Today, I'm sharing a recipe rather than an art/craft project for, I thought, this weekend – the Christmas weekend – is going to be big on the 'art' of good eating! And ofcourse – the magic of being together and creating fond memories.
This dish – a vegetarian delicacy – is chock full of exotic aromas! It's a Rajasthani (I'm from Jodhpur, orginally!) preparation that I've learnt from my mom.
This is typically had with roti (Indian bread), 'lachcha paratha', 'tandoori roti', 'naan' etc.
I made it this Diwali for my guests and they loved it. The other dish I had served with this was the Cashew Paneer (cottage cheese) Curry. Both have distinct flavours. But, this one was the clear winner among my South Indian guests. There's something about South Indians and 'paneer'. They don't seem to like each other much! Ha! The hubby is an exception though. He's acquired the taste over time and now loves paneer. You can't possibly afford to not like 'paneer' living here in Delhi. Can you? (wink wink)
So, here the recipe. I'd say it's rather simple. Practically no chopping and that's the best part!
- 5-6 pieces Capsicums
- 1/2 kg potato – boiled, peeled and mashed
- Cumin seeds
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons (I normally use freshly roasted and grinded but you can use the store-bough powdered form))
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon or as per taste
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tea spoon
- Garam Masala – 1/2 teaspoon
- Amchoor powder (dried mango powder) – 1 teaspoon (for those who are not familiar with this, it adds a sourness and tang and I would rate it very high to get the desired taste. So, don't miss this!)
- Fresh pomegranate – 2 tablespoons
- Bay leaves – 3-4 (remove these later when stuffing the capsicums)
- Asafoetida ('heeng' in Hindi) (typically used in Rajasthani dishes as part of the 'tadka')
- 1 tablespoon oil (I use mustard oil for health and flavour; you can use any that you prefer)
- Salt to taste
Note: For my overseas (non-Indian) readers -you can get these spices easily in any Indian grocery store or even a regular super store
Part 1: (the stuffing)
- Heat the oil and add a sprinkling of asafoetida, cumin seeds (let it turn golden brown) and bay leaves
- Add the mashed potato and let it brown lightly
- Add all the spices one by one starting with turmeric
- Switch off the gas and spread this potato filling on a tray/plate
- When it cools, add pomegranate and mix gently
Part 2: (preparing the Capsicums)
- Slice the cap of the capsicums neatly and keep them aside (we're going to put them back on)
- Scoop out the inside of the capsicum
- Stuff each with the potato filling
- Put the cap back
- Oil the outside of the capsicums lightly
Part 3: (baking)
- Grease a baking tray and place each capsicum on the tray
- Preheat the microwave at 200 C
- Then, bake at the same temperature for 10-15 minutes till the capsicums are cooked and tender
NOTE about baking: I wasn't perfectly happy with their tenderness after baking for 10 minutes. Besides, I wanted some crispiness to them. So, I removed them from the tray and placed them in a pan and cooked over 'gas stove' for another 5-7 minutes on low flame. With this, the capsicums tunre out really tender and that crisp brown touch on the outside was adding additional aroma.
Garnish it the way you fancy and serve!
The best thing about this dish is that you can really innovate with the stuffing. If not potato filling, you can try any other that your family and kids prefer. You can add nuts or any other fruit instead of pomegranate. Or, you can follow the same procedure with any other vegetable instead of capsicum. You can do this with potato or tomato or ——————–? (fill in the black!)
What would you try this with? Or, what other variation can you think of – for the stuffing?
Hearty, Merry Christmas, folks! Have a magical time this weekend. Create LOTS of memories and pictures and happy moments.
Big rainbow hugs! (one of my dearest friends – Caroline -greets in this way. I'm really missing her today. It's been a while since we got in touch. Today, I'm going to write to her and call her).