While I raise my concerns about being overweight and the need to change our eating pattern at home, potato still remains the most frequently sought out vegetable in my household. This is done usually as for baby A, sabji = potato and potato = sabji. So, the potatoes in the veggie are usually picked out and heaped in baby A’s plate, which she chomps down with her roti – giving us a look which says – ‘ aren’t you guys proud of me? I am eating adult food – daal, sabji, roti!’. However, when I have got something else set up as her menu, I prefer to leave the potatoes alone and reach out for my favorite ingredient (maybe every maharashtrian’s favorite ingredient) – besan.
Back in my mom’s home, while addition of potatoes to vegetables is a crime, a liberal sprinkling of besan is the usual practice. It makes the vegetable delicious and healthy. Though I have seen besan being used very often in maharashtrian, rajasthani and gujrati cusine, it is not used in everyday cooking in north Indian food. No wonder hubby N had never eaten this version of shimla mirch ever before. It is great that he likes it as much as I do. Still waiting for baby A to get a taste of non-aaloo delights such as this one!
Shimla Mirch / Capsicum – 4 big (washed, deseeded, chopped to bite sized chunks)
Besan / Chickpea Flour – 3 tbsp (flat, not heaped)
Oil – 1.5 tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – half tsp
Ajwain / Carom seeds – half tsp
Salt – as per taste
Haldi/ Turmeric Powder – half tsp
Laal Mirch / Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Dhania / Dry coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala/ Kitchen King Masala – 1 tsp
1.Heat oil in a wok / non-stick pan.
2. When hot, add jeera, ajwain and let them splutter for a few seconds.
3. Add haldi, red chili powder and give it a stir to blend them with the oil.
4. Put in the shimla mirch chunks, mix gently to coat them with the oil mix.
5. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes / till the capsicum wilts.
6. Open and add salt. Cover and cook again for 5 minutes.
7. Open and sprinkle coriander powder and garam masala. Sprinkle the besan now. Mix gently so that the besan coats all the pieces. If you see things getting too dry, sprinkle some water.
8. Cook for 5 minutes in the open, so that the besan is cooked, moisture evaporates and the deal looks crisp and shiny.
9. Serve with rotis, or pack for lunch.