Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kairas - Capsicums in a sweet, spicy coconut masala

This is one more of my favourites from Ma's kitchen...

I love the flavours that come from this dish. Its sweetish, spicy and sour, all in one bite. Its a perfect side dish since it has the right amount of masala and goes well with rotis or dal-rice


What you need -

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp methi / fenugreek seeds
1.5 tsp dhania / coriander seeds
1.5 tsp chana dal
4-5 red chillies
4-5 pepper corns
1 tbsp white til / sesame
1 tsp tamarind paste / small ball of tamarind
1/2 cup grated coconut
1-2 tsp jaggery
peanuts / cashewnuts
1-2 capsicums
2 potatoes
1 raw mango(optional)
salt to taste
2 - 3 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of hing / asafoetida
a few curry leaves
pinch of turmeric powder

What you do with it -

Cook the potatoes. Peel, cut into bite size pieces and keep aside
The peanuts / cashwenuts used here need to be cooked, so I generally cook it along with the potatoes
Wash and cut the capsicums into bite size pieces
Dry roast the white til, powder and keep aside
Clean the raw mango and cut into pieces, if using

In a little oil, roast the mustard, methi, dhania seeds, chana dal and red chillies
Add the coconut and roast for a minute or two
Take it off the heat and grind along with tamarind, adding a little water

In a another deep bottom pan, heat a tsp of oil and and prepare a seasoning with mustard seeds, hing, and curry leaves
Add the turmeric powder and then add the chopped capsicums. Fry for 2-3 mins
Add the ground coconut masala, peanuts / cashewnuts, potatoes, raw mango, til powder, salt and jaggery Add a little water, if required
Serve with hot rotis or dal and rice

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stuffed Capsicum / Tomato...Ma's style

Am back from a really long break.
From the scorching heat in Ahmedabad, I left for my good old Bangalore, where the April showers, May flowers, friends and family brought the much-longed-for happiness...
Left that for the sweltering heat in Chennai, for a wedding in the family..
There was a lot of cooking that eating that happened over the last two months and its really showing up now :(

I did not have my camera cord and so there was no blogging for all this while, though I kept visiting my favourite blogs...

I have a lot of Ma's cooking to show off over the next few posts...One of my all time favourites, which is Ma's speciality, comes up first - Stuffed Capsicum and Tomato
We basically ran out of red capsicum, so used a tomato instead, which also tasted really good !


What really makes this stand out is that she doesn't stuff with the potato, which is the most common stuffing...This has a spicy chutney-chickpea flour filling, which makes all the difference...

cut stuffed capsicum

Stuffed Capsicum / Tomato

What you need -

2-3 medium sized capsicums (different colours make it look really nice)
1/2 cup chick pea flour / besan
1.5 cups chopped onions
1 cup coriander leaves chopped
2-3 green chillies
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 tsp salt
small piece of ginger
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup breadcrumbs / sooji

What you do with it -

Cut the caps of the capsicums and then de-seed as carefully as possible without breaking the capsicum. Wash and keep aside
Fill water upto about 6 inches height in a large vessel. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Place the capsicum in the water for about 5 mins, so that it gets a nice steam bath, but doesn't shrivel up
Grind the coconut, coriander, tamarind paste, ginger, salt, garlic and green chillies to a fine paste, adding only as much water as required
In a pan, heat the oil and add the onions, frying them, till they turn brown. Add the turmeric powder and then the chickpea flour. Fry on a low flame till the chickpea flour turns brown. Turn off the heat and add the ground paste. Allow it to cool
Stuff the capsicums with this masala and top it with breadcrumbs or sooji
In a shallow pan, heat some oil and place the capsicums with the crumbed portion on the pan. Once it turns slightly brown, turn it up and keep for a minute or two
You could use tomatoes also for a variation


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