Shimla Mircha ka Salan: Bell Peppers in Spicy Peanut Gravy

When I hear "salan" I relate it to mirchi, biryani, and Hyderabad.  'Salan' means gravy and is popular in Hyderabad.  It is mostly made in three ways: with shimla mirch (bell pepper), with chili peppers (long chilies), or as a plain spicy gravy which is a superb accompaniment to biryani.  What I'm sharing here today is the one with bell peppers: Shimla Mirch ka Salan - bell peppers in a spicy peanut gravy.

I like to make my Salan spicy, a mild Salan is no fun.  Here's how to make one -

Shimla Mirch ka Salan Recipe
Serves 2

1 tsp + 1 tsp oil
1 cup bell pepper (capsicum), diced [shimla mirch]
¼ tsp mustard seeds [rai]
¼ tsp cumin seeds [jeera]
A pinch asafetida [heeng]
½ tsp green chilies, finely chopped or paste [hari mirch]
¼ tsp turmeric powder [haldi]
½ tsp red chili powder [lal mirch powder]
½ tsp coriander seed powder [dhaniya powder]
½ tsp cumin seed powder [jeera powder]
1 Tbsp sesame seed powder [tilli powder]
1 Tbsp peanut powder [moongfalli powder]
1 Tbsp grated or desiccated coconut [nariyal powder]
1 Tbsp tamarind paste [imli paste]
¼ tsp salt or to taste
Cilantro to garnish

1. In a medium pan on medium heat add 1 tsp oil.  When hot, add diced bell pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes until cooks well, begins to get tender, and color slightly changes.  Lightly drain the oil in same pan and move the bell pepper pieces onto one side of the pan. (or you can remove onto another plate but just move on the side if you want one less plate to rinse)

2. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil in the other side of pan, once hot, add mustard seeds, let pop (cover pan for protection from the pops), add cumin seeds, let sizzle, add all the spices: asafetida + turmeric powder + red chili powder + coriander powder + cumin powder, mix.  Add all the powders: sesame powder + peanut powder + coconut powder, mix.  Add tamarind paste + salt and mix everything well along with the bell peppers on the side.

3. Add ¾ cup water, cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes until bell peppers are tender and the gravy is thicker, or to your desired consistency.  Cook longer if required.  Taste to adjust spice and salt, switch off heat, cover and let the flavors infuse for 10 minutes.  You could eat it right away, but I have noticed that whenever I left the salan covered for some time, it helped impart flavor and tasted better.

If I don’t have tamarind paste or don’t have time to soak tamarind, I add the readymade tamarind-date chutney instead – completely works.  I usually keep some roasted peanuts, roasted peanut powder and some roasted sesame powder in my pantry, and a packet of desiccated coconut in refrigerator - that makes it easiest to make this salan in a jiffy than grinding the powders fresh.

Relish your Shimla Mirch ka Salan with roti or rice.

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  1. What other vegetable could I use instead of the capsicum, but using same gravy.. thanks..

    I enjoy your posts so much... And I like that you keep the Fun in them...

    1. Potato or small brinjal (eggplant) would work instead of capsicum.
      Thanks for reading! :)

  2. Hi Nisha,

    First of all ...Welcome to motherhood
    Hope you are enjoying your special moments...All my good wishes and prayers are with you and two lil angles. They are super cute.

    It is always so much fun reading your posts. Your recipes are amazing especially the way you present them. I love it.

    Above Salan looks so delicious in the presentation itself that simply can't resist to try it out.

    Thanks sweetheart !

    Keep up the fun and Relish the delicious delights


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