Here in New England, Fall is already set in. Though mornings are still warm, the nights have become cold. A chilly breeze always blowing telling us that winter is almost near.
So this is not the right time to make any sun dried treats for us, but for people living in tropical countries, where you can find sun year round, you can make these any time. And if you are privy to a dehydrator, use it. I have seen some in shops though I don't have one.
Here is another yummy sun dried treat called Perugu Mirapakayalu or Dahi Mirchi or Dried yogurt chillies. Just make sure that you have lots of sun available to you like atleast for a week, cos if these don't dry enough, they can start rotting!
This process is done so as to remove any spiciness in the chilli pepper. But the chillies, we used are not that spicy, so they are good yummy. They are an interesting accompaniment to pappu annam or perugu annam.
Perugu mirapakayalu isn't that hard to make, but just that the whole process takes about a week. While preparing to make, make sure that you have fresh green chillies. In India, we get special chillies for this preparation, but here we only get these. Clean them, keep them dry too.
After drying, these chillies really shrink up. So the amount may seem small. So if you want count how many you are going to make.
About 50 green fresh chillies
I didn't give any measurements since its better to use your sense of sight and taste for this!!
After cleaning the chillies, use a sharp knife to slit the chillies, not completely, but just to the middle. I slit them top to middle on one side, then middle to bottom on the other, just making sure I didn't slit open the bottom.
Beat the yogurt with some water, lemon juice and salt. It should be like buttermilk, not too salty or sour. The consistency should be that like a thicker buttermilk, not too watery.
Put these chillies into the yogurt. Use a wide flat bottom container, so that all the chillies will fit comfortably into the yogurt, dipped in the yogurt that is! Soak it overnight.
Next morning, lay them to dry in the sun. I used a baking sheet lined with tin foil, but you can use a plastic sheet too. Let them dry for the whole day, at night put them back into the same yogurt.
So what was this yogurt doing the whole day....it was drying too, getting thicker. When you add the chillies back, don't add anything to the yogurt, just put the chillies back into it!
Repeat this process, atleast for 3 days and nights. By the end of 3 days, the yogurt would be soaked up enough by the chillies and get too thick. You can now discard it!
But put the chillies out to dry for atleast 4 more days or until they are completely dry, hard and light as a feather.
Store them in an air tight container for 1-2 years.
To serve, fry them in oil till they are brown in color. They do change color very fast and burn, so keep a tab on how hot the oil is. It should low to medium heat.
Serve as a side dish along with Pappu annam, daal chawal, lentils rice or Perugu annam, Dahi chawal or yogurt rice. Enjoy!!!