I had first seen the recipe of Stuffed Green Bell Pepper (or “Capsicum” and “Shimla Mirchi”as it is popularly known as in India) when I was a kid and was skimming through one of my mother’s magazines (I think it was either “Femina” or “Savvy”) and came across this awesome looking photo of a stuffed capsicum(I wasn’t into cooking then,so I can hardly remember what it was stuffed with, but I’m guessing it had potatoes).
I was so enamored with that photo that I bugged and begged my mom to make it and she finally relented and agreed to make it.So,the next day, off we went,my mom and little me in tow to the bazaar/market and bought a couple of the freshest,greenest and biggest looking capsicums for the recipe(the rest of the stuff which we bought has been deleted from my memory-I happen to have a limited memory space and I tend to save only the most important stuff). Anyway,we got home and my mom got busy in the kitchen with me doing the most important part-opening the magazine to the page where the recipe was and keeping it where my mother could refer to it.That done,I left my mom to do the cooking(she was the expert after all)and I guess I must have whiled away the time till dinner.
When it was ready,we were called to the dinner table and I ran excitedly(again please note that I was never a good eater as a child and nothing other than chocolates got me excited) to take my place at the dinner table. That was when I saw what my mom had made and I burst into tears,and no-it was not tears of joy,but that of bitter disappointment!
It didn’t resemble the dish in the book at all,in fact it didn’t even look like she had made the same dish.I ran into the kitchen and got the book and pointed it out to her(just in case she had made another recipe by mistake)-the photo was of a nice green bell pepper,with a perfectly green skin,no blemishes,filled with the yummiest looking stuff with a little firm cap on it.What actually sat on the table was a soggy, greenish brown mass barely able to hold the stuffing!! My mother and the rest of the family tried to explain that in the photo the bell pepper was not subjected to any cooking and was just to get(what I now understand is called) an “awesome shot”.
The recipe called for the pepper to be fried,which made it change in colour and texture and hence the soggy mass sitting on our dining table. Whatever she made must have probably tasted great because she did make it a couple of times after that and even experimented with different stuffing’s,but I really couldn’t care. It was NOT what was in the book!!!
I’ve always loved the stuffed capsicum served at restaurants, but have found it way too oily to make on a regular basis. Looking for a healthier version I got the idea of “Microwave Stuffed Capsicum”. I had some tofu that I had bought to make “Chilly Tofu”(the recipe for which I have posted earlier). Since it was for a stuffing, the only change I made was to crumble the tofu instead of cutting them into cubes,and yes,I took a snap of the dish before and after cooking the bell pepper!!
Check out the recipe and ingredients for the “Quick Chilli Paneer”
Ingredients for Stuffed Capsicum with Chilli Paneer/tofu:
- 4 bell peppers (you can choose whatever colour you fancy).
- Stuffing-Chilli paneer or Tofu bhurji or egg bhurji or paneer bhurji or mushroom masala
- Cut the bell peppers carefully at the top,and remove the seeds.
- Apply a little oil to the outer side of the capsicum and microwave on high for 3-8 minutes (depending on the microwave)
- Once they are ready,stuff it carefully with the ‘Sweet and Spicy Chili Paneer‘ and serve.
- You can even stuff it with paneer/ tofu burji/ egg burji (scrambled eggs).
- Since I’ve microwaved the peppers, it doesn’t look anything like the fried version that is imprinted in my memory.
- You could even bake the capsicum instead of microwaving them.