I have been in India now more than a month and I seem to have taken to it like fish to water. Having left it so long ago I had forgotten what it was like to really be back. I mean, I come back every year and usually stay for a while. But that is different. I come to visit, I come to be with family. And, usually, I sit around doing nothing all day. As wonderful as that probably sounds to most people, it rings the death knell for me.
I am a hyper person. I like doing 20 things all at once. It makes me happy. Give me nothing to do and I’ll go the other side of the spectrum. Coma. From which you will find it hard to awaken me.
Here in Mumbai, when I’m at work I’m working 12-13 hours at a stretch and am on my feet. I don’t mind the waiting for shots to be set up, I don’t mind the heat or the working at night. I love the work that much. I love the hustle bustle and I love these people on the set. The nicest bunch I ever did meet. Or maybe I had also forgotten what it was like to have colleagues. In Holland I work alone. In the house and I have to admit it is lonely. And maybe not the greatest thing for a creative. It is such a great thing to sit and goof around with like minded people. Talk about serious things or silly. Exchange ideas.
Now it has always been hard for me to make friends. I’m the ‘I’ll wait and watch’ sort. Treading carefully. Maybe because I’ve not always been lucky with friends. But the ones I have right now I absolutely LOVE. My, I-can-count-my-friends-on-my-fingertips friends.
These Mumbai folk though, they are something else. It is hard to resist their friendliness and eagerness! I have never had so many friends so quickly. These are people I see myself keeping in touch with.
Now this recipe is from a person I consider a great friend. I may have never met her and we don’t even talk that often. But I am extremely fond of her. She is brilliant at Indian food and I can tell you this recipe is unbelievable. It is sooo good!
I had never cooked these tiny peppers before. And I am simply in love with this dish. So thank you Ash of Food Fashion Party. You are genius!
- 20 Mini peppers(not the spicy kind)
- 3 green chilies
- ⅓ cup raw peanuts
- 2 tbsps white sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
- 3 tbsps oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 whole dried red chillies
- 3 red onions thinly sliced
- 4 large tomatoes
- 2 tbsps ginger garlic paste
- 2 tbsp red kashmiri chili powder(use more or less according to your spice level)
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsps thick tamarind juice(if you don't have tamarind, add thick sour full fat yogurt)
- 4 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 420°F/215°C. Wash and pat dry the peppers and make a slit in the middle. Put it on a baking tray, add a tsp of oil, salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until charred. Take out and keep aside.
- In a small pan, add the peanuts and fry on low heat until it's toasted and add the sesame seeds, fry for a minutes and turn off the heat. Add the coconut along with the peanuts and sesame seeds and grind to a very fine paste with ¼ cup of water. Keep aside.
- Take a large pan, add 3 tbsp oil and let it get hot on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and red chilies. Add the sliced onion and fry on medium heat. Keep stirring and frying. When it is slightly caramalising, add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry till it browns lightly. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Keep stirring and frying until you see the oil separate. It will take about 5-7 minutes. Then add the ground paste, 4 cups of water. Check for salt and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- After the mixture gets a bit thicker, add the tamarind juice. Let it come to a boil again, then add the peppers and simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Let the curry sit for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve hot with naan.