Oct 30, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have also loved to look at those lovely red bell peppers at the supermarket and this time I opted to buy these from the farmers market and made these stuffed bell peppers finally today. I generally make stuff tomatoes but this has become my fav now. Bell peppers are also called Shimla Mirch or Capsicum in India. Capsicums are not only colorful and pretty to look at, they are also rich in Vitamins A and C, are low in fats, and are richer in iron, zinc and thiamine! And what better way to enjoy these delicious peppers than in the form of Stuffed Capsicum Baskets with a tangy Sauce!

Ingredients for stuffing:
3 small-sized bell-peppers (any color)
3 medium potatoes boiled & peeled
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup cilantro
 salt - to taste
1tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp anardana powder or pomegranate powder
1 tsp garam masala

For the Gravy
2 cups yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated ginger
1tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Slice the bell peppers in to half and remove all the seeds. Boil the Bell-Peppers in water till tender. Cover and cook for about 10 mins or until they are tender and soft, but retain their shape.

Prepare the Stuffing
Add redchilli powder, anardana powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, cilantro to the boiled potatoes, mash them evenly. Take a pan, add 2 tbsp oil and saute the finely chopped onions. When they turn soft and glazed, add them to the potato filling mixture. Mix well and stuff the boiled capsicum with this filling.

Preparing the Gravy
Beat the 2 cups yogurt with 1/4th cup of water and whisk it well.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, and when they start spluttering, add the bay leaves, ginger, garlic paste and the tomato puree. Add all the dry spices for the gravy in the list above, and saute for about 2-3 mins. Add the blended yogurt to this mixture and cook everything on medium-flame for 8-10 mins. Keep stirring.

Baking the Bell-Peppers

Grease a baking pan with non-stick spray. Apply a thin layer of oil to the outside of the stuffed bell-peppers. Now place them at least 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.

Once the gravy is thick enough, remove from flame and allow to cool a little. Drop one heaped tbsp of the gravy on top of each capsicum. Add rest of the gravy all around the bell peppers. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and bake.

Preheat oven to 375 deg F and bake for 35 mins or until the outer skin becomes broiled and thoroughly cooked. When a tooth-pick passes through the skin without much effort, you know that the peppers are roasted and cooked.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve these Baked & Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chapatis or Paratha’s and Jeera Rice! Makes for 3 to 4 people.

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