Mirchi Baingan ka Salan
The year is 1498. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama discovers the first sea route to India and lands with one condiment that that for ages thereafter would remain symbolic to the Indian cuisine — the chilli pepper.
When he offered the chilli pepper saplings wrapped in moss as a gift for their stay, Vasco Da Gama could not have anticipated how it would be turned into an iconic dish by an equally iconic dynasty. The Mughals who were the rulers of Indian at the time, were great lovers of food with kitchens staffed by highly skilled chefs.
Many believe that the Mirchi Baingan ka Salan was first prepared for Akbar’s court by one of his khansamas (chef), as one of the highlights of the menu served at Akbar’s coronation ceremony as the Emperor Of India.
Emperor Akbar, who was a staunch vegetarian, loved this dish not only for its unique taste, but also for its integration of flavours.
Today, this impressive dish of chillis, aubergines and peanuts is a traditional Hyderabadi preparation usually served at weddings and special occasions.