This post on Indian Style Stuffed and Pan Fried Green Peppers has been sitting pretty in my draft folder for a while now. I’m not sure why I’ve missed it so far, but it’s a recipe that is worth sharing so here it is.
It was sometime last year (yes, that’s how long this post has been due) during my weekly trip to my market that I came across these little bell pepper like chillies at one of the stalls. They’re about 1/3rd the size of a largish bell pepper and look more like them than like chilies. I was seeing them for the first time and asked the stall owner what they were called. He told me that they were called “Jowari Mirch” which translates as Jowari chillies. Apparently they’re seasonal and a summertime crop, and grown in the neighbouring state of Karnataka where they’re usually stuffed and cooked.
I searched the net a lot and the closest thing I found to these chillies I had was these Thai Pumpkin chillies. If you can’t find these, you can do this with any very mild green pepper like bell peppers and this recipe tastes just as good. I must mention here that I discovered these unusual chillies turned out to have a reasonable amount of hidden fire in them, so I slit them on one side and cleaned out the seeds and everything inside rendering them harmless.
These Jowari chillies were a little more expensive than the regular variety of green bell peppers, so naturally I came home with some. Then came the task of figuring out how to cook them. I asked around, at home and on the net, and almost everyone who recognized these chillies told me they were meant to be stuffed.
Many of my friends and others whom I asked suggested fillings that they said was used to stuff and cook chillies similar to these and two of the suggestions appealed to me. This one from Anushruthi uses peanuts and this one from Sravanthi uses chickpea flour. This time chickpea flour won hands down over peanuts and I chose to adapt Sravanthi’s recipe.
Like I said earlier, you don’t have to necessarily use the variety of chillies/ peppers that I did. Any largish variety of chillies/ peppers that are mild will work just as well. You might need to increase the amounts given for the filling in this recipe if your chillies/ peppers are on the larger side.
Indian Style Stuffed & Pan Fried Green Peppers
- 1/4 kg mini green bell peppers (about 20 or so)
- 2 to 3 tbsps oil
- 1 1/2 tsps mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tsps black gram lentils
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
For the filling:
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp smallturmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or more if you prefer)
- 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tsp powdered jaggery (optional)
- 2 to 3 tbsps finely chopped fresh coriander
- to taste Salt
- 3 tbsps oil
- Start off by preparing the chillies/ peppers. Wash and dry them and then, using a short bladed sharp knife, remove the stem and the seeds. It's a good idea to keep the hole on the top of the chillies/ peppers on the smaller side and try to keep them whole otherwise. If you're using a long variety of chilli/ pepper, then keep the stems intact but make a lengthwise slit and remove the seeds without breaking the chillies. If there's any filling left over keep aside.
- Now prepare the filling. Put all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix them well together with a fork, or the tips of your fingers. Gently, put this filling into the prepared chillies/ peppers and then keep them aside.
- Then heat the oil in a frying pan and turn down the heat to medium. Then add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds and the black gram lentils. Stir for a minute or so until the lentils start turning golden in colour (don't let them brown) and add the curry leaves. Add any left over filling to the pan and stir a couple of times.
- Gently place the filled chillies/ peppers in the frying pan with their tops facing upwards. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and let them cook turning them gently so that they cook evenly without the filling coming out. You can sprinkle a handful of water after about 10 minutes if you feel it is necessary.
- Once they're done, gently transfer them to a serving dish and serve as a side with rice or chapatis.