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. 

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.

Cluster Beans Curry/ Guvar ki Sabzi

Cluster Beans are called Gorikayi or ChavaLikaayi in Kannada, Guvar in Hindi and Chitmitki/ Chitmitkesanga  in Konkani. They are flat and smaller compared to the regular string beans and have slight bitter taste too. They are rich in proteins, fiber and considered very nutritious.

For us they are available in the Indian stores and if I am not mistaken they are present all the year around, so I cook this pretty often. They have a mild bitter taste, so I add little shredded coconut to the curry to compensate for it. If you want you can also add little bit of jaggery toward the end and that balances the spiciness of chillies and bitterness of the beans. This is an easy curry to make and uses readily available ingredients. The time consuming part though is the trimming of the edges; however once the trimming is done, the beans do not take a long time to cook.

Cluster beans
  For this curry I add usually add green chillies instead of the red chilli powder. Doing so retains the color of the beans but unfortunately I ran out of green chillies and hence used the chili powder. This pairs well with daal rice and or rotis/chapathis.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of chopped cluster beans/guvar
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2-3 garlic pods (crushed)
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder [substitute with green chillies]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3-4 Curry leaves
  • Cumin seeds/jeera
  • Oil
  • A pinch asafetida/hing
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves (garnish)
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

Method: 

  • (Note: Make sure the top and the tail of the beans are removed and then chopped.)
  • Take a big flat bottom pan; heat about 2 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, jeera/cumin seeds, asafetida and mix until it turns light brown.
  • Add the crushed garlic, diced onions and sauté until it softens.
  • Add the chopped beans and stir until it mixes with the onions and seasoning.
  • Sprinkle some water, stir in between making sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Add salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder and mix well. Add about 1/2 cup of water and stir again.
  • Cover with lid and let it cook on simmer, stir in between.
  • Switch off when the beans are cooked (has bite to it, but not over cooked)
  • Finally add chopped coriander for garnish and shredded coconut and mix.
  • Serve hot with rice/rotis.