In Hyderabad or Hyderabadi cuisine, biriyani is always accompanied with mirchi ka saalan, not that I have ever been to Hyderabad .... but yes a culinary trip to Hyderabad is definitely on my long to-do list for this stay on earth.
Hubby prefers this as an accompaniment to biriyani more than the standard raita made both at my in-laws place and mine too.
12-15 thick green chillies,
Salt to taste,
Oil for frying,
½ cup not-too-thick tamarind pulp,
1 medium sized onion,
1 ½ tbsp coconut,
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds,
1 tbsp sesame seeds,
8-10 garlic cloves,
1 inch piece of ginger,
¾ tsp garam masala powder,
½ tsp cumin seeds,
½ cup roasted peanuts,
2-3 red chillies,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
10-12 curry leaves,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
A pinch of asafoetida
Slit the green chillies, keeping them whole. You can destalk the chillies or leave the stalks on.
Stuff the chillies with some salt. Heat about 2 tbsps of oil and add the green chillies and fry for about 2 minutes. Keep aside.
Roast the coriander seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies, onion, peanuts, coconut, garlic and ginger. Let it cool and grind it into a fine paste.
Heat about a tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop add the turmeric powder and the prepared paste and fry well till oil separates.
Now add a cup of water and bring it to a boil and add the tamarind pulp, salt and fried chillies.
Simmer for 8-10 minutes and then sprinkle the garam masala powder.
Goes well with any biriyani or pulao.