Mirchi Ka Salan: The Tale Behind Hyderabadi Biryani's Other Half
- Preeti Deepa
Updated : September 14, 2022 04:09 IST
Mirchi Ka Salan, like many other Indian foods has a tangled history. Read on to know more about it.
If you have ever been to Hyderabad, you must have felt and seen the craze of Mirchi Ka Salan. We know the mention of Hyderabadi Biryani takes you on a decadent ride of the delicious melange of aromatic rice, succulent meat and tantalizing flavours of whole spices. But a true Hyderabadi Biryani aficionado can never imagine it without the rich, creamy and flavourful ‘better half’- Mirchi Ka Salan. The brilliant accompaniment of Hyderabadi Biryani has managed to stay true to its original taste and has gained worldwide fame. The delicious chilli and peanut curry has surpassed all the criteria of a good accompaniment in terms of flavours, textures and aroma. Made with green chillies, sesame seeds, peanuts, ginger and garlic paste, dry coconut, tamarind and some humble Indian spices, Mirchi Ka Salan deliciously compliments the exotic flavours of Biryani. Although the curry is fondly savoured by many people, very few know its origin.
Like many popularly savoured Indian foods, Mirchi Ka Salan has a tangled history. Some legends believe that it was a product of the culinary brilliance of Akbar’s Khansaamas. Even the famous book ‘Ain-i-Akbari’ mentions Mirchi Ka Salan as the favourite dish of the emperor. It is also said and believed that the flavourful curry was one of the most desirable dishes during the emperor’s coronation which kept the royal guests drooling. However, some other food historians believe that the root of the curry lies in Hyderabad. The Asaf Jahi dynasty of Hyderabad enjoyed their Biryanis and flatbread with Mirchi Ka Salan as an accompaniment. Foodlores also suggest that the delicious curry was found by the fifth ruler of Qutb Shahi dynasty- Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah.
The Mirchi Ka Salan found by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah was believed to be of a dark brown shade with the chillies being al dente for textural excellence. The dish underwent a makeover during the time of Asaf Jahi and the present version of the dish came into existence. The dish became so dear to the Asaf Jahi dynasty that the recipe found its way into the Will of the Nizams which was passed to the daughters-in-law to keep the royal recipe secure.
No matter the origin, Mirchi Ka Salan has kept its legacy and is still one of the most desirable side dishes with Biryani. Are you already craving it? Here’s a detailed recipe to help you out.