Sun Salutation: Majjiga Mirapa (Dahi Mirchi)

It’s afternoon in June. Kids are on summer vacation, and not a single person out on the streets. It’s so hot here I wish it would rain – not so much for us because we have seen it.:) But for the in-laws, who came all the way from Nandyala to escape the heat and expecting some cold US weather.

Well, what can we do? Instead of moping around mumbling “it’s hot, it’s too hot …”, we decided to put the sun power to some culinary use. We started making traditional majjiga mirapa, vadiyalu and appadaalu.

What is that you ask? Let’s begin the series with Majjiga Mirapa. Telugu to ingleesh translation: sun-dried yogurt chillies. In Hindi, dahi mirchi.

How to: Pick slender and straight looking green chillies. I used fresh cayenne peppers for today’s recipe. with a sharp knife, slit the chilli in middle on one side. Keep the ends and the stem intact. Prepare all the chillies this way.

Take homemade Indian yogurt in a wide vessel. Add salt to yogurt. For a cup of yogurt, at least two tablespoons salt is needed. Add the slit chillies and soak them in salted yogurt for three to four days. Chillies should be covered completely with salted yogurt.

Stir the chillies two or three times a day for uniform coating. Do not cover the vessel at any stage. The acid in yogurt preserves the chillies and bleaches them to white. Chilli taste also changes from pure hot to a mix of sour, salty and spicy.

On the fourth day, remove the chillies from yogurt. Place them on a thick cotton cloth, under hot Sun for drying. It would take usually one or two days for them to completely dry. Bring the chillies inside during night, and keep under Sun during day time. Sun-dry until they are completely moisture-free. Store in a jar. They stay fresh for upto a year.

To Cook: Heat a cup of peanut oil and deep-fry majjiga mirapa to golden. We usually enjoy them with rice and dal /sambar/rasam or yogurt.

The taste: Sour, salty and spicy… very flavorful and addictive. One can’t help but say, “Salutation oh supreme Sun. May your shiny rays warm upon on our food always.”

Here are the Majjiga Mirapa Making in Images:



Chillies in Salted Indian Yogurt


Chillies Drying Under Hot Sun ~ Day One

Do you have this type of traditional culinary sun salutations? Do you practice?

37 Comments

  • By Neha, June 24, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

    If I can’t get cayenne, which other chili when used would come close to the taste?

    Thanks!

  • By Preethi, June 24, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

    oh i love these!!! Its so nice that u made them at home…Houston summer is so favourable!

  • By DK, June 24, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

    My husband/my parents are lovers of dried chillies – I am not a fan but I make them pretty much the same way (is there any other way?)

    We have scortching sun at my part of the world too hence I take advantage of the sun …I use it to make my own sun dried tomatoes too…:)

  • By Diane, June 25, 2009 @ 12:29 am

    Oh, I WISH I could make those here. In the Bay Area we are blessed with cool (almost too cool) mild weather year around. But even now, in the dry season, it’s still not hot enough to make these in coastal Berkeley. I thought about laying them out on my roof just to try and see what happens, but am pretty convinced it would be a bust.

  • By Madhavi, June 25, 2009 @ 4:36 am

    We also add ajwain to the dahi sometimes for a nice flavour.

  • By Madhavi, June 25, 2009 @ 4:37 am

    we also add ajwain to the curd for a nice flavour

  • By Ramya Kiran, June 25, 2009 @ 6:09 am

    Wow, my mouth is watering! Looks and sounds delicious. Yum yum!!

  • By Hari Chandana, June 25, 2009 @ 6:33 am

    Oh ! Majjiga mirapakayalu looks very good reminded me of my grand mom’s recipe… Simply superb… You are my inspiration !!!!….. :)

  • By Vidya, June 25, 2009 @ 7:20 am

    O wow, lovely. Thayiru molagai is one of our favorites.
    Your recipe sounds exactly like how my mom and grandmother makes it.

  • By Sapna, June 25, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    Last year when the spring and summer were warmer in CT, I had made sabudana vadiyalu.
    Soak 1 cup of sabudana in 1.5 cups of water for 1/2-1 hour. Meanwhile grind some green chillies (according to your heat level), salt and hing into not-so-smooth paste. Then boil 1.5 cups of water and add the soaked sabudana along with its water. Keep stirring. Add the green chillies mixture and keep stirring. Check for salt and spice. The whole thing will turn into a gooey mass (consistency of home-made ganji, starch for clothes). Lasty add lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings, it should taste salty, sour and hot. Actually add a little less salt because the dried vadiyalu will always taste saltier than the wet one. Cool it a little. Spread a clear plastic paper on a cloth, take a spoon and pour the mixture and spread to the size you want(diameter of a tennis ball). Dry in the sun and fry and eat.
    One of the pleasures of the summer.

  • By anu, June 25, 2009 @ 10:33 am

    how many days does it take for chillies to dry. My husband loves them and would like to make them. But with chicago weather, its very hard. But will try.

  • By Kay, June 25, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    The sun dried chillies look great. Nothing like thayir saadam and more milagai. Enjoy!! :) We had a killer sun in the morning, just as I was about to get ready to go to the park and library, it’s all thunderstorms and rains here! Maybe I’ll get a dehydrator someday and try all these sun dried goodies! Mom used to make these, sundried mango pickles, tomato pickles etc but the only thing she’s doing till now is the sundried manathakkali vatral. I think its called black nightshade in English?

  • By ms, June 25, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    I wish it were that hot here! In Gujarat, we make chunda – a sweet mango pickle – cooked entirely in the hot summer sun – usually around 120 F! You can literally taste the sun on it. I should make these lovely dahi mirchis some time – sigh.

  • By Gowri, June 25, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

    My mother makes these every year… I remember she used to pull me into the process and I couldn’t stand the smell the majiga takes on. Maybe that’s the reason I’m not a big fan of these, but mom sends my share for the year – just a couple of handful will do for me, mostly for the guests.

    One important thing to keep in mind is you should use a non-reactive container for this, for sometimes the acidity of the curd can react with the container. It’s best to use a ceramic (jadi) or a glass container.

  • By Dee, June 25, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

    Indira, we make gummadi , ataukulu, tomatoes , mirchi , minapappu and tomatoes… though majjiga is only used in the mirchi.. gummadi, minapa vadiyalu are my favorite althoigh the weather in phoenix .. didnt agree well last year.. Im going to try some this year again as soon as ishya gives me a breather :)
    P.S we also make vadiyalu with leftover rice

  • By ss, June 25, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    Making sun dried mango pickle

  • By Madhuram, June 26, 2009 @ 12:07 am

    I too love mor milagai very much. Like Kay has mentioned the climate here is unpredictable. In the morning it is sunny and suddenly starts to rain in the afternoon.

  • By Lzyjo, June 26, 2009 @ 11:30 am

    I’m so excited to see this post. I remembered this ingredient because I’m just starting to harvest a lot of green chilies. I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks!

  • By Nirmala, June 27, 2009 @ 12:12 am

    Indira vadagams, vathal and mor milagai were regular summer affair at home. I am yet to make a post about this. Amma made a large batch of these with tiny Tanjur milagai. They were not too hot and wonderfuly crunchy, salty with curd rice. All this summer my humble meal when do not want to eat anything is a bowl of rice in cold water with salt and these fried goodies. And u’re making very good use of the sun :)

  • By moi, June 27, 2009 @ 4:28 am

    What a coincidence. A few days ago an American friend who had lived in India in the 1960s asked me about this item. She couldn’t recall what it was called (and if she had, I wouldn’t have known simply from the name what she was referring to). But from her description I was able to recall that you had posted a recipe for this earlier, at your older site. And I sent her the link to that one, and she was thrilled. And obviously, you have been thinking of this recipe again too! I’ll send her this link as well. An item that this friend thought would be unavailable to her in America, thanks to you, can now be easily made in her home! Many thanks, Indira :)

  • By anushruti, June 27, 2009 @ 6:51 am

    We make the same chillies with asafetida added to the yogurt. It is called “balaka” in kannada.

  • By Ranjan, June 27, 2009 @ 7:17 am

    Hi Indira, they look wonderful would really like to try do you keep the chillies in yogurt for 2 to 3 days in the fridge or outside at room temperature? Thanks

  • By surekha, June 27, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    Hi!my mom makes these every summer and send them to us and all my sisters.We always loved these to eat with dal and rice with little ghee.Oh..they are divine.I love these.I am planning to do these.My weather is perfect to prepare anything in sun.Thanks for bringing back so many memories.Always happy to come to this site.

  • By Raji, June 28, 2009 @ 10:52 am

    Indira, I have never even thought about it , making them at home although we grow green chillies at home..This is going to be one of my summer project..thank you

  • By Raji, June 28, 2009 @ 10:55 am

    the way my mother made it was little bit different ..she dip the chillies in yogurt 2-3 hrs..then sundry it and bring it back inside in the evening , put in the same yogurt overnnight..next day morning keep it outside to sundry…this program of her continues 3-4 days as far as I coudl remember

  • By Indira, June 28, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

    Salutation to fellow Sun worshippers. Thanks for your sweet peppery comments.

    Neha: The bajji mirchis or small Indian or Thai chillies that we get in Indian grocery shops are good for majjiga mirapa. Any slender and sleek variety will do.

    Diane: I would love to send you some if you would like to have.

    Sapna: Sabudana vadiyalu are the best. We also made some last week. They came out very well. Planning to make a large batch this week.

    Anu: Depending on the temperature, it would take two to three days or a week. Keep them under hot sun until they are moisture-free.

    Kay: Dehydrator is a good idea. Recently I tasted those manathakkal vatral pulusu. My God, they are tasty! So small but full of flavor.

    Chunda sounds great ms.
    No new posts at Sometime Foodie. Busy with baking adventures?:) Miss your wonderful book reviews!

    Gowri: Ceramic or glassware is a good tip. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Dee: Who needs sun-dried, when you have the most adorable sunshine at home? :) How is little Ishiya?
    Planning to make gummadi but couldn’t find boodida gummadi kaaya.

    Lzyjo: You have the most beautiful Plumeria in your garden.
    I look forward to reading your experience of majjiga mirapa.

    Nirmala: Tanjur milagai sounds too good. Are these tiny, round milagai? Would love to see a photo of this variety.

    Moi: Hope she tries and enjoys these culinary Sun salutations.
    I have become so blog-saturated, I don’t even link to my old posts anymore.:) Yes, the old post is a good one with lots of photos.

    Ranjan: Keep them outside at room temperature. The salt in yogurt prevents spoilage. Make them only with Indian type of curd. General store-bought yogurt doesn’t work for this recipe.
    Wishing you tasty majjiga mirapa.:)

    Surekha: Great to read your sweet memories and thanks for the good words.

    Raji: Great way to preserve chilli crop for cold, winter months.
    Yes, that is also one another way to prepare majjiga mirapa. We also make like that. Keep them soaked for a day, Sun-dry, bring back at evening and put them again in the same yogurt over-night. This process continues until the color of chillies change from green to pale white.

  • By Linda, June 28, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    Dear Indira (and V. and inlaws and Kittaya, too)

    Houston would be a place to roast in the sun, for sure. The making of dahi mirch is great to see in photos — now I know what to do if the sun ever shines in MA again ;)

    All the best as always,
    Linda

  • By Uma, June 29, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    I love magijja mirapakayellu. I make these and saggubiyya vadiyams in summer for the whole year. Right now making tamato pickle and lemon pickel. Drying in the Sun!

  • By Aparna, June 30, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

    What a coincidence Indira!! Maa majjiga mirapakaya are soaking in majjiga since two days..I went to your older website and saw the recipe for reference two days back, and thought abt the great chillies u used in that recipe – the straight long ones. I am using fresh Cayenne peppers from our local farmer Ray in Mississippi..Thanks to the hot summer and local fresh farm food!! By the way BUDIDA GUMMIDI is usually available year round in Vietnamese shops..check them out in your area.. I have a new baby boy, so not much time for stopping by ur site often :) I do stop by to check ur new garden..i wish i had a gorintaku mokka too!! kinda jealous…monnane ma papa ki pedtu anna..when we are in houston we get the mokka ani ..Great Site Great Info as always!! – Thanks!!

  • By Vassan, July 5, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    >> Tanjur milagai sounds too good. Are these tiny, round milagai? Would love to see a photo of this variety <<

    Tanjore – Thanjavur chiles are sort of miniature bell pepper size.

    For native thanjavoorans (!) its once a year thing to look fwd’ to!

    Dad used to bring home some kilos of this particular chile from Thanjavur. As the chiles get soaked in bright sunlight within the buttermilk mix in that pretty porcelain jar, we the kids used to remove the thin filter cotton ever so gingerly and pull out a half a soft chile and eat it enthusiastically!! not to mention, the salty fermented b.milk soothing your soul as well.

    mOr milagAi or Chile rellanos- Chilies rule :)

    thanks for helping to rekindle some old memories.

  • By j s, July 14, 2009 @ 7:56 am

    Indira, you said it would work with only Indian yogurt. Being a guy, it is hard for me to go though the process of making yogurt at home. How would i modify your recipe for a store bought yogurt?

  • By nithya at hungydesi, July 26, 2009 @ 11:17 am

    My dad fries these at home and brings us a sandwich bag of them which we slowly dole out and enjoy with maji mum. What a treat.

  • By Rajesh Reddy, October 8, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    Hi Indira garu,
    I am also from a village near Nandyal. Whenever I visit your site and take a look at the Rayalaseema recipes, it reminds me of my days enjoying mom’s food. Thanks again for sharing the pics they are very fulfilling :)

  • By gigi, November 3, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

    We call them oori merapakayalu at home! Wow!
    We also make budambaddalu (budam-baddalu) along with these. They’re made out of a cucurbit family fruit called budam (as in, short) dosakayalu. These look like tiny dosakayalu and they grow as weeds in paddy fields. You chop them up into 4 longitudinal pieces, pickle them in salt and chilli powder and dry them out in the sun for days after you wring all the water out of them. They taste a bit bitter and go perfect with thotakura/palakura pappu. mmm!

  • By Madhu, April 18, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    Hi I want to know that do we put the yogurt soaked peppers in fridge or outside. BTW the ready peppers turn out crunchy & tasty in the microwave too. just spray (optional) or as is for few seconds & they are ready without any hassle of frying.

  • By huma, May 27, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    Can leave it outdoor for the whole day including overnight to dry?

  • By Madhavi, May 31, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

    @huma,
    No, humidity during the night will spoil them. The mirchi should be outside only when the sun is shining.

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