Fried Thayir Milagai
Thayir milagai and a bowl of Yogurt Rice is a simple but perfect combination; it is one of our all time picnic favorites :D. We enjoy these delicious chiles with everything - rice, dosas, and even toast. I know some friends who love to munch on a bowl of these for a little snack!
It is quite easy to make thayir milagai; the best time to make them is in the summertime when chiles are abundant and we have long, hot, sunny days to dry them. I remember all the ladies getting ready to prepare all sorts of dried veggies - particularly the yogurt chiles - every year. Helping to bring in the dried chiles and put them back in the marinade were some of the duties of all the children - one of the side benefits of helping was that we loved sampling the delicious half-dry chiles :D. The half-dry chiles are also delicious with Molagushyam, Molakootal, and other mild curries - I am sure that it was no mystery to Amma how quantity of the chiles were dwindling rapidly.
Thayir Milagai means yogurt chiles; thayir = yogurt and milagai = chiles. The best chiles suitable for making Thayir Milagai are flavorful green ones that have a bite but not necessarily the hottest. If only very hot green chiles are available, some or all of the seeds including the core may be removed before marinating them in the yogurt. Stored in airtight containers, the dried chiles last a long time.
Dried Thayir Milagai
1/2 lb Green Chiles
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 Cup Tart Yogurt or Buttermilk
Wash the chiles well and wipe them dry.
Make a slit on the blossom ends of the chiles while keeping the stems intact; carefully remove some or all of the seeds if you like a milder chile.
Mix the yogurt and salt in a clean glass or ceramic jar with a lid.
Immerse the chiles into the yogurt, cover, and allow to stand overnight or a bit longer at room temperature.
Drain the chiles and reserve the yogurt marinade.
Spread the chiles on a non-reactive tray lined with parchment paper (makes it easy to clean the tray and the chiles won't stick either :D) and let dry in the sun for several hours.
At the end of the day return the chiles to the reserved yogurt, mix well and let soak overnight again.
In the morning, drain the chiles again and dry as before.
Repeat the above procedure about 3-4 times more.
Discard any remaining yogurt and dry the chiles thoroughly for another 3-4 days.
Store in an airtight jar until needed.
Heat a of tablespoonful of oil and cook and stir the chiles slowly until deep brown.
Cool and serve. Enjoy!!