Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stuffed Capsicum, Tomato Rice and Beetroot Pachadi

Tomato rice stuffed in Capsicum

The Summer Vacation has just begun and my grand children are greatly relieved that they got the much needed break from the boring ‘dabba’ lunch. They pamper themselves by getting up late in the mornings and have a late breakfast. For the first few days they were really grateful for the hot sambar, rasam, rice and curry meal for lunch. I know that they will be bored with the monotony soon. And with friends coming to stay over for lunch, their expectation for a delicious treat is but natural. I always keep my ‘antennas’
up to pick up any new recipe, so that I could cook a new dish to keep the little ones happy. My daughter calls it the height of spoiling, but what are grand mothers for?

Rice – 250 gms
Onion (Chopped finely) – ¼ cup
Tomatoes – 4
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Cinnamon – 1 small piece powdered
Sambar powder - 2 tsps (Refer to my recipe as it tastes good in almost all recipes since it has coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek seeds and pepper in it.)
Salt – 11/2tsps
Sugar – 1 pinch
Cashew nuts – a few
Raisins – a few
Cooking oil – 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves – a few METHOD:
1. Pressure cook rice with with two times the volumes of water, such that it does not become mushy and the grains stand separate. Allow it to cool.
2. Heat oil in a pan and roast cashew nuts and raisins, drain and keep them aside.
3. In the same hot oil add the cumin seeds and the cinnamon powder.
4. When it is fried, add the chopped onion and fry until it turns pink in colour.
5. Add the finely chopped tomatoes, sambar powder, salt and sugar in the same order and stir well.
6. Cover with a lid and cook in slow fire.
7. Keep stirring now and then and cook till all the tomatoes turn into pulp.
8. When the gravy separates from the oil switch off the flame and add the chopped coriander leaves and the fried raisins and the cashew nuts.
9. Add the now cooled rice and blend well taking care not to mash the rice.
10 The tomato rice is ready for the stuffing. You can simply serve tomato rice as a dish as well.

Well shaped capsicums – 4
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes – 2 tbsps
Salt – 1 pinch
1. Wash, dry and cut out a ‘lid’ on the top of each capsicum using a sharp knife.
2. Scoop out the seeds carefully so that the capsicum looks like a perfect box with a lid.
3. Spoon in the prepared Tomato Rice up to the brim and press the ‘lid’ firmly.
4. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add the tomatoes and salt and stir.
5. Arrange the stuffed capsicums in the pan leaving space to turn them occasionally. It is better to cook them in small batches if the pan does not accommodate.
6. Turn each capsicum once, so that it is coated with oil and salt.
7. Cover with lid and let it cook on slow fire.
8. When you hear the sizzling sound turn the vegetable to the other side very gently so that the rice does not come out.
9. When it is done switch off fire and serve the sizzling hot capsicum stuff with beet root thair pachadi which is not only a treat to the palate but also to the eye as well.


Beetroot and curd dip
Beet root – 1
Thick curd – 2 cups (Chilled)
Salt – ¼ tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Coriander leaves – a few
1. Pressure cook the whole beet root along with its peel.
2. Cool it thoroughly or even refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Peel the beetroot just as you would peel the boiled potato.
4. Grate the beetroot in the using the larger side of the grater.
5. Add the salt to the curd and beat with a spoon.
6. Add the grated beet root and blend lightly to avoid mashing up of the vegetable.
7. Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
8. When it splutters add the cumin seeds.
9. Pour the seasoning on to the pachadi.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

The cool and non spicy pachadi is a boon in the hot summer months.
Of late we've been having tough time keeping up with the number of events and dates. The capsicum was made for 'cooking with kids' - and a google search shows a number of events, and perhaps an ingredient for each month! ! Oh well ...
The beetroot thair pachadi in all its pink glory goes off to FIC Pink an event series started by Sunshinemom of Tongueticklers and currently hosted by Priya at Easy N Tasty Recipes!
Updated: Yea! There is always an event every post can go to! The stuffed capsicum goes to Srivalli's Monthly Mingle - Kids Lunches. Monthly Mingle was started by Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey, read more about it here.