When I get bored with regular rice, dal and curries (which is every week), I try out something different from the usual to jazz up my meal experience. But never have I stepped far beyond my horizon. The key to cooking interesting meals is not fancy ingredients, but the ability to make do with the available items. If you have to make several trips to the market just to make one dish it seems too much of a task, every week. And especially during the lockdown period, I chose my groceries very carefully, having a vague plan in mind of what all I might cook in the forthcoming days. Just a few days back I experimented with stuffed bell peppers, and ended up making a delicious dinner.
A meal in itself, this stuffed dish can be cokked in various ways with your choice of stuffing. while many A meal in itself, this stuffed dish can be cooked in various ways with your choice of stuffing. while many may prefer to use ground mutton or shredded chicken as a main ingredient in the filling, I opted for mushroom rice. A more common way of stuffing bell peppers or capsicums is using potatoes as the main ingredient.
Although I fell short of a variety of ingredient on the day pf cooking this, the inside of the dish might not look very colourful. To make it more visually appealing, I’d recommend using green peas, tomatoes, boiled sweet corn, and perhaps chopped capsicum or bell peppers as well.
Honestly, the thought of stuffing capsicum with another chopped capsicum seemed to be some form of cannibalism, so I did not go ahead with it. But you hold the reins in your kitchen, fill those hollow green shells with whatever you please!
Capsicum – 2 large (You may use red/yellow bell peppers, the taste will be different)
Rice – 4 tbsp
Mushrooms (chopped) – 1/2 cup
Paneer (mashed) – 4 tbsp
Potatoes (boiled) – 1 large
Cheese (grated) – 1/2 cup
Green chilli (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Onion (chopped) – 2 medium
Salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Butter – 2tsbp
Rice oil/ Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
- Scoop out the insides of the capsicums with a spoon or knife and clean them well.
- Soak the rice for 20 minutes before cooking them. Do not cook them all the way through, let them be slightly undercooked.
- Mash the boiled potato, and add the mashed paneer, 1 tbsp melted butter, salt, crushed black pepper, 2 tbsp of finely chopped onions, and chopped green chillis. Mix them well and keep aside.
- Boil water in a pan with 1 tsp salt in it; dip the capsicums upside down and allow them to rest in the hot water for about 7-8 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Saute the mushrooms until they release water and shrink in size.
- Then add the onions, and ginger-garlic paste, and fry them well. (Here you can also add tomatoes, corn, or green peas if you want)
- Add the cooked rice, and mix well. If required, sprinkle some water.
- Add salt and pepper to it.
- Before taking it off the heat add 1 tbsp of grated cheese and fold it well with the rice.
- Now, take out the capsicums from the hot bath, and allow them to dry for a couple of minutes.
- Take a spoonful of the mashed potato-paneer mixture and shove it at the bottom of the capsicum, spread evenly and press it well.
- Then take a spoonful of the mushroom rice and create another layer of stuffing evenly, and press it thoroughly.
- Repeat the 2 layers once more, or until it reaches the top, and then close off the opening of the capsicum with some grated cheese. Repeat the same with the other one.
- Grease the outer skin of the capsicums with butter.
- Bake them in a greased baking pan for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius in a pre-heated oven. Or, you can cook them in a frying pan as well, covering it with a lid; but make sure to turn them on the sides and cook them evenly when not baking.
- Dinner’s ready! Serve hot 😀