Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Majjiga Mirapakaayalu - Sun-Dried Chillis

Andhras love their mirapakaayalu (green chillis)!Not only do we use them liberally to spice up our curries,pachi mirapakaayalu are used to prepare mirchi bajjis(stuffed green chillis),mirchi khatta masala curry ,mirchi ka salan(hyderabadi chilli delicacy)and a hot favorite (among the south indians) is majjiga mirapakaaylu (sun-dried chillis).
Majjiga (buttermilk) mirapakaaya, a traditional Andhra recipe and as the name suggests, is green chillis soaked in sour buttermilk and sun-dried.Once the chillis are completely dried ,their color changes to a nice beige color and they develop a withered look.We usually make them in bulk during the summer season and sun dry them over our terraces where the heat of the sun is the maximum and preserved in air tight containers.They are also called voorumirapakaayalu (telugu) and mor molagai (tamil) and when deep-fried,attain a lovely brown shade,a nice crispy texture and a subtle combination of a sour-salty-spicy flavors and are eaten as an accompaniment to pappu annam (dal and rice),rice and curry and especially with curd rice.

Majjiga Mirapakaaya is a simple recipe but is a lenghty process and requires some patience as the preparation process is spread over a week.All you need are fresh green chillis,thick buttermilk(majjiga),salt and a bright hot sun..:)Usually I use the green chillis which have less spice (the ones shown in the picture below).Wash and pat dry the green chillis and make vertical slits half way along the green chilli on two sides.The slits have to be made such that the green chilli is intact and doesnt open up.Generally the seeds of this particular variety arent too many so I dont really remove the seeds, as when you make the slits a few seeds do pop out on their own.You can remove a few seeds but ensure you dont break the green chilli.Now soak them in enough quantity of thick buttermilk (one kilo of green chillis will require 2 tbsps of salt) with salt added to it till they are well immersed for 3 days (and nights).Cover and shake them twice a day.

Take out the green chillis from the butter milk on the fourth day morning and sun dry it all day by spreading them over 4-5 sheets of newspapers or thick plastic sheet and put them back in the same majjiga again later in the evening at sunset(I usually do this between 6-7 pm). Remember to remove them in the evening and put them back in the buttermilk and let them sit in it all night before you again remove them the next morning to be sun-dried.Continue this process for atleast 3 days.Then throw away the left over sour buttermilk and continue to sun dry the chillis till completely dry (which is usually 3-4 days).
Store them in an air tight container and deep fry them in hot oil till crisp and golden brown (like you fry papad and vadiyaalu) as and when required.These dried chillis arent as spicy as they may appear and it also depends on the spice of the green chilli used in preparing the majjiga mirapakaayalu.If you are one of those who really likes a very spicy chilli then choose the spicer varieties of green chilli when preparing the majjiga mirapakaayalu.(The soaking of the chillis in majjiga will reduce the pungency of the green chilli whatever its spice level).There is another version of preparing the majjiga mirapakaayalu with stuffing (of carom seeds and cumin ) which I hope to share in my future posts.The classic combination of flavors of this traditional Andhra favorite, majjiga mirapakaaya, will delight you and I find it hard to put in words the feeling you experience when you bite into a cruncy sun-dried chilli and savor its taste. Its simply heavenly! Even a simple curd rice when eaten with a majjiga mirapakaaya makes it a special meal.
Recipe Source: Amma



shomas said...

Hi sailu
Being summer all these wonderful things start coming together. i do them too here in the US around june- July because the sun is quite sweltering by then. lovely mirkayalu.... yummy. thanks for the post

Vineela said...

I love uppumirapakayalu.My mom and grandmom r fully engaged by doing these things in summer.
MMMMMMMM nice photos.

Lakshmi said...

Hi Sailu,
nenu testanu Majjiga Mirapakaayalu kani India nunchi,ikkada chedamu ante peddaga sun vundadu.
anyhow, chala ishtamu ivvi.
Good post.

Tanuja said...

Hi sailu, Even my urramirapakayallu are in mid process right know cool india lo ayithe ippudu sun bhagha untundi u r lucky maaku inka antha bhaga ravatum ledu it takes time it almost takes one whole week to dry here. Thank u for adding me.

Sailu I have tried ur palakayalu yesterday they have out well soon i will post it on my blog.

sailu said...

Your welcome,Shomas,summer season is vadiyaalu time..:)

Thanks,Vineela.I also reminse the days of my grandmother preparing varieties of vadiyaalu...:)

Avvunu,Lakshmi,akadda antaga sun oondadhu kada?..:(

Tanuja,I am glad the Palakaayalu came out well..:)

RP said...

Yummy yummyyyy.... I love these.

Frannie said...

Sailu, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog! I love it all. I myself have a blog going about Ayurveda and food (from a novice point of view!), over at if you'd like to see it. My latest entry is all about YOUR blog!

I'll be visiting again really soon!
: ) Claudia (aka Frannie)

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Hey sailu, This is one my fav. I eat with curd rice:) Good pictures!! I usally buy these from the grocery stores.May be I will give a try this summer.

Diane said...

I just bought some of these from the grocery, and would love to try your recipe, but I'm not sure it gets hot enough in the San Francisco bay area. We are known for our fog, even in summer. I have a feeling I'd end up with moldy peppers, but may give a try this summer.

a said...

Hey Sailu,

Can i have a fresh chilies instead of the dry one? It is one of a kind chilies and one of my favorite-yum!

How are you?


Dhanya Menon said...

This is the first time I am adding a comment, but I have been closely following it. Really good blog, I tried 5-6 recipes and it turned out really well....You explain really well and that makes a lot of difference....Keep it up. And thanks to u, my cooking has become better and I am actually getting interested. :))

Kitchenmate said...

Sailu, These chillies brings me memories of my pregnancy days, infact i craved for this (along with lot others). I didn't like the store bought ones. Now i have mine(my mom's) which i bought from my last year India trip, though i am not craving that much:)now!!!

Lera said...

Summer & sun dried chillies !Sailu, I guess, an authentic Andhra meal wouldn't be complete without curd Rice and Majjiga Mirapakaayalu combo ....:)

sailu said...

Yes,RP,I am yet to find someone to says they arent fond of sundried chillis...:)

Thanks for dropping by,Frannie.You have a great blog with loads of ayurvedic recipes.Wonderful!

Thanks Priya.Do give it a try by preparing them at home.

Yes,Diane.Please dont ever make them when the sun isnt too hot.You will have very bad quality dried chillis which serve no purpose at all.

I am doing great,Tin..:)You can have all the chillis..:)

Thanks so much for following my blog and trying out some recipes,Dhanya.Just love it when I hear the recipes have turned out well and I take it as a compliment that you have actually improved on your cooking skills and that you are interested in spending more time in your kitchen.That's really great,Dhanya!

Oh yes,Karthi,I can relate to your comment having gone thru it myself..:)

Absolutely right,Lera,no authentic meal is complete without a majjiga mirappakaaya!

Luv2cook said...


Agree completely. Here where I live in the U.S there is enough sun in the summer to make the majjiga mirapakayalu but unfortunately I don't get the good quality big chilis to make them with :(.

Santhi said...

I have never tried making these sailu.. Looking at the pics I am getting an initiative to do it this summer. Los angeles can get very hot in summer. Perfect to make vadiyalu and majjiga mirapakayalu.

Saffron said...

yummy. Love them! I have started using these in place of regular dried chillies these days to give a salty tangy kick to a lot of dishes!!

Fantastic pictures!


swati said...


Lovely post. I like your presentation & pictures.
With Vendi ginnalu, kanakambaralu and Banti puvvulu, ugadi & srirama navami pictures look very traditional and making me nostalgic.

Can you post regarding boodida Gummadikaya vadiyalu. I like the combination of pulusu + gummadikaya vadiyalu + rice + ghee.

Mathy Kandasamy said...


Have you tried adding mor mizhagai after you add green chillies, to upma?

Wonderful flavour. and you can just eat it alone. ;)