Milagai Mandi


Chilis, onion, garlic; this dish needs nothing else to make it shine



Let’s look at Indian Milagai Mandi, also known as Tamarind green chili curry.

This dish is typical of Tamil Nadu, a region in southern India. Mythili, the woman who told me the recipe, learned Indian Milagai Mandi from her mother-in-law, who is a passionate cook. It is important to note that India is the world’s largest producer of chili, which makes it clear why it is used in many recipes.

Miligai means green chili, and Mandi means rice water, or in other words, the two main ingredients of this dish. You can use rice water or improvise like I did and make your own using rice flour. I was thinking about how to chop the onion and garlic, but after searching the internet, I realized they are not chopped; they go whole. You need to dissolve the tamarind in the rice water and add it to the vegetable mixture. It is excellent in combination with heat because it gives a sweet, sour, and earthy taste.

Cooking Indian Milagai Mandi was pretty easy for me. While the onions, garlic, and green chilies are frying, you have an aromatic smell. However, after adding the liquids, an intense and overwhelming vapor was created. So, when you prepare Indian Milagai Mandi, turn on your hood and open the windows.

Indian Milagai Mandi is best served along with rice. That way, you get a great blend that will further help you deal with the spiciness of this dish. Although Mythili said this recipe wasn’t too hot, the chili was definitely overpowering, so instead of green chilies, perhaps try green serrano chilies for less spice. However, although spicy, this is a delicious, creamy recipe with a buttery texture. Therefore, if you are a fan of slightly spicy food, Indian Milagai Mandi is absolutely something you should try.

For more interesting recipes from around the world, check out my other blogs.

Watch the Video

Milagai Mandi


  • blender or food processor


  • 1 ½ cups boiled and strained rice water
  • 1 lime-sized tamarind or tamarind paste
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp urad dal
  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 20 small shallots
  • 20 green chilis
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • rice for serving
  • ghee for serving


  • Soak a big lime size tamarind in 2 cups of mandi (rice water) for 20 minutes. Once the tamarind has been soaked, squeeze it between the fingers to release all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside.
  • Boil water in a pot to a roaring boil. Make a cross on the tomato and cook for 3 minutes. Switch off the flame. Drain the water and peel the tomatoes. Blend the tomatoes in a blender to a coarse paste. Set aside.
  • Heat sesame oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds and the urad dal. Let it splutter. Then add in the garlic, shallots and green chillies and sauté well until all the ingredients are roasted. About 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the salt and the tamarind mandi water. Cook on high flame for 10 minutes. The gravy will thicken up. At the end of 10 minutes, the gravy should be soupy. If its watery, mix two teaspoon of rice flour in ¼ cup of water and add it to the gravy.
  • Allow it to cook for couple of minutes until the gravy becomes thick. Serve hot with rice and a scoop of ghee (if desired) to combat spice.
Course: Dinner
Region: Asia
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian


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