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Monday, January 20, 2014

Red Pepper Boats

'Aloo Chop' or Bonda as it is called in the Southern parts of India, is a very popular snack in Odisha. One can easily spot a shop selling these at every nook and corner of the state. Balls of slightly spiced boiled potato dipped in a batter of Bengal gram batter and deep fried, these can hardly be considered as a gourmet's delight.

As part of my new year resolution, I intend to give a makeover to some of the most common oriya dishes. This is the first in line. Cutting out the deep frying part, I stuffed the potato filling into these lovely red bell peppers and roasted them on a non-stick pan with a only a few drops of oil. The firm (read Al dente) peppers not just make for great holders but also add a fresh flavor to a popular snack. I had originally planned to add Kaffir lime leaves to the potato mixture but could not find it anywhere in Bangalore. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - 2 medium sized red bell peppers, 2-3 medium sized potatoes ( boiled and peeled ), 1 tsp grated garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 medium sized onion ( finely chopped ), 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/5 tsp turmeric, 2-3 tsp chopped coriander leaves, 2 tbs fried peanuts, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation - Wash and cut each bell pepper into two. Remove any pith/seeds from within. Brush all over (both insides and outside) with oil and a bit of salt.

Cooking: Heat 3 tsp oil in a wok. Add mustard-cumin seeds when the oil starts smoking. Follow with chopped onion and the grated ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins till the raw smell goes away.

Add the mashed potato along with chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the fried peanuts and chopped coriander. Fry for 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and keep aside till it is bearable to touch.

Stuff the potato mixture into the bell peppers.

Heat a non-stick frying pan. Drizzle with remaining oil. Add the stuffed peppers and cook on each side for 3-4 mins. They should be cooked but still firm.

Serve hot as starters/snacks.

Sending this to Cook With Red Event at Shweta's blog Merry Tummy.


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