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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Italian Pepper, Indian Style

I discovered these flourescent green Italian Peppers when I was a student in India. I didnt know their name then. My friend and I ate these peppers and Spring Onions as salad every evening with our dreary mess dinner.

The area we lived was rampant with malaria in those days. It was so bad that every month atleast one of our classmates had to be admitted to a nearby nursing home. Well atleast the nursing home benefitted due to the mosquitoes. Anyways, we sincerely believed that these peppers along with spring onions was our body's best defense against those mosquitoes. Weird, isnt it? Actually our logic was like this- the mess food never had any nutritive value and adding greens to our diet everyday would go towards building our body's immunity. Not a bad logic I think. Well, alteast we ate our vegetables. The peppers and onions salad really grew on us and it was definately the brightest and most colorful part of our meals. And we christened these peppers 'Salad Mirch'. We followed this regimen religiously every evening for 2 years. And both of us had just one bout of malaria in those 2 years. Pretty good actually compared to our friends who had several relapses.

I was delighted to find these peppers in the grocery stores in America. This time I was sure of its name- Italian or Cubanelle Peppers. Not only I eat it raw as a salad accompaniment to my meal but I also prepare this easy delicious curry. So here is the recipe.


3 good-sized Italian Peppers
1 heaping Tblsp of gram flour (besan)
1 heaping Tblsp of dry roasted coarsely ground peanuts
1 Tsp oil

1/2 Tsp mustard seeds

1/2 Tsp urad dal
Red chilly powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder

Few Cilantro leaves


Before I proceed, I have to emphasize the need to use non-stick pan to prepare this dish. I tried making it in a normal (not non-stick) pan and the result was a mushy mess with way too much oil.

For the peanut powder, dry roast a cup of peanuts until its browned on the skin. Use caution here as peanuts burn very easily. Cool and grind them into a coarse powder. Use whatever is necessary for this dish and reserve the rest for later.

Take the oil in the non-stick pan, sputter the mustard and redden the urad dal. Then add gram flour, peanut powder, turmeric powder and red chilly powder to it. In a few minutes this mixture will perfume your kitchen with its nutty roasted aroma. It takes only about 1-2 minutes. To this add the chopped peppers and salt to taste. Stir and close the pan with a lid. Every once a while stir and check if the peppers are cooked. Once cooked, open the lid and let the curry roast itself for a few minutes on medium flame/heat. The flour and nut powder will turn a beautiful brown color to coat the peppers. Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle chopped cilantro. This dish can be served with both rice and chapatis.

This is my contribution to the "I of Indian Vegetables" event hosted by Nupur of One Hot Stove. I happened to chance upon Nupur's blog when I was searching for caramel custard recipes on google. Before that I never knew the existence of food blogs. So I owe a great deal to One Hot Stove for showing me the world of food blogs. Thanks Nupur.


Nupur said...

Very interesting story! I love your recipe, the way it incorporates both besan and peanuts. Thanks for participating!

Bee said...

Hi...came to your blog via one hot stove...

seems like an interesting preparation.. do u think this cld work equally with the regular 'capsicum' mirch?

trupti said...

I love these peppers...and stuffing them makes them even better, nice recipe.


Sapna said...

You could certainly make this with capsicum(green bell peppers). Tastes good. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Pleasure to have you visit my blog. Thanks.

Nupur said...

Sapna, just wanted to say...I made this lovely vegetable for dinner last night, and we *loved* it! It was such a tasty treat! Thanks for sharing this simple and easy recipe.

Sapna said...


Glad that you liked the dish. I love it too and most of all very easy to make.

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.

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