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Hot green chilli sauce (Hari Mirch sas)

Updated: Apr 26

Chillies are omnipresent in India and are found in fresh and dried forms. About 100 varieties of chillies are used, each local to a region and sometimes to a community.

This is a sauce made from the most common green chillies in West Ben. The sauce is spicy, as expected. However, the spiciness is moderated by roasting the chillies prior to grinding them up. The Flavour is dominantly spicy, but the green tomatoes and lime juice add a tartness to the sauce. The loads of fresh cilantro add herby notes that complete the flavour profile. This chutney will set your palate on fire, but it is also delicious.

Yamuna Devi's cookbook is probably the first cookbook I bought when I moved to the US 30 years ago for my Ph.D. Over the years, I have cooked almost half the recipes, it is the cookbook that taught me technique, and flavour profiles and always gave me a wonderful meal. This vegetarian cookbook is essential on any shelf, it is the bible of Indian vegetarian cuisine.


3 green peppers, or 6-7 long green peppers

3-5 green chillies, or to taste

3 medium green tomatoes, cut

1 tablespoon ginger paste

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Juice of 1/2-3/4 lime

Water, about 3-4 tablespoons or as needed

1 tablespoon oil or ghee

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida

Heat the oven to 375 ° F.

Lay out the peppers and green chillies on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes until the green chillies and peppers are charred and the skin has puffed up. Rotate the green peppers. Remove the green chillies and set aside to cool. Rotate the peppers till they are charred on all sides, about 15 more minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers. Add the roasted peppers, green chillies, tomatoes, ginger, salt, cilantro, pepper, lime juice, and water to a small blender. Blitz till you have a smooth paste. You are looking for a thick chutney, not a watery sauce. Put into a bowl.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the cumin seeds. They will splitter in 10 seconds and turn a shade darker. Add the asafoetida and take off the heat. Pour over the chutney. Serve as is or mix into the chutney.

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