Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Majjiga Mirapa (Dahi Mirchi, Yogurt Chillies)

Chilli, Mirchi, mirapa kaayalu

Chillies are a religion in India! And in my home state Andhra Pradesh, the leading producer of chillies in the world, the chilli religion has a cult like following. The almighty, all-powerful chillies dictate and dominate almost every food item we consume. Our tongues are trained to accept and enjoy the fiery ruchi(flavor) of chillies from early on and the non-believers in chilli power and taste are considered wimps and babies by the believers. I tried to break away from this chilli cult, but it’s tough to do and the cravings haunted me. My taste buds cried saliva for a decent flavorful meal. They couldn’t tolerate the bland, tasteless food I was consuming in the name of suave and sophistication. “We are not babies, we are not wimps. Have mercy and have a chilli”, they salivated. I bowed and accepted the chilli power with my whole heart and now at my home, there won?t be a meal without having at least one dish where chilli - dry or fresh is added. Needless to say my taste buds are now one happy bunch.

Like us, humans, chillies also have a variety. There are lean, short, tall and stout chillies. There is mildly hot variety and there is super hot variety. Names of chillies vary from state to state and from country to country, with growers making up new names all the time. For that reason, I usually write either green chillies for fresh ones and dried red chillies for dried chillies. Using fancy, foreign sounding names for chillies is not my thing.

There are also preserved chillies - Dried chilli powder is the best-known method of preserving chillis. There is one more popular way of preserving chillies, from my home state, called “majjiga mirapa? in Telugu and ‘dahi mirchi’ in Hindi. Here fresh green chillies are slit vertically keeping the ends intact and soaked in salty, sour yogurt for about 4 to 6 days, giving time for the acid in both yogurt and chillies to work its magic of preservation. As a result, the color of chillies changes from green to light-green to creamy yellow with green tinge. At this stage, they are removed and sun dried until completely moisture free. The end result is creamy-white chillies that taste mildly hot, tangy (because of soaking in yogurt) and delicious. Usually we deep-fry these mirchis and have them as ‘middle of the meal’ kind of snack along with rice and dal. Combine rice and dal and have a small round, while eating it, in-between take a bite of majjiga mirapa. That’s how we enjoy this version of chilli.

I always hear people saying how much they would like to prepare the real deal, the ultra-authentic, home-style cuisine. Well, this is your chance to do just that. If you like chillies and if you live in an area of at least one week of super hot temperatures, then this recipe is for you.

Recipe:

Chillies:
20 fresh chillies
(Long, firm body with medium-thick skin ones are perfect for this recipe)
Yogurt:
4 cups of day-old Indian homemade yogurt, add
4 teaspoons of salt and mix
Weather:
Hot weather suitable for sun-drying the chillies


Day1: Green chillies washed and slit in the middle (keep the ends intact)


Day 1: Slit green chillies are soaked in yogurt-salt mixture. Keep them like that open(without lid cover) for at least 4 days.


Day 2: Closeup of slit green chillis soaking in yogurt-salt mixture


Day 5: Remove the chillies from yogurt and arrange them neatly in rows with space in-between on a big sheet/plate/pan suitable for sun-drying. (Notice the change in green chilli color.)


Day 8: Sun-dried Majjiga Mirapa. It took 3 days here in Ohio, for them to get completely moisture free and dry. When stored in tight lid box, they can stay fresh from 6 months to a year. To cook - deepfry them in oil until they turn to golden and serve immediately.


Golden colored Majjiga Mirapa (deep-fried) with Rice and Dal - Traditional Andhra Meal for Independence Day Food Parade

Dahi Mirchi is avialable in small packets at Indian grocery shops here in US.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Green Chillies, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Yogurt, Peppers (Friday August 11, 2006 at 3:33 pm- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

43 comments for Majjiga Mirapa (Dahi Mirchi, Yogurt Chillies) »

  1. Indira,
    You actually do this at home, yourself??
    :)
    Sonali

    Comment by sonali — August 11, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

  2. My MIL was kind enough to do the process and pack a bag full of these “mor-milagai”(name in tamil. As always, beautiful traditional recipe presented in a detailed and elegant manner! Kudos to you! Those long chillies look beautiful and uniform, where do you get them like that? Did you grow it yourself?

    Thanks,
    Maya

    Comment by Maya — August 11, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

  3. Why not?
    I like majjiga mirapa and I can’t depend on my mother to supply me these forever. Few years ago, one day I’ve decided to give it a try and found the process easy. From then on, I started preparing a small batch every year.

    Maya: Thanks.
    I bought the green mirchi from local Indian grocery shop, they are fresh batch, just out of the box.

    Comment by Indira — August 11, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  4. Hi Indira,

    Amazing!u have made this at home.Even back home we used to buy it from the shop.We call it moor milagai in tamil.Its usually served with curd rice.I love the combination of moor milagai and curd rice.It really brings back wonderful memories.Yumm I feel hungry again:)

    Comment by Anusha — August 11, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

  5. Hi Indira,
    i love these uppu mirapakayalu.
    Truly i love this type of food .dal without uppu mirapakayalu is tasteless.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Vineela

    Comment by vineela — August 11, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

  6. Indira - I got some of these for the first time from Aswin’s granparents. They taste great. Now I know how to make them. Who knows, maybe I will surprize them :) Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by mandira — August 11, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

  7. That was awesome… A nice picture and hot hot chilli..

    Comment by pria — August 11, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  8. ahhh now i know what the chillis that my southindian ex roommates left behind are used for.. i will atleast fry one tonight!

    Comment by disha — August 11, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

  9. Mor milagai is what we call it in Tamil. Texas weather is perfect for making these. Will be dry in half a day :-)

    Great pics as usual.

    Comment by krithika — August 11, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

  10. Hi Indira,

    As many other tamilian buddies have jumped the bandwagon and told u earlier,”mor molagai” is a tamilian favorite.But one question,the mor molagai we buy from the famous “ambika appalam” brand and many other tamilian stores are thicker and smaller and turn black after frying rather than the deeep brown that urs looks like, wonder if its because of the nature of the mirchi..do u use different kinds of mirchis to get different flavors here?

    btw ur blog is truely inspirational and I am in the process of starting one myself!

    Thanks for the recipe as well as for being a guiding star to many bloggers and wannabe bloggers like me!

    Comment by Anonymous — August 11, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  11. Hi Indira,

    You must have read my thoughts. I was asking my friends from Southern India for this recipe and lo and behold it was on your website. Thank you so much. I am addicted to these chillies - no meal is completely without it. This time around I wasn’t keen on buying it from the Indian store here. Can’t wait to try and make it at home :) :) Thanks so much once again.

    Sangeeta

    Comment by Sangeeta — August 11, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  12. I just love it !!!
    I adore you for doing this Indira.

    Comment by Archana — August 11, 2006 @ 6:35 pm

  13. Well we call this thair mulagu and we prepare it with a less hotter chilis. We cant take so much heat,girl!! We are sissies,eh? :-)

    Comment by InjiPennu — August 11, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

  14. Hi Indira,
    In Karanataka we call it ‘Balka’. WE ususlly make with fat chillies since they are less hotter.
    Those chilies looks so Beautiful.. Thanks for the beautiful demonstrating and pictures.

    Comment by Madhu — August 11, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  15. I have always wanted to make these, but in coastal California it just isn’t reliably hot enough. I buy them at the Indian store, but I’m sure they aren’t even close to the same.

    Sniff…

    maybe some day I’ll try it and hope for the best.

    Comment by Diane — August 11, 2006 @ 11:12 pm

  16. Hi Indira,
    Lovely post as always. Just a quick question, do you refrigerate the soaked chillies before you put them out in the sun to dry - I gather you don’t - but with the temperatures being so high out here, I was wondering if that would spoil the yoghurt.

    Comment by Faffer — August 12, 2006 @ 9:03 am

  17. Indira,

    It is my daily ritual to visit ur blog daily and
    admire ur culinary skills.
    Best Wishes,
    Banusree

    Comment by banusree — August 12, 2006 @ 10:56 am

  18. hi indira, in our part of kerala we call it ‘kondatta mulaku.’ ‘kondattam’ means vattal. of course, we use a fatter and smaller version, which turns black on frying. of course a lot less hot !!!

    Comment by renu — August 12, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  19. The last pic - now thats what i call Heaven; ofcourse with a dollop of ghee on that dal :)

    Comment by Supriya — August 12, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  20. WOW….Indira you are amazing. I love your blog and the pictures are awesome. I visit your blog every day and have tried your recipes including the radish-potato curry and spinach curry, to name a few . It was yummy. Looking forward to try this recipe, we call it upp menasinkai in kannada.

    You have inspired me to start a blog of my own. Please do drop in and leave your valuable comments.
    http://annasaarupalya.blogspot.com

    Comment by Sangeetha — August 12, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

  21. Ooohhh!! I just love this Indira!! I used to have this favourite Andhra restaurant in B’lore where the serve the most amazing thalis. I remember enjoyinh every spponful with a bite of this lovely mirchi!

    Comment by Meena — August 12, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

  22. Chilli thanks all :) for your sweet peppery comments. Appreciate you sharing your experiences of ‘majjiga mirapa’. Looks like the recipe is widely popular throughout the south India. Thanks for sharing the names in your languages.

    Comment 10: If they turn to black, usually because the oil is too hot or because they are fried too long. My chillies also turn to black if I heat the oil long time for deep-frying. They are very delicate so we usually keep the oil temperature in medium-hot for perfect goldenbrown coloring and we have to be fast and remove them immediately once they start to turn to golden color. Small homestyle tips.:)
    Best wishes for your new blog!

    Faffer: Thanks.
    Somehow, the hot weather, salt and chillies keep the yogurt from going rancid. We dont refrigerate or cover the lid. We prepare them only when the temperatures are high during peak summer times. And we do stir the yougrt two or three times a day, to turn the chillies to sides etc. Also these should be prepared with homemade Indiantype of yogurt only. Brand name yogurts are not suitable.

    Sangeetha: Congratulations on your blog and thanks for your nice words about “Mahanandi”.
    Best wishes!

    Comment by Indira — August 12, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

  23. Hi Indira,

    I have been thinking of preparing this mormilagai(as we call this in tamil) for a long time. looks attractive and i will try it out this week.
    I am very much impressed by ur website and this has inspired me to start a food blog http://premascookbook.blogspot.com/
    There might not be more posts as of now but still kindly drop in and leave ur comment when u have time.

    Comment by Prema — August 13, 2006 @ 1:52 am

  24. These chillies certainly spice up any meal. I love the type made from the short, squat variety as well…Indira it is a treat to get something new from you and I visit your blog everyday. Your pics are awesome.

    Comment by sheil — August 13, 2006 @ 10:38 am

  25. wah!! what a treat! I love these mirappakayalu with curd rice…awesome pics too!!

    Comment by shynee — August 13, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

  26. Indira,
    Each day is Independence Day Parade at your blog. You always come up with authentic, true-to-the-soil preparations. And to think, that you make them although you are thousands of miles away from ‘home’. I appreciate the passion in you.

    Comment by Vaishali — August 14, 2006 @ 9:43 am

  27. Hi Indira,

    Ela unaaru?

    Entha Baga chesaarandi ‘Ura mirapakaayilu’. Hat’s off andi. Nenu India lo unaapudu ma amma chesthe chusedhaani. Inni samvacharaalaki malli mee daggara chusthunaa. Chusthuntee noru uruthunndhi.

    Mee wantalu chusthunappudu ma amma gurthu wasthuntudhi. Intha manchi wantalu chesi ma mundhu unchuthunandhuku many many thanks.

    Bye,
    PratimaSriman

    Comment by Pratimasriman — August 14, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  28. Indira,
    Food at our house is just not the same without these. I love them, especially the stems in yoghurt rice (I know doesn’t sound that appealing but trust me it is very good). I just came across your site two days and now I have been inspired to start my very own blog. Please check it out at http://theclothedcook.blogspot.com/.

    Comment by Praveena — August 15, 2006 @ 5:55 am

  29. I am glad I found the recipe! When I was in India I used to give Biryani to my friend in exchange for her Majjiga chillis.

    Ajju

    Comment by Ajju Shaik — August 24, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  30. Wow, Mouth watering pics. Got to Run.. Can’t wait another sec without trying this. This is the first time I visited this page and have already bookmarked it.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 26, 2006 @ 5:58 am

  31. I have a question regarding pakodi..How to keep them crispy for long time like a minimum of 5 hrs?

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by latha — September 10, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

  32. How do you make stuffed majjiga mirapa? I remember my mother making very delicious stuufed mirapa. I think the stufing is made from manapa pindi, I remember the stuffing tastes somewhat like vadiyam but more “pulla”. I know that they are also sun dried and can be stored for a long time to be fried in oil to enjoy at any time of the year. I even tried to look for them in stores in India but could not find them anywhere.

    Comment by Ramya — January 18, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  33. hey i luv to make majjiga mirapa but i have a doubt shld i soak te mirchi in dahi and put the whole thing outside for four days without refrigiration….if yes then wont it smell bad….

    thanx

    Indira replies:
    We add salt to yogurt. Salt plus acid in yogurt and chillies act as anti bacterial and inhibits harmful growth- both bacterial and fungal. This is a centuries old traditional and natural method practiced for preserving the chillies with the help of powerful sun rays.
    Hope this helps. If you do try this recipe, please let me know how the end result turns out. Thanks Anu.

    Comment by anu — March 9, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  34. hi indira…

    how can u make this wen u live in a cold country, canada.. and even wen its summer, u cant let it dry this in balcony… i guess u r from states.. and i dont know how u manage 2 do this in home itself… pls give me some tips… can i use oven or ny other thing for sun dry… ? thanx in advance

    Comment by Sk. — March 19, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

  35. hi indira,
    Thanks for this chilli recipe, never tried. sounds yuumm, gona try this for sure
    thanks
    arru

    Comment by archna — September 20, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  36. Try adding some Aamchur (dry mango powder), powder of few fenugreek seeds (1/4 teaspoon), jeera & dhaniya powder (1/2 tbs each) to the yogurt.

    This is will enhance the taste of yogurt chillies. This is the way I have been taught to prepare, by my grant parents.

    Hope u will try this & enjoy the chillies & also let me have the results.

    Comment by Sushma Gaikwad — December 20, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  37. Fantastic Recipe!

    Comment by araku — January 26, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  38. thax i really needed da recipe 4 my food project.n 4 sure il enjoy eatng them later.

    Comment by kriti — February 23, 2008 @ 1:47 am

  39. […] Mor koozhu or Mor kali always reminds me of my dad’s grandmom (Periamma paati as we called her). I had the good fortune to have heard tons of mythological stories from her, have my hair braided with flowers and in general get to know the grandmom who gave me my grandmom. In her last years when she would often visit us, she would ask my mom to make this for her. She loved the sour taste of the buttermilk and the crunchy seasoning that also included mor milagai fried in oil. Savory, not definitely health food but a cup of which has the uncanny ability to transport me to the agraharams of yore. […]

    Pingback by Mor koozhu - Buttermilk and rice tempered heartily with mustard, sundried chillies and lentils | A Reluctant Chef — May 2, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  40. Hi Indira, nice recipe. My mom used to make and we used to enjoy back in india but still never knew the process. Thanks for showing so clearly. Eventhough I do not have patience, by seeing your display, I feel like trying. Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Yashwini — May 23, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  41. Hi! I adore these deep fried green chillies, my granmother used to make them in Bangalore. Quick question though, I live on Long Island and it is usually very cold here 9 months out of the year:-( Can these chillies be DEHYDRATED in a low temperature oven? Same principleI do believe? I am dying to make these but it is so cold here:-( Thanks so much and your photo’s are great!

    Comment by Uma Prabhakar — November 1, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  42. *oops sorry for the typos

    Comment by Uma Prabhakar — November 1, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  43. do i leave the dahi in the frridge for 4 days or leave it soaking outside

    Comment by Jeet — July 10, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

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