Stuffed Capsicum/ Bharvaan Mirchi

Indian style stuffed vegetable dishes that I know of are notorious for being complicated and time consuming. What with the roasting of spices, grinding, stuffing and cooking it can take up a better part of the day. I have this experience while making the stuffed brinjal, a traditional coconut based stuffed dish. 

But this stuffed bell pepper dish on the other hand is quite easy to dish out and looks elegant too. There is no roasting of spices or grinding and since the capsicums are baked, they do not require the baby sitting. I am really excited about this recipe, so without much talk let’s get started and make the potato stuffing shall we? 

Ingredients for the filling/stuffing – potato bhaji:  

  • 1 big potato (peeled and boiled)
  • 3/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2-3 green chillies  paste
  •  2-3 grated garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (finely crushed)
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Juice of a lemon
  • ½ tsp Mustard seeds
  •  ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

 

Method: 

  • Mash the potato using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. If there are small lumps that is fine. Keep aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan, add oil. Then add mustard seeds, jeera seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Next add grated garlic and mix well. Add the chopped onions along with green chilli paste, salt and sauté until the onions have turned transparent.
  • Add turmeric, salt and crushed fennel seeds, coriander seeds powder and give it a quick toss. Add the mashed potato and mix thoroughly.
  • Keep covered for a minute or so. Check for seasonings and adjust taste accordingly.
  • Note: This bhaji/filling should be spicy, hot in taste.
  • Finally add the juice of lemon and add some chopped coriander leaves.

 

Now that the filling is done, let us proceed with stuffing into the capsicum and baking

 Ingredients: 

  • 3 big capsicums/bell pepper (any color)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Stuffing(potato bhaji) see above 

Preparation

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet and keep aside.
  • Wash the capsicum/green peppers well and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Take one capsicum and cut into two nearly equal halves. Remove all the seeds and pith from the inside and discard.
  • Brush each of the pepper inside out with generous coating of oil and also sprinkle very little salt on the inside.

  • Fill each green pepper with the potato bhaji. Press down so that they are well filled.
  • Put these to the baking sheet and transfer it to the pre-heated oven.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the skin of the bell pepper looks pale and cooked.
  • Optional: You can additionally broil it on high for 1 minute until the tops are crisp and brown. 
  • Note: You can fill these peppers with filling of your choice like rice, paneer stuffing, coconut stuffing etc. 

Spicy Roasted Tomato Chutney

Looking for an Indian condiment is that spicy, tangy and tasty? Then this spicy tomato chutney might work for you. This is my ma-in-law’s recipe and she used to make it often when she was here with us. She has quite a collection of chutneys, dry powders, Thokku’s etc which not only taste great but enhances the flavor of any meal. (as a side dish). 

This recipe involves a three steps process; making the spice powder, roasting the tomatoes and then seasoning it. You can make the powder ahead of time and use it while making the chutney. 

I agree, this is not an easy dish, it is time consuming but then the end product is really worthwhile. But if you make the powder in advance, then it reduces a step and preparation becomes easier. Usually when time permits I take up the task of making chutney on a Sunday. This way I have time to make it and also a week’s time to use it up. Remember a little goes a long way. This lasts for 4-5 days in the fridge and pairs well with idli, dosa, rotis and rice. 

Note: Change the quantity of the redchilli powder depending on your hotness tolerance level. I use a fiery red chili powder for this which we bought from India. 

Some more tomato related recipes: 

 

Ingredients:

  • 4-7 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 small pieces of raw tamarind
  • 2 tsp urad daal
  • ¼ tsp Hing/asafetida
  • 2-3 Tbsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola/peanut)

Powder:

  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds/fenugreek
  • ½ Tbsp jeera/cumin seeds

Method:

  • Wash the tomatoes well and chop them into two halves (along with the skin).
  • Powder: In a small pan separately roast the coriander seeds, then the cumin seeds and methi seeds (without oil). Transfer to plate.
  • After it is cooled, powder it finely and keep aside.
  • Roasting: Heat a heavy bottom flat pan and add 2 Tbsps of oil. Place the halved tomatoes directly in the pan.
  • After the bottom part has cooked, turn it around and cook on all sides. After it has cooked it will begin to wilt and loose shape. Press it with back of the spoon, so that all of it gets cooked. Now add the raw tamarind piece in it and stir again.
  • After it has cooled, grind it in a mixer (along with the tamarind) and set aside.
  • Seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add the asafetida, urad daal mix until the urad daal turns light brown. Now add the roasted tomato paste and keep stirring, making sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • After it has sufficiently cooked, add red chilli powder and the ground powder to this and mix well.
  • If you think it is a bit dry then add a teaspoon of oil. Let it continue to cook, until the oil leaves the sides.
  • After it has cooled store in an air tight container and this usually lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge.   

This can be served with rice or rotis, dosa, idli and rice.

Aloo Gobi Ki Sabzi (with Paav Bhaji masala)

People who use Paav Bhaaji masala are very particular about the brand that they use. Most food bloggers swear by Nupur’s approved Everest Paav Bhaji masala brand. In a recent Facebook discussion people had few other recommendations. I am yet to try the Everest brand as I have heard raving reviews about it. I am hoping to try most recommended brands in the near future. I have started with the Baadshah brand and so far, I am loving the taste of this masala. 

I have made Paav Bhaaji with it, the Tawa Pulao and also add it to regular sabzis.And boy does it change the character and flavor of the sabzi ! (in a good way). 

If you prefer this  version of Cauliflower sabzi which has minimal spices then you may want to try jazzing it up a little by adding some paav bhaji masala. 

This goes well with Daal rice, rotis, Pooris or chapathi.

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 big potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp paav bhaaji masala ( I used this)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1“ ginger
  • Handful of chopped Coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp jeera seeds/cumin
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Cut the cauliflower into florets (remove the stems) and wash them thoroughly.
  • Peel the potato and dice it into small cubes.
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes into small pieces and keep aside. Grate the garlic and ginger and keep separate.

Method:

  • Take a big skillet; add about 2 Tbsps of oil. Add jeera seeds, mustard seeds and allow it splutter.
  • Add grated garlic, ginger, mix it well and cook. Then add the diced onions.
  • After the onions are sautéed add salt and chilli powder and mix well.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté well until the tomatoes are slightly cooked.
  • Next add the chopped potato to this and mix well. Sprinkle little water and cover with lid and let it cook. Stir in between.
  • After the potatoes are ¾ way cooked, add the chopped cauliflower florets and toss them together.
  • Sprinkle water and cover with lid on medium and allow it to cook.
  • After it is cooked add the paav bhaji masala, little oil, salt, chilli powder (if required). Stir well and let the masala blend it with the vegetables. Cover or few minutes and cook.
  • Lastly garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

 

Serve with Rotis/ phulkas or with Rice.