In my cookbook collection, I have a book called “100 easy-to-make Gujarati Dishes” by Vanamala Desai and Veena Shroff. This petite, unassuming book has some very unique and tasty recipes. The first one I tried was capsicum curry and just loved it. I tried many recipes after that and each one of them was truly wonderful. The book, which until now received only casual glances, has became a prized possession.
Capsicum curry has no gravy but contains a nice coating of chickpea flour and spices. Indians, especially south indians, oftentimes eat rice with chutney or some chutney-like dish before moving on to their daal or sambar. I did the same by mixing this curry with hot, steaming rice, and a tea spoon of oil. I quite relished it. This curry turned out to be quite spicy (I like it that way.) if you prefer medium spicy, use 1/2 tea spoon of red chili powder.
Capsicum curry and Paratha
2 bell peppers/capsicum (red, green or 1 of each!)
3 tea spoon besan/chickpea flour/chana no loat
1 tea spoon red chili powder
1/4 tea spoon turmeric/haldi
3 table spoon oil
1 tea spoon sugar
1 tea spoon mustard seeds/rai
1/4 tea spoon asafoetida/hing
1 tea spoon salt
Half lemon (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together besan, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, sugar and 1 table spoon of oil. This is the masala powder.
Cut capsicum lengthwise into thin strips. I used one green and one capsicum. Heat 2 table spoon oil in a pan and do tadka/vaghar with rai/mustard seeds and hing. Add the capsicum and cook it uncovered on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Now sprinkle masala powder all over capsicum and cover the pan. Do not stir capsicum after adding the masala. Cook for 5 more minutes and take it off the stove. Mix well. If you like, you can add lemon juice from half a lemon (about 1 table spoon.)