Dry capsicum subzi / Bell pepper curry

Whoa, it is a month into 2011 and I have already fallen back on my resolution to make 2011 the year with maximum posts on the blog.

However, I must share with you the menu for the year end dinner I hosted for friends, a completely vegetarian Lebanese Menu. Details and links to the recipes here.

Most of Jan was spent outside of home, partly visiting family and then a small vacation to Hong Kong. Being vegetarians, finding good vegetarian food in HK turns into a mini-adventure by itself. I must write about some of the good stuff we tried there, in a different post.

I have a blog-plan in place for this month. It's going to be the month of simple recipes, beginner-friendly even, all of February. The first in this series is a dry capsicum curry, which can be had with rotis or even to spice up a basic dal-rice menu.

I use green capsicums for this as it does not have the sweetness of the red or yellow variety. If you like that taste, then go ahead and substitute this with that, or even use a medley of colours to make the dish look pretty.

Dry capsicum subzi / Bell pepper curry
Serves 2-3
Time taken - Under 20 minutes

4 medium sized green capsicums or 2 large ones
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp each - fennel seeds, Nigella seeds (kalonji), fenugreek seeds (methi), mustard seeds (rai)

In a small bowl, mix together-
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder)
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt or as per taste

Wash and cut the capsicums to a medium dice, removing the membranes and seeds.
Heat the oil in a non-stick wok and splutter the fennel, nigella, fenugreek and mustard seeds.
Add the diced capsicum to this, toss on high flame for a few seconds, reduce the flame to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes, till nearly softened.
To this add the mixed spice powders and toss well to coat evenly. On a low flame, let this cook for another 5 minutes until the raw smell of the spice powders is gone.
Using a non-stick pan makes it very easy to prepare this, as on a regular wok, the spice powders will stick and burn as we are not using too much oil.
Remove from wok and serve hot with rotis or rice.

You could also add a handful of frozen sweet corn, peas or boiled and diced potatoes to this dish.

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