mirchi ka salan

Mirchi Ka Salan (Biryani Salan)

By Swasthi on November 20, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Mirchi Ka Salan – Creamy, nutty, spicy with a bit of tang is how one would describe Mirchi Ka Salan, a culinary delicacy from Hyderabadi Cuisine. Also known as Biryani Salan or simply Salan, it is made with green chilies (Bhavnagri chilies), peanuts, sesame seeds, dried coconut, aromatic spices and tamarind. Salan perfectly complements the Hyderabadi Biryani or any Biryani for that matter. If kothu & Malabar parotta have their salna, then Hyderabadi dum biryani always has Bagara baingan or Mirchi ka Salan.


Mirchi ka salan

Yes, this is one of the delicious sides you’ll find served with mutton biryani in restaurants across Hyderabad and Telangana.

If you are looking for sides other than Raita and Dal Tadka to serve with your Vegetable Biryani, Mirchi ka salan makes a tasty and satisfying swap that adds a punch to your biryani and Pulao. An easy to make recipe that you can also enjoy with flavored rice dishes or flatbreads like paratha, naan or rotis.

About Salan

Salan is a spicy, nutty, tangy and aromatic Hyderabadi side dish served with biryani. The base of the curry is made with peanuts, sesame seeds, dried coconut, tamarind and spices. There are numerous varieties of salan made with eggplants, tomatoes, large green chilies etc.

What is Mirchi Ka Salan?

Mirchi ka salan is an Urdu term where ‘Mirchi’ means ‘Chilies’ and ‘Salan’ is nothing but a ‘Curry’. Mirchi ka salan is a biryani side dish where green chilies are simmered in a hot spicy and tangy curry.

Hyderabadi cuisine like Mughlai has a lot of ace dishes in its culinary treasure trove. Mirchi ka salan is as Hyderabadi as it gets. A traditional recipe usually served during festival like Eid, weddings and other celebrations, it has now been popularized by eateries serving Telangana cuisines.

What makes this chili curry unique?

This isn’t the first Indian dish to feature chilies as the main ingredient. The combination of peanuts, tamarind and sesame with chilies makes it a stand out recipe. These 3 ingredients together with tamarind tone down the heat of green chilies and impart a nutty flavor to the dish.

Did you know that mirchi ka salan is similar to a Maharashtrian dish – Mirchi che panchamrut. But the two dishes differ in a couple of ways. For one Panchamrit uses a slightly different set of spices and jaggery. And it is usually served with bhakri or Puran poli.

About this recipe

This mirchi ka salan recipe provides you with a simple yet delightful dish that makes lunches and dinners special. My spicy curry is made with green chilies that are lightly fried and then simmered with aromatics and spices. Like most Indian stews, this dish has a gravy base.

The masala paste gets the creaminess from peanuts, and sesame seeds which also help tone down the heat levels a bit. The curry gets a dose of tanginess with the use of tamarind and a final garnish.

Variations of this dish exist with chefs and home cooks adding their own version of spices and tempering. You can add coconut to further reduce the heat of the chili gravy. Swap in vegetables like beans, brinja,l okra (lady’s finger) or bell peppers for chilis. But keep the recipe consistent with the use of tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds.

My other recommendation is avoid using hot chilies in this recipe if you can’t tolerate heat. Use medium to mild green chilies instead.

This gravy is great for making ahead and cooking a big batch. It stays fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days, and freezes well. Add more oil to the curry if you plan to freeze it.

Similar Recipes
Capsicum Masala Curry
Shorba Recipe
Bagara Baingan

How to make Mirchi ka salan (Stepwise photos)

Preparation

1. Soak 2 tablespoons tamarind in 6 tablespoons hot water. Set aside to soften. Later squeeze the tamarind and filter/strain the juice. You can also use store bought tamarind paste that comes in glass jars.

soaked tamarind

2. On a low to medium heat, dry roast 2 tablespoons peanuts until golden & aromatic. Keep stirring often to fry them uniformly.

roasting peanuts in skillet for mirchi ka salan recipe

3. Add 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon copra (or desiccated coconut). Dry roast on the lowest heat till you begin to smell them nice. Do not burn. Remove to a plate and cool.

toasting sesame coconut to make mirchi ka salan recipe

4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and fry ¾ cup sliced onions until golden, stirring often.

frying onions to make hyderabadi mirchi ka salan

5. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.

addition of garlic ginger for Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan

6. Stir and fry until the raw smell goes off completely. Cool this as well.

7. Blend together all the roasted ingredients with 4 tablespoons water to a slightly coarse paste. [you will blend onions, peanuts, sesame and coconut.]

blending roasted peanuts coconut to make mirchi ka salan recipe

8. Do not make a very smooth or thin paste. It has to be slightly coarse.

coarsely ground masala to make biryani gravy

9. Rinse green chillis and wipe them dry. Make a cut length wise. They can also be deseeded as I did. You can use a mix of hot and mild chilis too. Fry them in 1 tablespoon oil for 2 to 3 mins until they blister. Set them aside.

frying chillis

Make Mirchi Ka salan

10. Add a tsp of oil. When the oil becomes hot add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add curry leaves and fry until crisp.

tempering cumin mustard to make mirchi ka salan recipe

11. Add the onion peanut paste and pour 1½ cups water. Stir and mix well before the water turns hot to prevent any lumps.

addition do masala paste for hyderabadi mirchi ka salan

12. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon red chili powder and filtered tamarind juice. You can also adjust the spice powders to get the desired color for the gravy. Add 2 tbsp. whisked curd if desired, it adds volume to the gravy. I do not use it. Add more water if needed, the gravy must be thin now, it will thicken after cooking.

addition of spice powders to make salan

13. Let it to boil on a low to medium flame for 5 to 8 minutes.

boiling salan

14. When the gravy turns slightly thick, add fried chilies and stir well. Cook on a low heat until the chillis wilt off and the gravy slightly thickens. Taste test and adjust salt and tamarind juice. Salan thickens further upon cooling so it has to be slightly runny but yet thick.

addition of chillis to make biryani salan

Mirchi ka salan is ready to serve with biryani or pulao.

mirchi ka salan recipe

Pro Tips

  1. Choose chilies that are low on heat otherwise the salan turns too hot.
  2. Roasting peanuts on a low to medium flame is key to a flavorful and aromatic salan. So ensure they are roasted well to bring out the aroma of roasted peanuts.
  3. Sesame seeds are another ingredient used to lend a unique nutty aroma. If you do not have them then just replace them with coconut.
  4. Traditionally tamarind is added to lend a slight tang to the mirchi ka salan. However it can be replaced with lemon juice while serving but you will miss on the flavors.
  5. You can make the salan ahead and refrigerate. When needed just bring the mirchi ka salan to a rolling boil and then add the fried chilies.
  6. Instead of chilies, you can also add some boiled or sauteed veggies to make vegetable salan.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Mirchi ka salan recipe

Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe (Biryani Salan)

Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan is a popular side dish served with Biryani. It is a spicy and tangy dish where green chilies are simmered with nuts, seeds, tamarind and onions.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoons desiccated coconut or copra
  • 2 tablespoons oil (+ 1 teaspoon)
  • ¾ cup onion sliced thin (1 medium onion)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 6 green chillis (less hot or a mix)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1½ to 2 cups water (adjust as needed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind (small lemon sized ball)
  • ¼ cup water to soak tamarind
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala (more if preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or as needed

Instructions

Preparation

  • Soak tamarind in ¼ cup hot water. Let it soften and later squeeze to extract some juice. Filter the tamarind juice to a small bowl and set aside.
  • On a low to medium heat, dry roast peanuts until golden & aromatic,
  • Then add sesame seeds and coconut. Fry until they begin to smell good. Transfer and cool them.
  • In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and saute onions until golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste & saute until the raw smell disappears. Cool this as well. 
  • Blend together all the roasted ingredients and onions with ¼ cup water. Make a thick slightly coarse paste.

Prepare Green Chilies

  • Rinse the green chilies and wipe them dry. Make an slit lengthwise and deseed the seeds.
  • Heat oil 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan and fry chilies for 2 to 3 minutes until they blister. Set aside. 

How to Make Mirchi ka Salan

  • Heat another teaspoon oil in the same pan. Add mustard seeds & cumin. When they pop, add curry leaves and fry until the leaves turn crisp.
  • Turn down the heat and add the onion peanut and coconut paste.
  • Pour water. Stir and make a thin gravy. Incorporate the paste with the water to make a gravy before the water turns hot.
  • Next add chili powder, tamarind juice, garam masala and turmeric.
  • Stir and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until slightly thick. Add fried chilies and simmer on a low heat until they wilt. Taste test and adjust salt and tamarind if required.
  • Salan turns thick further upon cooling so turn off when it is slightly runny but yet thick.
  • Serve mirchi ka salan with any biryani.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe (Biryani Salan)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Sodium 714mg31%
Potassium 221mg6%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 134IU3%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Mirchi ka salan recipe first published in September 2015. Updated and republished in November 2022.

Mirchi Ka Salan (Biryani Salan)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
Hi Swasthi, I cooked this with your aloo biryeani last night and it was great (again). i have great trouble sourcing the type of green chillies you suggest. What do you think about just using capsicum pieces and if ok, what sort of quantity?

Gosh, my memory – forgot about the capsicum masala. Well done Swasthi 🙂

5 stars
I love all your recipes! They are foolproof and delicious!!

5 stars
I thankfully discovered your website by chance.. but so glad I did! I thought I was already good Indian food cook… but your recipes have notched my cuisine up a notch or 2… Love em all so far!! Not a single bad one!! For me, u cannot beat family favourite recipes handed down!! I hope my kids shall do the same in years to come! Being a Vegan, who eats a high sugar, zero fat (less than 10g per day) diet, I love Indian cooking… I never use any oil, even for tempering.. just a dash of water (or veg stock).. My main foods now are your Veg Biryani’s with this gravy or your Shorba… and Raita on the side with my own nan recipe…DELICIOUS!

5 stars
This recipe was very easy to follow, and produced a result that was truly amazing, I really enjoy this dish, and now I know how to make it for myself. Thank you for sharing it.

Hi Swasthi, you have given detailed instructions which help to cook easily. That’s awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

5 stars
In the end, I just used 1 tablespoon tamarind paste – wow – I served this with your mirch ka salan and dum veg biryani recipes. I can’t thank you enough for sharing these recipes 🙂

Swasthi, if I do not use tamarind, what quantity of lemon juice do I use?

Many thanks, Sandy

If I used tamarind puree, would I use that same equivalent – that is 2 tablespoons?

Swasthi, also, if I wanted to make a double serve – do I just double all ingredients or is there any part I should not?

5 stars
Lovely recipe. Amazing flavor and perfect blend of spices.

Hi can we add normal green chillies and you belong to which state

5 stars
I followed the recipe and it was so easy and yummy! I always thought making salan was not easy – realised that’s not true! Thank you for the recipe:)

5 stars
Very nice recipe. Turned out perfect.
Thanks so much.
My mom is wondering how it would be if fresh coconut was used instead of dessicated dry one. May be it will bring a fresh twist. Will try and tell you the outcome.

Hello, when you mentioned mustard in this recipe, you want mustards seeds, correct? Not mustard greens and not the dry powder of mustard seed, nor Grey Poupon stuff, or the French’s bright yellow paste stuff, right? Where I live it could have been any of those. Not likely with Indian food that it would be anything other than the seeds, but still thought I should ask.
If I had missed the pictures, I would still be wondering.

5 stars
Thank u Swasthi garu for mouth watering and excellent recepies. Whenever i cook something new, your blog will be my first priority and trust me the taste comes out excellently for every recepie i try. My son enjoys a lot including all my family members. Keep up the good work. ?
Loads of blessings…

Hi swasthi, thank you for a wonderful recipe! But I wanted to know why you did not use khus khus or poppyseeds in your recipe and also what kind of chillis to use.

Hi … wanted to first say thank you for your simple and easy recipies for a novice cook like me (not fond of cooking) so bless you for your simple quick recipies which has helped the family survive in this lockdown! 🙂

I want to make the gravies for the biryani this weekend. Have a few questions:
1. Don’t have access to coconut or sesame seeds. What to substitute with or can I skip them Both when making the salan?
2. Will biryani be a flop if I don’t have saffron ?

Pls help! :)) thx

Swasthi let me first congratulate you for the mirchi ka salan.It has turned out beautiful.You seem to be a good cook.May god bless you
Love
Mrs Purabi Guha

5 stars
Hi Swasthi.
I tried ur Mirchi ka salan receipe and it was very tasty. Thanks so much for posting it.

Hello Madam, I am an absolute amateur when it comes to cooking. However, I have made around 8-10 dishes by your recipe and all to near perfection. It helped me score lot of brownie points from my wife and family members. I must say you have done a fantastic job by making this website. Really commendable. Today I have made Mirchi ka Salan and it was awesome. Thanks a lot and God bless you.

Nice this one it is very helpfully

Thank you so much for the detailed recipe! I just had one question, can we use coconut milk instead of coconut? Will it make any difference?

Mouth watering Recipes today am going to try