. Then add a cup of water and grind it smoothly to make a paste.

Paste 2: Grind ginger, garlic and green chili together to make a smooth paste.

1.Saute the peppers in a pan with 2 tsps of oil. Don’t let the peppers get roasted too much.

2.In a sauté pan add 3 tsps of oil. After the oil turns hot add mustard seeds, fenugreek, cumin and fennel seeds. Cook it till the mustard seeds start splattering. Once that’s done add curry leaves and add paste 2 (ginger, garlic and green chili paste).

3.Cook it for a minute and add chopped onion and sauté it till the onion turns golden brown. Then add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt.

4.Add 3 tsps of tamarind concentrate (if its homemade tamarind paste which is not so concentrated then you can add a little more) and cook it for another 5 minutes.

5.Add paste 1 (peanut, coconut and sesame) and cook it for another 5 minutes. Now add 2-3 cups of water and cook it for a few minutes.

6.Add banana peppers to the gravy and cook it for 15 minutes (low flame) just to let the gravy thicken.

It goes well with biriyani or plain rice!


11 Comments Add yours

  1. viji says:

    looks yummmm….I am thinking of trying this minus the peanuts…Anurag has peanuts and milk allergy…so we dont have peanuts or milk products at home…any idea what can i substitute instead of peanuts…i have made bagara bengan…looks like the same ingredients…

  2. Hi Viji, is he allergic to just peanuts or is it a general tree nut allergy? If just peanut allergy then you could try cashewnut as a substitute.But considering he is allergic to peanuts and milk you could try soynut.I have never cooked any Indian dish with soynut but i know that people who have lactose intolerance use it and its recommended for people who with peanut allergies.You could try that.
    Or the safest thing would be to just take out the peanuts and make it with just coconut and sesame seeds 🙂

  3. Veggie Belly says:

    I love the thick rich gravy here. I think ive had an eggplant version of this.

  4. AZAB says:

    just to let you know…garlic is missing in the list of ingredients.

    1. AZAB says:

      And also I noticed that there are both Cumin powder+coriander powder and cumin seeds+coriander seeds in the list .But in the recipe you use only seeds.Please clarify this…thx

      1. I don’t think there is coriander seeds in the recipe. And i add cumin powder to the the onion that I saute in a pan.Hope this clarifies it!

    2. Thanks for pointing that out. i added garlic to the list of ingredients.

  5. Krithika says:

    Hey surabi,
    I made this last week and it came out very well. Husband and son had second helpings 🙂

    1. Thanks Krithika, So glad everyone liked it :)yayyy

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  7. Neena goenka says:

    Tried the salan , turned out really delicious. Was a perfect recipe. Looking for authentic punjabi chole recipe

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