Uppu Milakai (Salted dry chillies) – உப்பு மிளகாய்
Salted dry chillies are an accompaniment or side dish usually found in Yarlpanam. They are served with vegetarian meals at homes and functions and in restaurants. These are made and kept for future use and when properly prepared they will keep for many months when stored in dry place.
Method to make dry salted chillies:
These are made when chillies are available in plenty and cheap. Buy good quality green chillies and select only good disease free green chillies and wash them to get rid of any dirt.
Cut about two millimetres of the chillies at the tip and keep the stalk on.
In a big pot boil some water enough to soak the chillies, and when fully boiled add clean salt and keep boiling. Add salt until the water is super saturated with salt.
While the water is boiling, add the chillies and immerse completely and the water will stop boiling as the chillies are cold. Keep the chillies immersed and in the water when the water starts boiling again, remove the chillies from the water and keep aside. They are ready to dry now.
Spread the chillies which are now blanched in salt water on a mat and leave it in the sun daily until they are well dried. There should be no moisture in the chillies and they will keep for long.
To cook salted dry chillies:
These are deep fried quickly in boiling oil in a frying pan in medium heat. Do not overcook; remove from oil when they turn brown or slightly dark and crispy.