Stuffed Pepper / Bharleli Mirchi


Here is the recipe of a side which I absolutely love, to the extent that I ignore all other daals and sides if I got a bowl full of these spicy peppers. At the same time, I also ignore all warnings by mom about not overeating these! These rescue you from boredom when you can’t eat a morsel more of the same veggie you have been consuming since ages (especially if you got someone like hubby N at home, who would want nothing but aaloo gobhi and arhar daal for every meal. )
These peppers are the ones prepared by my mom, I have never had them at any other place, so I am not sure whether this is a Maharashtian or Gujarati dish. These can be made as mild or as fiery you may like, it depends on the stuffing you make. These peppers as such are not hot like the small green chilis, you just have to make sure you pick up the correct ones – these are usually large, light green in color and kinda hollow.

Ingredients –
large green peppers – 5 or 6 in number
besan/ gram flour – 1 cup
dhania / dry coriander powder powder – 1 tbsp
half tspn of spices – red chilli powder, garam masala, fennel / saunf seeds, carom / ajwain seeds
sugar – a pinch
salt – as per taste
juice of half a lemon
oil – 1 tsp
jeera / cumin – half tsp

Method –
1. Dry roast the besan in a heavy bottomed kadhai, till the rawness goes away and you get an aroma out of the besan. This step can be skipped, but is essential if you want a longer shelf life.
2. Once the besan has cooled down, add in all the spices, sugar, salt and mix using lemon juice, so that the mixture is neither too dry nor too wet. You want it to stay inside the peppers and not keep falling apart.
3. Clean (wash and wipe) the peppers.
4. Cut each into two halfs.
5. Using a knife, create a vertical slit on each of the portions. Remove all seeds from the insides.
6. Fill in the besan stuffing tightly into each of the portion.
7. In a heavy, flat bottomed kadhai, heat oil. Once hot, out in the jeera and let it splutter for 10 seconds.
8. Slide in the pepper portions slowly, lest they overlap each other.
9. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
10. Open the lid, carefully turn each pepper around so that they are cooked from all sides.
11. At this step, you can also sprinkle any leftover stuffing you might have. It coats all the peppers and tastes heavenly.
12. These do not take too much time to cook. To test, insert the tip of a knife into the skin of one of the peppers. If it gets in easily, its done.
13. These can be served as a side with rotis or daal-rice. When stored in the fridge, they stay good for upto a week.


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