A well made salan is a thing of wonder. I’ve been so lucky to have sampled a few of them and also being able to watch how it’s been made. The more common one people think of of course is the Mirchi ka Salan made in a similar way although with mild chilli peppers steeped in the gravy. The perfect accompaniment to a Hyderabadi biryani, lending a slight heat and gravy to a flavoursome biryani. I’ve adapted the salan in this recipe using chicken on the bone which makes much more of a hearty meal. Murgh ka Salan is cooked in a lot of households and the paste can vary as some friends I’ve spoken to also prefer adding a few more ingredients to the paste along with peanuts. The roasted peanuts lend a unique flavour to the resultant curry and with sesame seeds it makes the most delicious rich. Flavours in a Hyderabadi salan have to one with a balance- sweet, tangy, spicy and hot. The sour flavour comes from the tamarind paste and the chillies lend the required heat. Served with roti or rice.
So many of you have written in for suggestions of using up leftover turkey this Christmas and this would be a delicious recipe to try. Swap the chicken for turkey but adding it along with the tamarind paste while the curry is simmering. Merry Christmas everyone!
- In a small frying pan add the paste ingredients and fry on a low heat for 7-8 minutes. Stir often making sure it gets an even colour all the way through. Take the pan off the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add to a blender with 70 mls water and make a thick smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a large heavy bottom non stick frying pan add the oil and heat over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry for 15-16 minutes, stir continuously as they change colour and go brown.
- Lower the heat and add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds followed by the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for a minute stirring well.
- Now add the chilli and turmeric powder along with the paste. Stir well, turn the heat back to medium and add the chicken pieces.
- Mix well making sure the paste coats the chicken pieces while it seals all over for 7-8 minutes. Add the water at this stage along with salt and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on a low heat. Stir half way through.
- Add the tamarind paste and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander and serve with roti or rice and salad.