Monday, October 8, 2012

Stuffed green chilies - Bharwan mirchi

The past week has been a big blob with all boundaries of day and night merged together. It has been hectic at work and I am as sleep deprived as can be. I have loads of catching up to do, didn't get to spend any time with DD or BH over the weekend as they tended to themselves, didn't make my weekend calls to catch up on folks back in India and didn't get to visit many of my favorite blogs and check out what they have been cooking. But then, the new week is a new beginning and so far seems to be sane enough that I will be able to get back to all my other stuff outside of work too :-).

What I rediscovered over this 'no time for anything else' week and weekend was that cooking still helps me stay grounded and actually massages my tired bones and nerves, my kitchen is a place I find myself at peace. So I did cook, infact we had guests over on Saturday for dinner, and that was very pleasantly distracting as I took some time off from gaping at my machine or sticking the phone to my ears. I am glad I am pretty good at what I love to do, think about my poor family if I was a wretched cook and still insisted on cooking no matter what :-)

I told you about the hot peppers that have been growing in my backyard, right? We already made Mirchi ka Salan twice as that is what DD wants every time we have those mirchis harvested :-). So, I called dibs on the 3rd round and sneaked them into this other favorite of ours. I first tasted this in one of my Marathi friend's lunch box, she had got one single piece to go with her rice and after gobbling up the whole thing I was still craving for more and she had to part with her secret recipe to keep me away from her lunch box next time ;-). I have seen a few versions of the Bharwan mirchi and have also tweaked the original recipe I got originally to suit my taste and here is a wonderful tasting besan stuffed green chili.

We got the sapling labelled 'hot peppers' and now that I have seen them full grown they are neither Jalapeno nor Anaheim but have thick skin, moderately hot and stand cooking well.

Almost always, when we visit South Indian restaurants, I end up ordering the cut mirchi platter for an appetizer. If you do not know what I am talking about, it is the hot chilies, dipped in a batter of basan & spices, deep fried in oil, cut in bite sized pieces, stuffed with more spices and raw onion and deep fried again and served with chopped onions and lemon wedges :-), ok, ok I will come back with that recipe another time. Notice the 'double deep fry' in there? That is not so good for any of us on a regular basis, right? So I always lean towards other options where possible and you can enjoy the tangy stuffed mirchi below just like you would a cut mirchi platter but definitely with lesser oil. I call this my 'reversed mirchi bajjis' as the basan is stuffed inside the jacket of the chilies.
What do you need to make basan stuffed green chilies?
12 green chilies (Anaheim or Jalapeno or other similarly thicker skinned variety)
1.5 cups besan
1 Tsp mustard
3-4 curry leaves - chopped small
2 Tbslp oil
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
5 Tblsp  oil
3/4 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/8 Tsp asafoetida
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp cilantro/coriander leaves - chopped fine
Garden fresh green chilies, with some grape tomatoes thrown in for color
How do you make basan stuffed chilies? 
  • Wash, pat dry the chilies, remove the stem ends and make a vertical slit from top to bottom without cutting the chili. 
  • De-seed the chilies and keep aside. 
  • Mix all the stuffing ingredients in a wide plate except oil until they are well combined. 
  • Add oil and make a soft, crumbly mixture, this should stay in shape when molded. 
  • Take spoonfuls of stuffing and stuff them into the chilies, be generous on the stuffing as it helps to mellow down the hot chilies. 
  • Heat remaining 2 Tblsp of oil in a wide pan, add mustard and chopped curry leaves. Let the mustard sizzle.
  • Arrange the stuffed chilies in a single layer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
  • Open, turn the chilies over, cover and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes until the chilies wilt and the basan cooks completely. 
  • Serve warm. 
  • The recipe I got from my friend adds a Tsp of coriander powder and 1/2 Tsp amchoor powder. I skipped the coriander completely and use the lemon as it helps build moisture and potentially reduces the oil used. 
  • These mirchis need to cook in a slow process - low heat and covered pan are key to a good stuffed mirchi. 
  • Low heat also ensures basan cooks thoroughly but not get burnt and the chilies turn lighter green in color.
  • Serve as a snack with some chopped onion and a few drops of lemon juice squeezed on top. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

stuffed green chillies are really very tasty not that hot what I thought.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Delicious one...looks tempting

Jay said...

perfect & yummy recipe...looks wonderful
Tasty Appetite

Kannada Cuisine said...

Ah! that is delicious...Love it

Daksha said...

Looks mouthwatering!! i love spicy food....