Great big green chillies in a curry

They’re most commonly found on rainy, chilly evenings in steaming street carts in India, doused in batter and so very deep fried, that it is hard to recognize them hobnobbing with other staple vegetables on a plate at lunch. I’m talking about the great big green chilli. Waving it once in front of my younger boy will send him squealing from the room. But if you like to blow the roof off your mouth once in while, here’s how you indulge in this spicy chilli without deep frying it.

They’re deceptive actually. Some of them are not at all spicy. But biting into each one until you giving Mount Etna competition isn’t the way to find out. At times you can tell the level of spice from their aroma. But no worries. In this curry, adding onions and tomatoes and a little lime takes away a little of the bite. So grab some the next time you’re at the market and try it!

Serves: 2


  • 6 large green chillies
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced in big chunks
  • 2 medium onions, diced in large chunks
  • Salt to taste
  • Couple of teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish

Getting it together:

  • To prepare the chilli for cooking – take off the stem. With a sharp knife slit down the length of the chilli and cut into two long pieces. Gently scrape out the seeds with the blunt edge of the knife. If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves or use a napkin to hold the chilli.

green chilli whole

  • Chop them up about 1 inch square, also the onions and tomatoes.

green chilli cut

  • In a pan, heat the oil and saute the onions for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir them around for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chopped chillies and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a few spoons of water over the mixture and cover with a lid, allow the chillies to cook through. They needn’t get too soft, just about cooked.
  • Take off the lid and while still simmering, add salt and mix well. If you’re very adventurous you can add more spice like chilli powder, but you don’t need to. The spice in the chillies is enough for the whole dish.
  • Add the lime juice just before you turn off the heat.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander.

chilli curry

Serve hot with rotis or bread!

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