Beyond Curry: Mirchi Salan (Curried Jalapeño Peppers)
The combination of peanuts and green capsicum (a.k.a. jalapeños) is quite popular in Indian cuisine. Mirchi Salan, where mirchi means chilli pepper and salan roughly translates to gravy, is a popular dish in Hyderabadi homes. If you can't take the heat of the jalapeños, you could replace them with bell peppers.
There are many big flavors in this dish. And the peanuts lend a nice balance to the heat and roasted spices.
When I first tasted Mirchi Salan, it was as a side to a biryani that my friend had made. Like most Indians, she obsessed about the fact that one of her guests might be one of the 'curry drenchers' who needs to have gravy even with a biryani that's moist enough with all the masalas. I ended up eating embarrassing amounts of it. And taking the recipe home to make it the next day as well.
So, if a bunch of fresh green jalapeños are staring at you at a market, grab them quick and try out this recipe. You'll be giving the jalapeños and yourself a huge treat.
About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her newly-married husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.