Simple Indian Bhajis (dry preparations) are always welcomed with a smile at my home! My husband and I are not major eating out fans! Well, we do enjoy eating out, but mostly it is because it gives me a break from cooking! I notice I always end up saying homely things right after a major party! Lets not get into awkward details here..
Bell peppers or capsicums are one of the most easy to find vegetables anywhere in the world. So it shouldnt be a big task to put this preparation together. And a simple recipe always makes life easier. So here is one such quick yet not too basic recipe for all of you out there.
"Peeth-Perun" refers to a preparation that involves addition of chickpea flour/besan, which is the "peeth" here.
Serves: 3 to 4 people
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 large bell peppers, roughly chopped (I use green)
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 pinch asafoetida (hing)
0.5 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp black pepper powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Step 1 - In a pan, preferably flat, heat 3 tblsp oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Saute for a few seconds. Add onions and saute on a medium high flame till the onions start turning brown.
Step 2 - Add the bell peppers and mix well. Cover with a lid for 5 - 6 mins stirring occasionally till the bell peppers are no longer totally raw. Add the salt, black pepper powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder and sugar. Mix well and cook covered till the bell peppers are almost done. We do not want the bell peppers to break down and mash. You should just be able to break them apart with your spoon effortlessly. Adjust taste. At this stage the whole preparation should be slightly stronger than what you desire. This is because, we are now going to add all the chickpea flour.
Step 3 - Lower the heat. Add the chickpea flour spoon by spoon and keep mixing, trying to avoid any lumps from being formed. Once all the chickpea flour is added, cover with a lid and let this cook for 2 to 3 mins, so the flour is no longer raw.
Step 4 - This is an optional step. You can gently press all the preparation to the bottom of the pan and cook it for 5 more mins. on a low flame uncovered. This will give a slightly burnt texture to the vegetable, which according to me, makes it even more tasty.
Serve hot with some chapatis. It tastes great with some plain yogurt too. Hell I use it as a sandwich filling too.
Did I mention this was one of my favorites??! :)
In step 3, to be sure of avoiding lumps, you can sift the flour into the vegetable. But thats not compulsory. Personally I dont mind little lumps in this preparation. They taste really cool.
Once, you are done making this dish, make sure you dont cover it. Let it cool down completely and then cover this up. Covering this vegetable when it is hot or warm, makes it all soggy by the time it is ready to be eaten. And that is not a pleasant sight!