This is an addictive sweet-spicy dry green chilli preparation. These chillis are the long hot sweet type that you get in the Indian grocery store or at farmers markets in the summer. The color varies — the hottest ones are dark green and very gnarled, almost like you’d imagine the fingers of the witch that wanted to eat Hansel and Gretel. The pale green ones are milder, but all these peppers taste delicious prepared in this Gujarati style.
This recipe uses typical Gujarati spices: ajwain, heeng, dhania-jeera powder along with besan. The addition of sugar to the peppers magically transforms the dish of ordinary tasting spicy peppers to one that makes the taste buds sing. These peppers can dress up any meal. They taste particularly delicious with a simple meal of rice and kadhi. I also like to serve stuffed baby eggplants with a meal of peppers, rice and kadhi.
Gujarati hot sweet chilli peppers
1lb or 8-10 hot-sweet green chilli peppers, chopped into 1” pieces and deseeded
About 1/3 cup Bengal gram flour, called besan, can use a little less or more
For the tarka:
2 tbsps of oil
1 tsp ajwain
Pinch of asafetida, called heeng, optional
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the heeng and sputter the ajwain seeds. Add the chopped green chilli peppers. Cover and cook on low heat. Check occasionally to stir and see if peppers are soft and cooked through. When a knife goes through the peppers, add the besan and the rest of the spices. Note that the peppers should still be bright green color when you add the besan.
2. Cook uncovered for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the besan is cooked and no longer tastes of raw flour. The besan should turn into a golden brown color. If the besan flour initially appears too dry, add a little oil to moisten the flour. By this time, the peppers will have turned a darker green. Remove from heat. These addictive peppers can be served hot or at room temperature.