Saturday, January 21, 2012

Capsicum Poriyal - Andhra Style

First things first, capsicum is green bell peppers for all my American friends.

I found them on sale at Food Lion and grabbed as many as I possible could. This is my biggst gripe in shopping for fresh green vegetables here. Unless I go to a farmer's market or shop organic by paying insanely high prices, there is no way that I can actually buy fresh green vegetables. And it's just not easy on a student budget.

So anyways, I guess I was lucky and last weekend with two hungry souls to feed and less than an hour's time to cook before both of them became super-grumpy, I came up with this recipe. I made it up as I went and the inspiration came from a buffet at The Woodlands where we stopped to re-fuel in Orlando, FL before we started our roadtrip back home to Columbia, SC. That version had a lot of vegetable and I tried to do the same with just the green peppers and in the end threw in a potato just to be on the safer side. It was run by people from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The irony behind all of this however was the fact that both the grumpy souls loved the dish and have been bugging me to make more. After this uber-long rant, lets finally get to the recipe, shall we?

Green bell peppers - 4
Potato - 1 medium size
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium size
Curry powder - 3 tsp
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Bay leaf - 1 small
Channa dal & Urad dal (whole) - 1 tsp

Coconut (shredded) - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies (dried) - 8 (Rule of thumb: 2 per green pepper)
Roasted peanuts - 4 tbsp (Rule of thumb: 1 tsp per green pepper)
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4 cloves (Rule of thumb: 1 per green pepper)

1. Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a smooth paste with as much water as needed. Set aside.
2. Cut the green bell peppers into big one inch piece cubes. Chop onions and tomatoes finely. Peel and cut the potato into big cubes.
3. Add oil in a big dutch oven and splutter the mustard seeds in it. Add the curry leaves, bay leaf and then the onions. Fry until browned on the edges. Then add the tomatoes and fry until cooked to a pulp. Continue frying until the oil separates. Add the curry powder and stir it in.
4. Finally add the green peppers and cook until half done. Then add the potatoes and cook until well done. Add water if needed at this stage.
5. To finish off, add the ground paste and cook on low for about 15 minutes, covered with a lid.

Goes well with plain rotis or paratha or plain steamed rice.

No source to cite here as I made this up as I went. Please leave a comment if you have a concern.

1 comment:

  1. TIP: the peanut gravy is bagara baingan/mirchi ka salan you can perfect your recipe I guess!!