Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicums)

Capsicum (Bell Pepper)

Hollywood often portrays the pretty blonds as cute and dumb. The same role in vegetable world is filled by bell peppers or capsicums. I think.

Bell peppers are colorful! Look so pretty, cute and also would bring that much needed (in some eyes) color and attraction when added to a dish. They are popular mainly for that reason and they have hollow insides, giving the impression of empty pretty heads just like the blond stereotype. No wonder we are tempted to fill them up. Almost every cuisine has several stuffed recipes for bell peppers. Rice, meat, lentils, nuts and cheese, every other thing in food world is used to stuff the bell peppers. Even other vegetables,… aah, the humiliation. The bell peppers must feel mortified when we fill them up with other veggies. But graceful they are, they won’t show it. They stand our mistreat and still look pretty. Such graciousness always invites strong reaction; people would hate or love them. But few could resist their charms.

One such charming, capsicum recipe is from India. Here the bell peppers are stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes and cooked to brown and then placed in peanut-sesame sauce. Served with rice or chapati, this is a meal fit for a rani (queen). Though the recipe makes us work like kitchen helpers in a rani’s kitchen, once you wipe off the sweat from the brow, once it’s plated, you would feel like a rani. Worth the effort, that’s what I am saying.:)


Capsicums Stuffed With Potato Curry - Ready For Browning

Recipe:

Potato Stuffing:
Good quality potatoes (red or baby alu) - 3 or 6, Pressure-cook or boil them in water, until tender. Remove the skins, mash them to smooth paste.
In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil, do the tadka (toast ¼ tsp each - mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves). Saute finely chopped pieces of one onion, 4 green chillies and a fistful of fresh peas. Add the mashed potato. Stir in salt, turmeric and one teaspoon of clove-cinnamon-cumin-coriander seed powder (garam masala). Mix them all well. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes - That’s our potato stuffing for bell peppers.

Bell peppers (Capsicums):
Pick 6 small sized, fresh and firm bell peppers - any color (green, red, yellow or orange) or color combination is fine. This curry is all about appearance and size matters. Small sized capsicums are perfect for this curry. Jumbo regular grocery (US) type are too big and the curry won’t look good when prepared with them. (Local farmers markets here in US, often carry small sized ones during summer time.)

Cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and membranes inside and make a hollow. Fill them up with potato curry to the top.

In a big iron skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Place the stuffed bell peppers neatly in a circle and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them to sides in-between so that they could get brown evenly on all sides. (You could also cook these stuffed bell peppers in oven - baking and broiling at 375 F until they are soft and tender to touch.)


Stuffed and Cooked Capsicums in Peanut-Sesame Sauce

Peanut-Sesame Sauce:
Toast quarter cup each - peanuts and sesame seeds to golden color. Take them in a grinder, add 2 cloves and 2 one-inch pieces of cinnamon, half teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt and a tablespoon of tamarind juice and powdered jaggery . Grind them to smooth paste.

Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a big pan. Add the peanut-sesame sauce and about a half cup to one cup of water. Mix well. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Have a taste and adjust salt, sweet and sour levels to your liking.

Add the stuffed capsicums to the thickened sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered. Serve with rice or with chapatis.


Stuffed Capsicum Curry with Rice

Notes:
Traditional North- Indian recipe does not inlclude the gravy, and cooking the stuffed peppers in peanut-sesame sauce is my version. Adding little bit Andhra touch.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Bell Pepper, Sesame Seeds (Monday July 17, 2006 at 2:04 pm- permalink)
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