Stuffed bell peppers is a creation of my Aaie (paternal grandmother). She was a master of all this quick recipes as she had very little time on her hands between all her daily chores, from working on fields and taking care of her children.
Aaie was a dreamer, and the most determined woman I have known. She was the first from her village to board an airplane to fulfill her dream to see the entire India before she died. Her generation woman didn’t have much of a say in family decisions, but she was determined that all her kids should get proper education and hence, built a house near a school. She would keep an eye on her kids and made sure they all end up at school every day.
My dad and uncles had to help with work on the fields and daily house chores. I’m mentioning house chores as it’s a very rare phenomenon at an Indian household for men to help out with daily chores.
Her situation fits so well in today’s world too. Where we all are looking for quick meals that use less ingredients.
Coming to the recipe, I have used small capsicums here as they are tender and cook faster. You stuff the capsicum with grated coconut with few spices. The secret to this recipe is to let the capsicums cook in coconut milk released from the filing and the juices of capsicum. Do not be tempted to add water.
If using frozen coconut defrost it in microwave for 30 secs before use.
I have combined kadhi and stuffed capsicum together and it was an instant hit at my home.
This is the best way to get little ones to eat veggies, you can use colored capsicum. Colored capsicums are real favorite among younger kids.
Yields: 5 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time for Capsicum: 15 minute
Cook time for Kadhi: 5-7 minutes
You will need:
For Capsicum Stuffing:
- 5 small sized capsicums/ Sweet Bell peppers
- 1/2 cup fresh finely grated coconut/ frozen coconut
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro/cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
- 3-4 crushed black peppercorns
- 1 small chili finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- salt as per taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp of oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
For coconut kadhi:
- 1 cup coconut milk fresh/ canned
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1 green chili finely chopped
- 1-2 Kokum/ Garcinia indica (optional)
- Salt as per taste
How to Proceed:
- Hollow the capsicum from stem side and scoop all the seeds out with the help of a small spoon.
- Mix all the ingredients stated under Capsicum stuffing and fill the capsicums. Keep aside.
- In a small pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard, cumin seeds and Asafoetida. Wait till mustard and cumin seeds splatter.
- Lower the flame and place all the stuffed capsicum in the oil.
- Cover with a lid and let it cook on low flame.
- Check periodically and sprinkle some water on capsicums cover and let them cook completely.
- For smaller sized capsicum it takes about 15 minutes to cook completely.While capsicums are cooking you can prepare the Kadhi.
- If coconut milk you are using is too thick add 2-3 tbsp of water to dilute it.
- Place the coconut milk in small pan with all the ingredients under kadhi section except Kokum and cook on a very low flame, sti continuously. keeping an eye that the milk doesn’t split.
- When the milk is warm to touch add Kokum and switch off the flame.
- Add the extra oil and mustard and cumin seeds from stuffed capsicum pan in the kadhi.
How to assemble:
Place one capsicum in small bowl and pour the kadhi around it.
Have kadhi with hot rice or roti. You may also have the Kadhi as soup or capsicum can be had as a side.