October 28, 2010

Whole Chillies in a Zingy Mustard Yogurt

Once upon a time I made the mortal mistake of slicing a chilli and then rubbing my itchy eye. I propose that the pain factor is on par with a stinging nettle thrust into the eyeball. Coming from a chilli-mad family I was almost as irritated as my weeping red eye that I hadn’t been forewarned to never ever let this happen. And never will it happen again (I hope).

Other activities to avoid after handling chillies:
Blowing your nose
Cutting your nails
Scratching any sort of itch on your body, nor anyone else’s for that matter
Petting the dog/cat/bird/domestic rodent
Squeezing your spots- you shouldn’t be doing this one anyway
Going to the bathroom- you really don’t want to do that

What I don’t understand is when recipes call for de-seeded chillies. What’s that all about? Throwing away the seeds of a chilli is like throwing away the juice of a lemon, or the soul of a sadhu. It just defeats the object.

 Your fingers will be glad to hear (?) that with this recipe there is no contact with the inside of the chilli and the whole thing is used, so no wastage. Eating whole chillies may sound completely insane and lethal but you should know that once you eat one chilli and enjoy it, the next time you’re probably going to want it to be hotter… and so on, and so on, and so on. It’s a bit like building up resistance or immunity, which is great because chillies (in moderation) are great for the body.

So let’s get down to business. If you’re not used to hot food then I suggest you start off with the mildest chillies you can find (Note: it’s usually the case that the smaller chillies are hotter than larger, scarier looking chillies. As delicious as they may be, those pesky little ones just lull you into a false sense of security). I used super hot chillies- because I’m plucky like that. That’s not to say they don’t make my throat tingle and my ears itch with every bite. Full of capsaicin, chilli peppers increase heart rate and the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones) like the ones that make you feel virtuous (minus the side helping of guilt) after eating chocolate. No wonder they’re so addictive.
These green chillies in mustard yogurt are usually served as a condiment alongside a main meal. You just take a gutsy bite of chilli between bites of whatever you’re feasting on. If you’re not feeling the chilli heat then just try the mustard yogurt without adding chilli peppers. It’s rich, creamy, tangy and utterly heavenly. It’s perfect as a dip with Indian breads, poppadaums and crisps. Once you try it you’ll be hooked. You could add raw carrot sticks, green beans or asparagus. It also makes a great potato salad with boiled or steamed baby new potatoes. Go bananas.

Whole Chillies in a Zingy Mustard Yogurt


1 ½ cups thin green chillies (the kind of chilli you use is completely up to you)
2 cups Greek yogurt (I used Total)
2 tsp whole mustard seeds soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
2 ½ tbsp English mustard
1 small pinch turmeric
1 small pinch asafoetida (optional)
½ tsp-1 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Wash and dry the chillies.
Cut the stem and some of the bud off of the chilli, but don’t cut the base of the chilli off to reveal the inside. This will make it spoil quicker
2. Whisk together all of the other ingredients.
3. Fold in the chillies and pile everything into a sterilised jar. Refrigerate.

This will last weeks and weeks in the fridge (covered) because the thick, sour yogurt will envelope the whole chillies in a protective little blanket. So don’t worry, you won’t need to eat all of those babies in one go.*

*Please don’t actually try to do that because KO Rasoi refuses to be liable for the many hideous repercussions.

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28 responses to “Whole Chillies in a Zingy Mustard Yogurt”

  1. sangeeta says:

    I would like it hot…. i make a chilly dip but this one sounds khatta teekha n yummy . Pictures are great.

    The avoid list you have given is just lolz….:)

  2. Trix says:

    Oh I would love this!!! Heaven. And between you and me … I once went to the bathroom after handling Scotch bonnet peppers. I will let your imagination fill in the rest. : (

  3. arundati says:

    this is food porn sanjana! looks bloody good!

  4. Jhonny walker says:

    this is hot 🙂 But I like the yogurt enveloping. Will make this soon 🙂

  5. eatgreek.net says:

    TOTAL yogurt is perfect! and I think that the "hot" version of "total" must be very tasty! 😛 😀

  6. Priya says:

    This dish sounds extremely hot..stunning clicks..

  7. Mr. P says:

    Your pictures are liek Mowie Kay's! I am so woefully inadequate!

    I wear contact lenses; you don't need to tell this monkey about chilli pain!

  8. notyet100 says:

    so yum,..

  9. Gayathri's Cook Spot says:

    Hot and yummy!

  10. Medifast Coupon says:

    The heat of a good chili is like the love of a good man. Okay I am being silly I want the chilis!

  11. Nithya says:

    Wow.. thats hot 😉 Love your clicks 🙂

  12. The Mom Chef says:

    I hold you in the highest esteem for being able to do this, and your recipe looks fantastic, but there's no way I can do it. My brain loves the hot spice but my mouth is a wimp. It just can't handle it. I am bummed because this looks outstanding. I also love your writing style!

  13. Medifast Coupon Codes says:

    Do not know if my mouth could handle these, but I am thinking they'll be worth the suffering! Looks absolutely delicious! Can I have some please?

  14. Letizia Golosa says:

    Beautiful photo and styling!

  15. Kathy Gori says:

    This looks sooooooo yummy! Wow!

  16. Kathy Gori says:

    PS: I love your new site design!

  17. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Oh god I've rubbed my eyes after cutting peppers and it's terrible. Nearly as bad is rubbing your nose near the nostril. These peppers look awesome for a spicyness fiend like me.

  18. Saint Bapu says:

    Tastes lovely using Dorset NAGA chillies.
    As usual


  19. Matt Kay says:

    All you had to say was whole chiles and I was here like white on rice. 😀
    I love the idea of eating chiles this way. I sometimes fry them and eat them whole with salt and lemon but I've never really thought to make a sauce for raw chiles. Great idea!

    Thanks for sharing and Congrats on Top 9!
    Matt Kay

  20. Sortachef says:

    Yowza! Just imagining the creeping heat from a couple of Serano chiles makes me go red! But your yogurt sauce is so brilliant that I've got to give this a whirl… thanks!

  21. Rev says:

    lovely snaps! Sounds Hawt 🙂

  22. Anukampa says:

    wow..that's a great click Sanjana…am surely gonna try them soon

  23. travis.clark says:

    Would you be interested in trying a chai tea from a company I work with? I'd love to get your thoughts on it. It's organic, fair trade and the only micro-ground chai that I've ever come across. Let me know if you're interested. Thanks!

  24. Sanjana says:

    You guys are great! Thank you so much.

    Travis- I would love to! Email me at sanju(underscore)modha(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk with deatils.

  25. Turmericnspice says:

    almost missed reading this post since i was so busy drooling over your triclr barfis…

    I am not sure if i wld be brave enough to eat the chilies…but will try it with some bellpepers.. have never bitten into a raw chili…but i LOVE spicy food. I think in a few weeks the chili should be good soaking in all the yogurt. Might just get brave:)
    And ya…i know the pain of of slicing a chilli and then rubbing an itchy eye…i think some point of time we have all done this 🙂

  26. Rituparna says:

    OMG how could I forget about this after having book marked it. I am not a chilli fan at all but my sister would love to have a jar of this tucked away in her refrigerator. N even though we Indian's don't gift chilli's wouldn't this be just lovely for a friend who is a chilli maniac.

  27. Ambika says:

    So beautiful! Have never heard of this. Gorgeous photos as always Snajana. Loved your new blog layout, am visiting you after a long time today!!

  28. Shema George says:

    these look amazing…i love green chilly..will try this out soon 🙂
    when you get time, you can visit my space..I am also a food blogger 🙂

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