Thursday, December 29, 2011
Filled and Grilled Red Peppers
Having tempted you with a starter course let me add to my Free spirit bloggers' Rainbow/ VIBGYOR theme Red assigned to me by Mridhubashini, this rice dish for the main course.
We love bell peppers and will mostly have them stuffed. The stuffing varies as per mood on that particular day and the availability of ingredients. Sometimes I use up left overs to make some stuffing recipe and use that up. However, this time I must say that I cooked specially for the stuffing, taking care that the recipe also fell in line with my RED theme and used red colour peppers to grill.
The stuffing is rice cooked with spiced channa masala stewed using more tomatoes and carrots to bring out the red colour. I made this recipe for channa masala from my earlier post. That recipe does not list tomatoes. But I have used few tomatoes and 2 carrots to achieve the colour.
For the channa rice:
1 cup Basmati rice
1/4 cup channa (white chick peas)
½ cup coriander leaves washed well and dried over a cloth
3 big red onions
4”piece of ginger
2 teaspoons redchilli powder
2 tablespoons any brand channa/chole masala powder
1 marble size ball of tamarind
2 large tomatoes
2 medium carrots
3 teaspoons powdered jaggery
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cuminseeds
4 green chillis slit lengthwise
2 tablespoons ghee/oil
For the peppers:
(the above rice will be sufficient to fill 5 numbers large bell peppers)
5 red bell peppers
3 tablespoons yoghurt (I had cashew yoghurt and used that)
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
1/8th teaspoon carom seeds
1/2 teaspoon dry mint leaves
1 teaspoon green chilli paste
1 tablespoon coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Soak the chick peas overnight. Drain the water in the morning and pressure cook the peas until they are soft.
Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly and spread on a cloth for few minutes.
Heat two teaspoons ghee in a pan and roast the drained rice. Take care not to break the rice kernels. Transfer the rice to a cooking pan and add two cups of water to the same. Allow it to stand for about 20 minutes.
Next step is to marinade the peppers.
Wash the peppers and pat them dry.
Using a sharp knife, slice a slit on the top until a small portion is still holding in place with the lower part.
Carefully scoop the seeds and membrane out.
Grind rest of the ingredients listed under the peppers in a marinade paste.
Gently coat the insides of the peppers with the marinade and let them stand for about half an hour.
If the peppers do not stand still, slice the bottom evenly so that they do not fall.
While the peppers are marinating, the rice can be prepared.
Steam the carrots until tender. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for about 20 seconds and drain. Allow to cool and peel the skin off.
Grind the chopped onions and ginger along with the coriander leaves and the small marble size tamarind.
Grind the tomatoes and carrots to a puree.
Heat a generous tablespoon of ghee in a heavy pan.
Add cumin seeds and the green chillis. Saute' and add the ginger onion paste. Cook over a low flame until the fat separates. Now add the tomato and carrot puree, salt, the rest of the spice powders, jaggery and the cooked peas. Boil and simmer until the gravy is very thick.
Place the rice bowl on heat and bring the water to a boil. Close with a lid and lower the flame.
When the rice is half cooked, add the channa masala and cook further until they blend well and the rice is soft yet grains can be separated.
Pre - heat the grill. I set my microwave to grill 1.
Gently fill the marinated peppers with the rice. Close the tops. I did not seal them, just flapped the top back in place.
Place them in a baking dish. I used my bread trays to stand the peppers in.
Grill for about 7 minutes. The peppers will be well roasted and the skin might start peeling and in some places they may also char a bit.
Remove from grill and transfer to serving dishes.
Serve hot decorated with salad leaves and favoured vegetables.