Chef Sundeep Bhagat from Lucknow, La Porte’s specialist in vegetarian cuisine, created this marvelous recipe for chile lovers that combines the fresh pods with coconutscoconuts and other nuts.
For the Nutty Sauce
- 2 cups freshly grated coconut meat
- 1 ounce raw peanuts
- 1/2 ounce raw cashew nuts
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp tamarind sauce
For the Chiles
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 5 tsp onion sauce (see below)
- 1 small fresh tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tsp New Mexico red chile powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 8 fresh New Mexican chiles, sliced on the side to remove the seeds, stems left on
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried curry leaves, rehydrated and patted dry
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 1 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 3 large Spanish or mild onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups water
- To make the nutty sauce, dry-roast all the ingredients except the tamarind sauce in a frying pan, then add them to a blender with the tamarind sauce and a little water and process to a fine paste. Set aside.
- To make the chiles, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan, add the turmeric and onion sauce, and heat gently. Add the tomatoes, chile powder, and salt.
- Whisk in the yogurt and mix well. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the nutty sauce paste and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In another frying pan, heat the remaining oil and lightly sauté the chiles for 2 to 3 minutes, turning several times. Transfer the chiles with tongs to the yogurt mixture and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to the oil and heat until the mustard seeds pop.
- Then transfer this oil to the yogurt mixture and stir everything together. Cook on low heat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Check for salt and add the lemon juice.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pod and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the onion slices, lower the heat, and simmer until they are soft.
- Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool, then puree the sauce in a blender.
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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.
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