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.
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- Yield:serves 2
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:35 minutes
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 6 jalapeño peppers split lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
- 1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon toasted and ground black mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted and ground fenugreek seed
- 2 tablespoons toasted and ground peanuts
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted and ground sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 6 medium cloves minced garlic (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2-inch piece of ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut flesh
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup water
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed lidded saucepan until shimmering. Slide in the peppers and fry until skin is lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Do not wipe out saucepan.
Combine cumin, mustard, fenugreek, peanuts, sesame seeds, chili powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, tamarind, and coconut flesh in a small bowl.
Return pan to medium heat and add remaining oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the curry leaves and stir as they splutter, immediately add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spice paste and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant and oil separates from the spice paste, about 12 minutes.
Add water, salt and sugar to the mix. Stir and close the lid. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and allow to cook without the lid for another 5 minutes until the flavor of the gravy infuses into the peppers. Serve hot with any Indian meal.