Thursday, May 10, 2007

(Stuffed) Peppers

Growing up, we found bell peppers 'funny'. They are called by such hilarious names: bhongi mirchi, dhabbi mirchi, dhabboo mirchi and even simla mirchi. I can understand the bhongi, dhabbi, and dhabboo part. They all refer to the size and shape: knobby-chubby- tubby.
Why simla mirchi, I don't know.

This version of stuffed peppers is a departure from the way they are usually made. I wanted to use ginger and garlic but the kasuri methi was a last minute addition. The methi added a wonderful dimension of flavour and left me pleased with myself!

Stuffed Peppers

4 Bell Peppers, tops removed and each pepper cut vertically into two
1/2 cup chopped veggies like carrots, bell peppers, or peas (optional, only for extra colour)
1 large potato, boiled and grated (or mashed)
1-2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 (generous) pinch kasuri methi
salt, to taste
1 tbsp oil + extra to coat the peppers inside out
Cilantro, for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Oil the peppers lightly and place them on the sheet, cut side down.
Bake for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Heat oil in a wok (kadhai) and add the ginger-garlic paste.
If the paste sticks to the wok, add a little water.
Add the kasuri methi and fry for about a minute.
Add the potatoes, salt, and the veggies (if using).
Mix well and turn off the heat.

Stuff the peppers with the filling, place them on the baking sheet and bake again for 15-20 minutes, depending on how soft you want the peppers to be. I baked for 15 minutes, as I wanted them on the crunchy side.
Sprinkle with cilantro.

Before serving, I further cut each pepper piece in half.
We had the peppers with rice, but they will also go well with rotis/ parathas.
Before dinner, I noticed small hands sneakily stuffing a stuft pepper in their small mouths. So they are sure to make good appetizers. Especially since they taste just as good at room temperature.

The peppers are on their way to Nupur for her A-Z of Indian Vegetables series.
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