With the mango season on, we really got fruity but craved for something spicy. What more can a Hyderabadi think of but these large banana peppers or mirchi bajji mirchis as we call them and that’s how Pomegranate Mirchi masala happened. A Moderately spicy and yummy gravy.
Spicy big chillies and tangy tiny pomegranates dipped in a rich milky gravy
Preparation time: 35-45 mins
Big green chillies (bada mirchi/bajji mirapakayalu) 10
Pomegranate seeds 1 cup (3/4th of a pomegranate).
Almonds (badam) 5
Cashews (kaju) 5
Milk ½ cup
Cloves (laung/lavangalu) 2
Cinnamon stick (dalchini/dalchinchakka) 1
Refined cooking oil 4-5 tbsp
Butter 2 tsp
Bay leaf 1
Cumin seeds (jeera/jeelakarra) 1 tsp
Red chilli powder (lal mirch/karam) 1 tsp
Coriander powder (dhania powder) 1 tsp
Cumin powder (jeera powder) 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Tomato paste 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Wash, wipe and slit the green chillies vertically (they could also be chopped into circles). Finely chop the onion. De-seed the pomegranate. If tomato paste is unavailable, finely chop/grate a tomato.
Soak the almonds and cashews in half a cup of milk for around 10 mins. Grind to a fine paste the almonds, cashews, milk, cloves and cinnamon.
Shallow fry the Chillies and remove onto a tissue to drain off excess oil.
Heat the butter and add a bay leaf and cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until light brown.
Add a tsp each of chilli powder, coriander and cumin powders, garam masala and mix.
Add the almond-cashew paste, tomato paste and mix. If using grated tomatoes, cook for a couple of minutes and then add the almond-cashew paste and mix.
Add water as required (around half a cup), fried chillies, and pomegranate seeds, salt to taste, cover and cook to a thick gravy. This should take around 5 mins. Pomegranate seeds will leave a tangy taste (since they are being boiled) and the chillies will give the spicy touch while the gravy gives a rich texture and flavor.
Pomegranate mirch masala is an Indian bread supplement and tastes great with any flavored rice, especially biryanis, considering the Hyderabadi tinge it has. It also tastes yummy with paranthas and butter naans. Now we have the best guess on what your weekend menu shall be.