Bharwan Shimla Mirch (Stuffed Bell Peppers)
Capsicum /Shimla Mirch(Capsicum annum) belongs to Solanaceae family(Eggplant/tomato family or Night -shade family) , commonly known as bell peppers , they are used in salads , stir/fry , salsas , stews, soups and curries also .Bell peppers come in so attractive colours red ,orange,yellow are all riped and are sweet in taste more , and green is unriped variety .
They are known to be first grown in South America , and then gain popularity in other parts of world .Rich source of Vitamin C & D, Red peppers contain Lycopene and B –carotene both useful for better eye-sight They also contain Vit B6 and Folic Acid (Red and Orange) useful in reducing the risk of cardio-vascular diseases.
While buying look for the skin to be blemish free ,deep colours and skin intact , they should feel heavy for their size , the stem should be fresh and green .The peak season is July to November , but now , these are available throughout the year, Check your Local grocery stores and Farmers Market for the Organic Variety also .They are paired finely with Tomatoes,Potatoes ,squash ,garlic and onions ..all goes well into curry. They are heavily used in Pizza and Mexican Salsas , like Soffrito etc...
They can be refrigerated easily ,blanching not required , but whole and intact bell peppers freezes well , as there is not much air that is able to go inside it.. here is the recipe for baked Shimla Mirch or Bharwan Shimla Mirch .
~some cashews/pine nuts
~1 tbs of red pepper powder
~½ tbs corriander powder
~½ tbs cumin powder
~ 1tbs of Mc Cormick garlic pepper seasoning (California style)
~2 Large Boiled potatoes
~Heat oil and fry the onions/garlic/ginger for some 5 mints at low , add the dry seasoning .
~Add the tomatoes and fry for some more times , when the oil seems to come out of the sides , stop it cooking .
~Mash the potatoes with spoon while hot and add the prepared masala to the mashed potatoes ,add salt as per taste ..add cashews and raisins.
~Preheat the oven at 350 F( 175 deg C )
~Meanwhile cut an incision at the top and cut the cap and stem take out the seeds with spoon or better feel free to use your hands and stuff the potato mixture to the bell pepper with a spoon .
~Now in a cassorole dish , spread tomato sauce (can use jarred pasta sauce also), place the stuffed bell pepper over it and bake it for 50 mints flipping the side in between ,cook till a brown crust develops over the bell pepper .
~At the final 5 mints sprinkle some shredded cheese ( I use cheddar cheese, can use Mozzerella also) and bake it for just 2 mints till it melts..
~Take out and serve with roti or rice of your preference.
~Bharwan shimla mirch can also be prepared by frying in oil , heat a kadai/saucepan , add oil and gently set the peppers inside , cover and low the flame , approx 7-10 mints and then again change the sides of pepper , cover and cook for approx 7 mints . When you can see its roasted or a brown crust develops take it out and serve .Enjoy with Roti/Chawaal/Bhaat or as is ...
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Have you really pondered for some moments that we are much blessed by God for providing a shelter home , food to eat and money to spend .There are millions of those underpriveledged who don’t have anything to eat or live life on streets , No luxary to afford , Children living their life on begging and collecting garbage from road sides with no hope for a better Tommorrow ..If your heart melts for them then participate in bringing the goals set by Gracious VKN. For more details go To Vcc-q4-2006-you-can-cook-for-fahc and Fahc-campaign .
Some more recipes next time , Bon Apettite and Happy Cooking .