Mirchi Ka Salan

Anaheim’s are very popular in Southwestern US Cuisine.Also called “New Mexican Chile”. These were developed by Dr. Fabian Garcia in New Mexico about 100 yrs ago who was seeking a chile pepper that was bigger, fleshier, and milder.

They got the name “Anaheim” when a farmer named Emilio Ortega brought these seeds to the Anaheim area in the early 1900′s. This chile can be roasted and peeled and used in recipes or stuffed to make chile rellenos just as the Poblano Chile.

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8 Anaheim green peppers
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
1 shallot
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted raw peanuts, shelled but with skin still on
1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp tamarind concentrate (see tips)
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp garam masala
3 Tbsp fresh coconut, shredded
2 tsp jaggery (see tips), shredded
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
6 sprigs cilantro (optional), for garnish


Dry toasting the peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds:
In a pan, dry toast the peanuts over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool completely. Remove the skins.

Repeat the same procedure with sesame seeds and coconut powder until slightly golden (about 2 minutes).

Making peanut flour and sesame powder:
Grind the peanuts in a blender or a grinder (I use a coffee grinder that I keep exclusively for spices). The peanuts should turn into a fine mill, but make sure you stop before it becomes nut butter.

Repeat the same procedure with the toasted sesame seeds.

Prepping the Anaheim peppers:
Wearing disposable gloves, trim the stems. Using a long-stemmed thin spoon or a paring knife, delicately remove and discard the seeds. Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching chile pepper seeds. Make sure not to pierce the chile. Leave the flesh intact.

In a medium-sized deep saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Place the Anaheim peppers and roast them for about 3-4 minutes until the skins blister but don’t darken. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Do not over-cook, as they will finish cooking in the masala sauce. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels.

Making masala sauce:
In a bowl, combine the ground peanuts, coriander, coconut powder, sesame seeds and ¼ teaspoon red chili powder. Add the tamarind paste it should form a thick paste (add a little water if necessary).

Stuff the inside of each chile with a little of the masala paste, reserving the rest for the sauce.

In the same medium-sized deep saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions and shallots. Cook for about 5 minutes until they become translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste, remaining chili powder, turmeric powder and cumin seeds. Stir well until fragrant. Add the garam masala, the remaining thick masala paste and a little water (about ¼ to ½ cup). Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add the jaggery and more water if necessary (up to 1 cup). Add the Anaheim chiles to the masala sauce, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook at a gentle simmer for about 5-8 minutes. The chiles should be soft but shouldn’t fall apart. Add the yogurt and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Check the seasoning. Add more salt (if necessary). Transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with cilantro (optional).

Serve warm with roti (Indian flat bread).

Bon appétit!


Shredded coconut gives a rich, creamy texture to the sauce. I used fresh coconut. First, I opened the coconut using a cleaver. Be very careful if you do. (I usually lay out some newspaper underneath a large wooden cutting board). Then scrape out the coconut flesh using a coconut grater.

I buy raw peanuts at the Asian store. It’s important to pick peanuts with the skin on, that way they don’t burn while being dry-toasted.

You can find tamarind concentrate in any Asian store. It has a nice tart flavor. You can also use fresh tamarind pods if you like but I find this to be labor intensive. Wash about a pound of tamarind pods, with the skin still on. Boil them in about 4 cups of water for 15 minutes until soft. Drain and discard the liquid. Shell, seed and remove the fibrous membrane. Blend the tamarind pulp with about 1-½ cup of water. But as I’ve said before, I just prefer eating fresh tamarind as is and cooking with tamarind concentrate or tamarind powder.

Ginger garlic paste is a very common component in Indian cuisine. If you have extra, just transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.