Shimla Mirch - Besan Subzi | Bell pepper & Chickpea Flour Dry Curry
Capsicum or green bell pepper and chickpea flour / besan make a great pair. The besan complements the bell peppers, which on their own are a bit lost in a main vegetarian dish. Roasting the besan adds a lovely nutty flavour and the spices just tie them all up together. This is one of my favourite curries for a simple weekday lunch to have with phulka rotis
I had this kind of curry for the first time with muslin soft phulkas at a Gujarati friend's home. Tender whole bell peppers stuffed with a mix of roasted gram flour and a myriad of spice powders, shallow fried and then covered and cooked until tender, a labour of love indeed. But how easy to gorge down two whole stuffed capsicums, because they are so delicious.
Delicious though it is, this Gujarati / Rajasthani cuisine staple of besan stuffed bell peppers are heavy and the shallow frying of course adds to the calories. This is my modified version that retains all the flavours from the original recipe, easier to make and one of my favourite ways to cook green capsicums. The same recipe can be prepared using snake gourd slices, or even larger chillies like Bhavnagari mirchi.
Recipe for Besan- Shimla Mirchi Subzi
- Deseed and slice the capsicums into strips.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast the chickpea flour / besan on a low-medium flame until it smells aromatic and is golden brown. This takes 5-6 minutes. Add all the dry spice powders to this along with the salt. Mix and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a heavy bottomed kadai / wok, add the nigella seeds. After a few seconds, add the sliced capsicum / bell pepper. On a medium flame, saute until they are almost cooked.
- To this add the mix of roasted chickpea flour and spices. On a low flame stir to combine well. Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of water over this, stir to combine well, so all of the dry flour is absorbed in the moisture. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp oil around the sides and allow the curry to dry up further and the besan mix to turn golden brown, by allowing this to sit undisturbed on a low flame for 5-7 minutes.
- Serve with phulka rotis and dal or yogurt.