STUFFED BELL PEPPERS (CAPSICUM) IN A CASHEW-ONION SAUCE
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This less-than-a-tbsp-oil Stuffed Bell Peppers/Capsicum in a health nut (cashew)-onion sauce is the perfect beginning to the first weekend of 2014. Super healthy, low cal yet a perfect weekend brunch/dinner. Quite an elaborate dish but I promise you, it is going to be totally worth the effort!
I have come to realize that recipe writing is no piece of cake. Allow me to show you. Check out this picture below, the main ingredient of this dish.
It took me a while to decide the title for this recipe because I did not know what to call it! In India, we call this capsicum but anywhere else, they are bell peppers. If I ask a vegetable vendor (Yes, most homes still buy their vegetables from vendors and hawkers and not an air-conditioned supermarket), I am sure they would think I am asking for paper! 😀 Conclusion: Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicum)- Voila!
Then the sauce or curry or gravy – What is it?! While the definition of gravy around the world is a sauce made of natural cooking juices from meat/poultry, in India it is just any wet vegetable dish. Curry is mistaken for a spicy hot sauce with turmeric & curry powder in it but this dish has a white subtle sauce. Sauce in India is just tomato ketchup for most of them. Ha ha.
I am telling you pals, adapting one lingo to cater to a mixed-bag of audience, Phew! Then again, like I said before, some dished are totally worth the effort. 🙂 Enjoy this recipe for
Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicum)
- Soak the cashews in warm milk for at least 1/2 hour.
- Preheat the oven to broil. Brush the bell peppers with a tsp oil. (You can roast these on a flame from gas stove directly or follow the next step)
- Line a baking tray with foil, place the peppers on them and place them in the oven on broil for about 10-15 min or until they turn golden. After halftime, flip the peppers exposing the underside to heat.
- Meanwhile, lightly roast the julienned onions in 1/2 tsp oil for about 2 min.
- Blend the roasted onions and cashews to a fine paste using the milk from soaking (adding in little at a time).
- Heat a tsp of oil in a pan. Once hot, add the chopped onions and sauté for a min. Add kasoori methi and chopped tomatoes.
- When they are half done (in about 2 min), add the chili powder and salt. Stir.
- Add the crumbled paneer, mix well and cook for another 2 min. Set aside.
- Peel loose skin off the roasted peppers. If your peppers are large, cut them in half else you can simply chop the top off. Deseed the peppers.
- Spoon the paneer mixture into the bell peppers.
- Take the butter/oil in a pan. Once hot, add the pureed onion-cashew mixture. Add the crushed black pepper and season with salt.
- Cook the sauce for 3-4 min with continuous stirring (to prevent the sauce from burning). Add small quantities of water to help you stir.
- You will notice that the sauce keeps thickening in spite of adding water. That is because of the cashews. Add a 1/4 cup of water finally. Place the stuffed peppers in carefully.
- Allow the sauce/curry to simmer. Cover the tops and side of the peppers in sauce (using a ladle, pour over). The simmering helps the peppers to absorb flavours from the sauce.
- After about 2-4 min (or until the desired thickness is attained), turn the heat off.
- Enjoy this with roast bread, naan or some saffron rice.
The time for roasting peppers depends on the thickness of the peppers. If you have thin variety, do not overcook. They will become too fragile to handle for stuffing. Keep a check on them wile roasting.
The thickness of sauce is your choice and the water used to dilute it for simmering can be replaced with milk/cream for a creamier version.