Mahanandi

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

Flavors I love ~ Peppers with Potatoes

Peppers with Potatoes
Green, Yellow and Red ~ For Jihva Bell Pepper Celebration

This is what I used to prepare and take in a lunch box during my 8 to ? job days. The ingredients are common and the cooking process is basic. But the taste somehow exceeds the expectations. I used to like it a lot and still do, though I rarely prepare this “curry in a hurry” now. See if this is per your taste.

Peppers with Potatoes
(makes 2 to 4 meals for 4 to 2 people)

3 bell peppers (green or any color)
8 small, new crop potatoes or 3 regular sized ones
4 tomatoes
1 onion
1-tablespoon ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1-tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
oil or ghee to taste and tadka ingredients

Coarsely chop the listed vegetable to chunks. When I say coarsely, I mean really coarse, about one-inch sized pieces. Onions, tomatoes everything. The size matters here in this dish and adds extra special flavor.

Add oil to a kadai or wide skillet and heat. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. Add onion and sauté them to translucent. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook for about five minutes. Moisture from tomatoes creates steamy environment for potatoes to become tender. When they are halfway done, add the bell peppers. Also the listed seasoning. Mix and cover the skillet with a tight lid. Keep the heat medium and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add water. When you lift the lid, what you see is soft vegetables in semi-moist consistency. (nothing should be in puddles of water). At this point you are ready to serve.

Tastes wonderful with warm chapatis or rotis and also with steamed rice.

Matta Rice with Pepper and Potatoes

Peppers and Potatoes with Rosematta Rice ~ Meal Today and for Pooja’s Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Bell Pepper, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Peppers, Baby Potatoes, Jihva For Ingredients (Wednesday May 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm- permalink)
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Tofu Jalfrezi

Jalfrezi (Jal=spicy, frezi=suitable to diet) like its name suggests, is a diet-friendly preparation. I call it company food. When friends drop by unexpectedly, if I have peppers at home, then jalfrezi it is. With rice or chapati, it makes a quick and decent meal. The vegetarian version of jalfrezi is commonly prepared with paneer, peppers, onion and tomatoes. For today’s meal, I replaced the paneer with tofu. As you may already know, tofu enjoys vibrant vegetable supporting company. And in jalfrezi, the jazzed up tofu sure tasted good.


Tofu and Bell Pepper

Recipe:

Preparation is like saying one, two, and three. That easy.

Cut a red onion, two tomatoes and one big bell pepper into chunks of one-inch size. Slit a chilli pepper lengthwise to two or four thin pieces. Cut extra-firm tofu into one-inch cubes.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat a teaspoon of oil. Add and toast a pinch of cumin. Add onions, tomatoes and peppers. Grate a half-inch piece of ginger over the skillet. Stir-fry for about five minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Sprinkle the turmeric, salt and garam masala powder to taste. Mix, and then add the tofu cubes. Keep the heat medium, and cook for another couple of minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime juice. Serve hot with chapati or rice.


Tofu Jalfrezi with Chapati ~ Meal Today

Jalfrezi, the tech type.

~ Indira
(Busy days. See you again on Sunday.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Tomato, Soy (Tofu, Yuba), Peppers, Red Onions (Tuesday March 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm- permalink)
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It’s Chakalaka, Baby!

Chakalaka ~ South African Vegetarian Dish
Chakalaka

African food, at least here in the west, is usually restricted to East African staples like the delicious Ethiopian dosa, the Injera or entrees such as the equally delectable Moroccan chickpea stew (normally served over couscous) common to North Africa.

But what of the quintessentially South African Chakalaka?

As one examines the recipe, it’s not hard to imagine South African cooks venturing out into their vegetable garden one hot day, picking onions, red peppers, tomatoes and any other readily available seasonal produce. As the vegetables cooked, they probably craved some of the flavors they remember smelling as they walked down a street with Indian houses. Inspired, they might have thrown in a liberal dose of curry powder into the simmering vegetables in the pot. Since many variations also include tinned baked beans, hungry laborers might have adapted it as a quick and satisfying one-pot meal at the end of a hard day of slogging it in the gold mines.

With my well-equipped Indian kitchen, Chakalaka was a breeze to whip up. Indeed, the Indian influences are not surprising. Indians have been in South Africa longer than Caucasians have been in Canada! So at least for 7-8 generations. In fact, our beloved Mahatma Gandhi cut his revolutionary teeth in South Africa.

But back to Chakalaka (don’t you just love the sound of the name?)

While the jury is still out on whether Chakalaka is a chunky ketchup or a sauce or a cooked salsa (could be either); on whether it should be served as a side dish or a condiment (served as both) and if it should be eaten hot or cold (served either way), this spicy and always vegetarian concoction has now come to be identified as the definitive taste of South Africa. There’s even a restaurant in London named for this dish. Featuring a standard base of onions, tomatoes and peppers; this versatile dish is open to endless experimentation.

Other bloggers tell us that traditionally, Chakalaka is often served as a sauce with a maize porridge (Mielie Pap) that is eaten predominantly by the local black population. It’s also served with bread or the ragi-like Samp, made of maize. It can also be spotted as an accompaniment at South African barbecues called Braais (pronounced “bry”, rhyming with the word “cry”)

In the spirit of making a mean Chakalaka that is true to its African roots as well as its spirit of assimilation and innovation, my version is based on a number of recipes found online as well as one that was featured in the Toronto star.


Red, Orange and Yellow ~ Peppers in Autumn Colors

Recipe:
(Makes enough for approx 30 tablespoon servings)

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
4 fresh green chillies, slit
1 big red onion, finely chopped
A pound (4 to 6) juicy tomatoes, finely chopped
3 bell peppers, chopped into 1cm X 1cm pieces
2 carrots and 2 potatoes chopped into 1cm X 1cm pieces
Curry powder - 1 heaped tablespoon.
Red beans - one cup, pre-soaked and pressure-cooked to tender
Salt - one teaspoon, or to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish

In a saucepan, heat up the oil and saute ginger, garlic, chillies and onions to soft. Add the salt and curry powder. Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy and of sauce consistency. Add peppers, carrots and potatoes. Cook till they are of a desired softness. Add the red beans and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add coriander. Check seasoning levels and serve with rice or breads of your choice.

A small confession. After adding the beans, I tasted it and found the heat was a bit too much. So I caved and added a teaspoon of jaggery at the end. Unsuspecting victims, tasters of the dish said it took them to whole new levels of delayed heat which overwhelmed the palate after the initial deceptive sweetness. But they all agreed they couldn’t get enough of it!

Chakalaka with Chapatis and Pomegranate
Chakalaka with Chapatis and Pomegranate ~ Meal Today

~ Article Contributed by Janani Srinivasan
Photos by Indira Singari.

Kitchen Notes:
Other vegetables can also be added to Chakalaka - cauliflower, zucchini, string beans etc
For curry powder - if you have access to it, I recommend the fiery Sri Lankan Niru brand powder so ubiquitous in Toronto. If not, any other store-bought or homemade will do. The South African recipes recommend a local brand called “leaf masala”.
To be true to the grassroots appeal of this dish, you could use a can of baked beans from the local supermarket. Vegetarians check labels to ensure it’s free of lard or any other animal ingredients. If you can soak your own from scratch, that’s even better.
More on Chakalaka : Chakalaka 101, and Culinary Musings from Cape Town

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Red Beans (Chori), Peppers, Janani Srinivasan (Thursday October 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm- permalink)
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Bell Pepper Zunka

Bell Peppers with Besan:


Bell Pepper and Besan (Gram Flour or Sanaga Pindi)

This one is easy to prepare and puts the bell peppers in season to good use.

Slice the peppers, (green, red or yellow) length-wise into thin strips. Do pan-saute and season with spices and besan. The subtle sweet flavor of besan (gram flour) complements the bell peppers greatly. Lovely to look at, even lovelier to consume, bell peppers with besan also known as Bell Pepper Zunka in Marathi, is an ideal dish for bell pepper fans.

Recipe:

3 bell peppers - green, yellow and red, cut to thin strips of 1-inch length
3 tablespoons - besan (gram flour)
¼ teaspoon each - chilli powder, salt and turmeric (or to taste)
Popu or tadka ingredients:
1 teaspoon oil
Pinch each - cumin, mustard seeds, and a sprig of curry leaves

In a wide skillet, heat the oil until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves and toast to pale brown. Toss in cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to splutter, add the bell peppers. Stir-fry few minutes, until bell peppers become crisp and fork-tender. Sprinkle the besan, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix. Sauté, stirring often. Do not cover the skillet at this stage. When the pale yellow besan starts to get pale brown, time to turn off the heat. Serve the bell pepper Zunka hot. Makes a tasty meal when eaten with chapati or rice and dal combination.


Chapati with Bell Pepper Zunka, and Cantaloupe ~ Brunch Today

Bell Pepper Recipes:
Marathi Mirchi Bhaaji ~ from Kay
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Green Bell Pepper Saute with Dalia Powder (Pappula Podi)
Red, Yellow and Green Bell Pepper Curry
Bell Pepper Masala

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Gram Flour (Besan) (Thursday August 2, 2007 at 10:38 am- permalink)
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Vegetarian Gumbo ~ India Inspired

When we lived in Houston, one of the recipes we picked up from that region was gumbo. Okra, vegetables, beans, rice and seafood/meat, together cooked in wheat flour broth (called roux). That is gumbo in a nutshell. Vijay is a big fan of seafood gumbo and often prepares shrimp gumbo at home. Being the non-meat eater that I am, I had to develop a vegetarian version for myself. The following recipe is the result of my trials.

I’ve made few changes to the traditional recipe to suit my taste. I replaced roux with lots of okra and coconut-spice seasoning. And for today’s meal, fresh chickpea sprouts and brown basmati have joined the excellent cast of gumbo characters.

Swampland approach, but a new appeal with Southern India seasoning, my vegetarian gumbo is a delightful one-pot dish. The side effects I have noticed so far, it’d inflict a dramatic mood change. Kindlier attitude towards fellow beings, even towards themselves, which at times could be of even greater importance, may happen.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Gumbo
Red Onion, Orange Capsicum, Tomato, Sprouted Chickpeas, Brown Basmati and Okra

Recipe:

1 tablespoon ghee
2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
1 red onion, 2 capsicums and 4 tomatoes - finely chopped
20 okra - cut to half-inch rings
1 cup sprouted chickpeas (or beans of your choice)
½ cup brown basmati rice
Turmeric and salt - half teaspoon each or to taste

Southern India Seasoning :
Two tablespoons of grated fresh coconut, 6 dried red chillies, 6 cloves, quarter teaspoon cumin, fistful of fresh cilantro leaves, and a pinch of salt - blend to smooth, adding half cup of water in a mixer.

In a heavy pot, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add the capsicum, tomatoes, okra, chickpea sprouts and brown basmati rice. Mix and cook, occasionally stirring for about ten minutes. Add about three cups of water and also stir in the turmeric and salt. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about another 15 minutes.

When the rice starts to get tender, stir in the coconut-spice seasoning. Mix gently and simmer another ten minutes or so. When the rice is cooked to tender, turn off the heat. Cover and let the gumbo sit for sometime. The whole thing will thicken further on cooling.

Vegetarian gumbo goes well with papadams. They are great to scoop up the gumbo.

Vegetarian Gumbo
Vegetarian Gumbo with Okra, Chickpea Sprouts and Brown Basmati, Served with Papadams ~ Our Meal

Kitchen notes:
Grated fresh coconut, Brown basmati rice and papadams of different shapes can be purchased at Indian grocery shops. (Before serving, papadams should be fried in oil until crisp.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Benda Kaaya(Okra), Brown Basmati, Sprouts (Molakalu) (Tuesday July 31, 2007 at 12:11 am- permalink)
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Ratatouille ~ India Inspired

Cheeseless and Cheerful, India Inspired Ratatouille
Cheeseless and Cheerful ~ India Inspired Ratatouille

When it comes to international cuisine, French cuisine ranks among our favorites. Then again, we are devotees of Tibetan, Thai, Mexican and Italian … well you get the picture. But back to French food, if we may. So delighted are we of the new Pixar animated movie, we decided to recreate one of our favorite French recipes at home. Cheeseless and cheerful ~ The Ratatouille.

Dictionary defines Ratatouille as “A vegetable stew, usually made with eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and onions, seasoned with herbs and garlic”. Ratatouille, Pulusu, Kurma or Subzi …different names in different languages but the underlying wisdom is the same. Isn’t it? When vibrant and fresh looking vegetables are available, the recipe served will make happy people happier and comforts those who aren’t. Really, we don’t have to do much in order to make a miraculous meal.

The India inspiration is addition of poppy seeds. When added to bobbling vegetables in the pot, the powdered poppy seeds will bring sweet aroma and subtly enriches the ratatouille in a typical Indian way.

Cheeseless and Cheerful, India Inspired Ratatouille
Farm Fresh Vegetables from Pike Place Market for Ratatouille ~ Round Zucchinis, Red and Green Capsicum, Shallots, Purple Garlic, Baby Carrots, Fresh Peas, Tomatoes & Green Brinjals (Total Cost $8).

Recipe:
1 teaspoon peanut oil
¼ tsp each - cumin, mustard seeds and 6 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves and 2 shallots - finely chopped
6 each - tomatoes, brinjals, carrots & 2 each - zucchinis, capsicums ~ cut to chunks
Half cup each - freshly shelled peas and finely chopped coriander leaves
Quarter cup poppy seeds - powdered fine in a spice grinder
¼ tsp red chilli powder, salt and turmeric or to taste
**************
In a big saucepan, heat the oil until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves and toast to pale brown. Toss in cumin, mustard seeds. When seeds start to jump, add the garlic and shallots. Stir fry few minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and peas. Cook, covered for about ten minutes. The vegetables start to get tender and you will see lot of water in the pot. At this stage stir in poppy seed paste, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Sprinkle coriander leaves, mix and simmer another ten minutes, until the sauce becomes thick but pourable.
Serve warm with rice/chapati/bread or pasta.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Vankaya (Brinjal), Poppy Seeds, Zucchini (Tuesday July 10, 2007 at 9:06 pm- permalink)
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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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Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Of all different colored bell peppers, I like the red ones. Red bell peppers are matured green bell peppers and when bell pepper ages, not only the color but the flavor also changes. They become sweet, which is a surprise. Usually maturing into red signals the more fierce kind of flavor in vegetables, but here they mellow.

This favorite chutney of mine is prepared by roasting red bell peppers, onion and dried red chillies and by blending them including peanuts, jaggery and tamarind juice. The result is one of the flavorful and easiest Bharath-inspired chutnies you will ever try. Tastes superb with all the breakfast items, like idly, dosa, upma and also with rice, chapati or as a spread and dip for snack items.

Red Bell Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Dried Red Chillies, Roasted Peanuts, Tamarind and Jaggery - Ingredients for Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Recipe:

Cut to big chunks:
2 big red bell peppers
1 medium sized onion
6-8 dried red chillies
2 garlic cloves

Roast:
Heat about 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a skillet.
Add and roast the cut vegetables and dried red chillies on high heat. The vegetables should be very well browned and soft. Remove them from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, Soak tamarind, and Roast Peanuts:
- Small Lime sized tamarind in half-cup of warm water for about 10 minutes. Or microwave for 30 seconds - This is to soften the tamarind, so it can grind well.
- Roast half-cup of peanuts until golden and remove skins. Store-bought un-salted, roasted peanuts are fine too.

Blend, in a blender or in a mortar using a pestle:
All the roasted vegetables
Tamarind, along with the water it soaked in.
Half cup of roasted peanuts
½ tablespoon of powdered jaggery
¼ tsp of salt or to taste
Grind them together to coarse puree, without adding any extra water.

Remove to a cup and serve with your favorite breakfast/lunch/supper items.

Red Bell Pepper Chutney and Besan Dosas
Besan Dosa and Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Recipe Source: My own creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Bell Pepper, Peppers, Dried Red Chillies (Tuesday June 20, 2006 at 9:21 am- permalink)
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Red, Yellow and Green - Bell Pepper Curry

Eye catching and good looking, the 3 bell pepper curry is a flavorful, quick side dish to make.

1.Take one each of red, yellow and green bell peppers, cut each one into half. Remove the seeds inside and slice them thin lengthwise.

2.Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil in a wide pan. Toast pinch of each mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic (popu).

3.Add and cook bell peppers, covered for about 5 minutes on medium-low.

4.Remove the lid; add pinch of turmeric, a tablespoon of spicy dalia powder (pappula podi) and salt to taste. Cook/saute them for another 5 minutes openly, on high heat, stirring often.

Serve hot with rice and dal or with chapatis.

Celebrating Steelers Superbowl Sunday with 3 Bell pepper curry.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia) (Friday February 3, 2006 at 2:29 pm- permalink)
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Pasta in Chilli, Bell Pepper and Peanut Sauce

“What Kind of Food Are You?” - I tried the fun quiz of 5 questions. I expected Indian, but I don’t think the quiz has Indian food in its list of responses. The answer was ‘Italian food’, and I was satisfied. Like Indian, I think of Italian as another no-nonsense, honest kind of food. Though here in US, a little bit over glorified. What? Have you been watching food TV (US) lately? It should be renamed ‘Italian Food TV’ with its 24-hour Italian this and Italian that programming, and its star-cooks falling over themselves proclaiming their Italian heritage. Sometimes I wonder, why am I paying money for this channel on cable, is this a foodtv or a propaganda machine for Italian cuisine. It would be understandable if majority of Americans are Italians or Italian decent, but that is not the case and further, the minority (here the minority status is determined by the skin color) means non-whites, are climbing up to almost 40%. More and more, it looks like American Food TV has decided to disregard diversity and showcase only one cuisine at the expense of others. What a sad, sad thinking!

Well, I am glad to contribute one more recipe of pasta to IMBB #22, the mother of all events and most popular one in food blogosphere, this month hosted by lovely Amy of ‘Cooking with Amy’ fame. Even though I think of my contribution an original, I am sure there is someone, somewhere already written down this version of pasta sauce. Thousands of dedicated Italian cooks, cookbooks and hundreds of fabulous food bloggers, recipe sites - millions of pasta recipes, it got to be there, somewhere. No… then I am happy to cook up millionth one recipe of pasta.:)

spaghetti, red bell pepper, Tomatoes, Roasted Peanuts, olive oil, Onions, Dried red chillies and garlic

Recipe:

Pasta: I used spaghetti, Hodgson Mills brand, whole wheat with flax seed and organic variety. Like pulao/pilaf taste depends on basmati rice, a good pasta dish needs quality pasta. So I do spend few extra bucks on a fine variety. Hodgson Mill brand without a doubt, quality products.
One fistful of spaghetti for one person - that is the measurement I use for spaghetti.

For Sauce:
1 cup of peanuts - roasted and skins removed
3 red bell peppers - deseeded, cut into big chunks
4 dried red chillies and 4 garlic cloves - halved
3 ripe, juicy tomatoes - chopped into big chunks
1 small red onion - chopped into big chunks
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tsp of each-cumin, salt and powdered jaggery/sugar
I prefer to have sauce, lots of it with my pasta, so the above quantities.

Peanut-Veggie Sauce Spaghetti in pasta sauce

Preparation:

Pasta Sauce: Roast the bell peppers, dried red chillies, tomato, onion, garlic and cumin in 1 tsp of olive oil, until they all are brown and golden. Let them cool down to room temperature.

In a food processor, first add roasted peanuts and make a fine powder of them. To it, add the roasted veggies and half teaspoon of salt. Add half cup of water and grind them into smooth paste.

In a big wide pan, heat olive oil and add the peanut-veggie paste. Add one cup of water, jaggery and salt to taste. Mix and cook covered for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

Pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, usually for about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta into a colander, immediately add it to the sauce. Mix it thoroughly with pasta sauce. Cook, uncovered for about 2 minutes on low heat and serve.

The sauce can be made earlier and just before mealtime, pasta can be cooked and added. One thing I learned about pasta is, it has to be served hot, to get the best taste.
Spaghetti in Chilli-Red bell pepper- peanut sauce

Pasta in chilli-red bell pepper-peanut sauce: sweet, spicy, savory and smoky - A range of delicious flavors, all blended well together for a wholesome, hearty, filling meal ~ Our Sunday dinner and my entry to IMBB Event.

Recipe Source: My Own Creation
Tagged with: +

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Bell Pepper, Pasta, Dried Red Chillies (Monday January 30, 2006 at 8:32 am- permalink)
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Steelers Pizza

Steelers Logo from www.seatseek.comI consider Pittsburgh as my hometown in US because it was where we arrived in US from India. We spent three wonderful years full of firsts; first snow fall, first snow storm, first time assembling the furniture for our house from Ikea, first of lot of things.
And Pittsburgh is a sports town, Steelers is THE team, they all route for. Naturally we couldn’t escape the enthusiasm of locals and now we are also turned into full-fledged, The Terrible Towel waving, Steelers flag in front of the house kind of fans.

Last year was particularly exciting for us Steelers fans. The rookie quarterback brought the team almost to the finals. I could have prepared ‘Roethlis-berger’ in his honor for last years wonderful play, alas I am not a meat eater.

So instead I prepared our favorite game party food - Pizza, for this month’s sport theme party hosted by lovely Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness. Not any pizza but a pizza resembling the Steelers logo and wishing for a season of Steelers super bowl.

Steelers Pizza with Mozzarella and goat cheese with yellow, red bell peppers and olives as toppings

Steelers Pizza:

This Pizza is made with a basic white dough base, flavored with tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella and goat cheese and also roasted yellow and red bell peppers and olives.

Our lunch today:)-

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Goduma (Wheat), Bell Pepper, Cheese (Thursday October 20, 2005 at 3:01 pm- permalink)
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Capsicum with Pappula Podi

Green Bell Peppers with Spicy Chickpea Powder:

Green Bell Peppers (Capsicum or Bangalore Mirchi)

My favorite way to cook green bell peppers is this very easy, 15 minutes from start to finish capsicum curry. The special ingredient which makes it the absolute favorite of people who tried this curry is the spicy roasted chickpea powder. Mildly sweet and spicy chickpea powder and hot bell peppers compliment each other, and the prepared curry is a tasty delight.

Recipe:

3 bell peppers, sliced thinly lengthwise, then halved crosswise
3 tablespoons of pappula podi (spicy chickpea powder)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
For popu or tadka:
1 tablespoon of peanut oil
¼ teaspoon each - curry leaves, chopped garlic, cumin and mustard seeds

Bell Peppers

Preparation:

Place a wide skillet on stove top. Add and heat peanut oil. When oil is hot, add the curry leaves, garlic toast to pale gold. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the bell peppers.

On high heat, cook for few minutes, until the excessive moisture evaporates from them. Then reduce the heat, cover the pan partially, and cook for another five minutes.

When bell peppers are tender to touch, add the seasoning. Sprinkle the spicy chickpea powder, turmeric and salt. Mix and cook for about five more minutes. Turn off the heat. Serve the curry hot, over steamed rice and dal, or with chapatis.

Capsicum Curry with Rice and Spinach Dal Capsicum curry with rice, spinach dal and yogurt - our meal today.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Peppers (Tuesday September 6, 2005 at 2:25 pm- permalink)
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Kadai Paneer (Paneer Jalfrezi)

I prepared a big block of paneer this weekend. Half of it went into the palak paneer and with the remaining half, I prepared this tasty kadai paneer, today.

Ingredients:
Three ripe juicy tomatoes, 4 bell peppers, small onion - all cut into small pieces
Half tsp of ginger- garlic-cilantro paste
Cumin-coriander powder, salt and red chilli powder~ each half tsp or as per your taste
10 to 15 paneer cubes.

Kadai Paneer Ingredients

Preparation:
Cooking all the Ingredients - Kadai Paneer in making
Just like the regular curry, first fry the onions in 1 tsp of oil, then add g-g-c paste and c-c powder, sauté them little bit, then add salt, red chilly powder, tomatoes and bell peppers. Cook them for few minutes until the gravy (juice from tomatoes) thickens, then add paneer cubes. Simmer them for few more minutes in the gravy.

Kadai paneer and chapati- that’s one good and filling combination

Chapati and Kadai Paneer(Paneer Jalfrezi)

You can always substitute paneer with very firm tofu. I often make paneer curries with tofu. Different taste, but after knowing how they obtain milk here, I cautiously use milk and its products.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Paneer, Bell Pepper, Peppers (Tuesday June 7, 2005 at 8:21 pm- permalink)
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Capsicum(Bell Pepper) Curry

Like chillies, bell peppers are also members of the capsicum family. They range in color from green through to orange, yellow, red and now the latest fancy color in US markets is purple.

The most common varity we see in Nandyala region is green bell peppers. They have refreshing juicy flesh and crisp texture. And unlike mature bell peppers yellow and red, they do not have sweet flesh, which suit the curry preparations.

The following is a traditional recipe with green bell peppers from Nandyala, India. In peanut sweet and sour sauce, this beloved bell pepper curry is easy to prepare and tastes quite good.

Capsicum-Peanut Curry Ingredients
Green Capsicum, Tomato and Onion

Recipe:
3 green bell peppers (capsicums)
1 small onion
1 big, ripe tomato
Cut the above vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

For gravy:
1 cup of roasted, unsalted peanuts, skins removed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsps of tamarind juice
2 tbsps of crushed jaggery or cane sugar
2 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon stick, 1 tsp cumin (jeera)
1/2 tsp of salt.
Grind all the above into a smooth paste by adding half cup of water.
Sometimes I substitute peanuts with toasted sesame seeds and sometimes I combine both peanuts and sesame seeds for different tastes.

Gravy Ingredients Peanut Paste

Sauteeing the bell pepper Curry Cooking

Preparation:

In a pan, add one teaspoon of oil, when it is hot, add pinch each -jeera (cumin) and mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the cut vegetables. Saute until they are half cooked. Stir in the prepared peanut paste and half cup of water. Mix well, taste the gravy and add jaggery, salt and red chilli powder if needed. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium flame, covered, stirring occasionally, till the bell peppers become tender and gravy thickens.

This capsicum curry tastes great with rice and with chapati.

Capsicum-Peanut Curry with Rice
Capsicum in peanut sauce with rice ~ Our meal today.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Bell Pepper, Sesame Seeds (Tuesday April 26, 2005 at 1:41 pm- permalink)
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