Capsicum rice or Capsicum baath is something I tasted in Mysore in one of the several feasts which were a part of my cousin’s wedding. This was served on the day after the wedding where just the family members from both the bride’s and the groom’s side gathered for a final farewell. And what a meal it was…the taste of this rice preparation lingered on and on…well after we boarded the train to come back home. Some of them were lucky enough to get a ‘packet’ of this to eat on the journey back.
In a few weeks, I was craving for this dish again. I had a bag of fresh capsicums (green bell peppers) waiting to be made into a Capsicum rice. A word of clarification regarding ‘baath’ – while it is pronounced just as you would the English word ‘bath’. It is a South Indian term for a mixed rice preparation, which can be eaten as it is or with a ‘pachidi’ (raita). The same recipe can be used to make Kathrikkai (Vaangi) Baath by just substituting the capsicums with eggplants. You can try this eggplant millet dish prepared along the lines of the Kathrikkai Bath.
The spices used in this are quite similar to my favourite Bisi Bele Baath recipe blogged by Saakshi, which she says is an authentic Hebbar Iyengar recipe.
Capsicum rice is a perfect showcase of Indian spices
Serves 4-6 people as the first course of the meal, which is concluded by Thair Saadam 🙂
Please do not be afraid of the long list of spices that is going to follow. This recipe is a showcase of nearly a dozen Indian spices. The end result is not at all overwhelming, but a beautiful way of showing how Indian spices blend with each other.
- 1 1/2 cups rice jeera rice or pulao rice variety
- 5 large green bell peppers medium dice
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsps salt
For Spice Mix
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 4 chillies large dried red
- 2 tbsps chana dal (Split skinned Bengal gram dal)
- 1 tbsp dal udad
- handful coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp black pepper corns whole
- one 4 inchs cinnamon long sticks
- 5 - 6 cloves
- 1 cardamom green
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsps sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut grated (fresh or dried)
- 1 tbsp jaggery (optional)
- 1 tbsp tamarind (soaked in water for 10 minutes)
- To prepare capsicum rice, start with cooking the rice. Pressure cook the picked and washed rice with 3 cups water, for 2-3 whistles. Switch off and cool.
- Preparing the capsicum: In a wok, heat a tbsp of oil. Splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the peanuts. Saute for 2 minutes till they change colour. Then add in the diced capsicum, on a low-medium flame, stir fry till the capsicum is softened but still a little crisp.
- Preparing the spice mix for the capsicum rice :While the capsicum is cooking on a low flame, heat another wok on the other burner. Heat oil and add the spices (red chilli through bay leaves - reserving the coconut and sesame seeds). Continuously saute on a low flame till the dals turn lightly golden and everything begins to release its aroma (around 7 minutes) . Remove and cool.
- In the same wok, lightly toast the grated coconut till fragrant - around 2 minutes. Remove onto the above dish.
- Next toast the sesame seeds. When they start popping (in around 2 minutes), remove them too.
- In a mixer, pulse all the above toasted items along with the soaked tamarind and jaggery, till you get a coarse powder.
- Assembling the baath:In a large deep dish, remove the cooked rice and cool for 10 minutes, separating with a fork if necessary.
- Over this add the capsicum-peanut mix as well as the coarsely powdered spice mix, with adequate salt (around 2 tsp). Toss lightly with clean fingertips, until the rice is uniformly coated with the spices and the vegetable mix. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
I think everyday i come here i am drooling with the lunch series.I think i will have to come and stay with you for a whole month if i want to enjoy all these delicious food 🙂
I make the pumpkin pachadi often but never ate capsicum bhaath. I suppose the taste is similar to tondli bhaat. Only difference caps taste yummier than tondlis:) The dishes look good as always:)
Hi, I’ve been visiting your blog for sometime now. And finally decided to comment. That is called Vaangi-baath in Karnataka and is super popular. Your post brought memories of my granny making this for us. We are TamBrams but we always had this. Now, in the US, with meagre cooking skills, I miss it all. Sigh.Thanks Nandita!
This lunch series is turning out to be really wonderful Nandita! Love it 🙂 I want to come to your place for lunch every day… :(Sometimes I make just the thair saadam for a meal :)) But I add diced cucumber, carrots and onions to it, not forgetting the mor-milagai in the tadka :DThe cabbage curry in the prev post looks perfect! Hardly any color change. My mom makes it the exact same way, this method of making veggies is surely the best of all.
Looks great! SLight terminology related objection – “baath”?!! It could be “saadam”, even “bhaath” (actually no – bhaath is not a tamilian word).Just kidding. Great recipe. –Deepa
Happycook- sure, you are welcome, we always love company for food :)Sunshine- I chanced upon ur blog just today, happy to find another food blogger in Bombay.Nandini – thanks for taking time to write back 🙂 Vaangi baath is the original, but me no big fan of brinjals so capsicum it is for me!Priya – you welcome dear! Adding tons of veggies is good if thair sadam is the one meal, makes it more nutritious and filling! Mor molagai is the ultimate combo though :)Deepa- may be baath is not a word, but colloquially that’s how it is! Since it is not a real Tambram recipe as such, it is not called sadam…you might be familiar with vaangi-baath (that’s how it is called in the South) whereas a Maharashtrian would call it Vaangi-bhaath. Tamil language has no ‘bha’ alphabet, it is just ‘pa’ which is used interchangably with ‘ba’ – that’s why the ‘baath’ I guess 🙂
Hello Nandita, I have been visiting your blog regularly for the past month and I think your recipes are healthy tasty and very innovative !! I am a tambram too and I love to cook though I rarely venture out of the traditional cooking boundaries.
I am a “no fan of brinjal” too and I think I would give this recipe a shot for sure. The tomato thokku from Grand sweets is just awesome – have you tried their ginger thokku? I am still deciding which one I like better:)
Heyyy, Even I dont like Vaangi Baath but love the capsicum version of it, and also I love Grand sweets Tomato Thokku and Thayir sadam! Yeah, even if I eat 111 stuffs I dont feel its complete without eating thayir sadam, the highlight of Tambram recipes.Thanks for sharing, Nandita!
Thoroughly enjoying your series so far. Everything looks so lovely! I hope to try some of these.
it is going great Nandita, this Capsicum baath or bhaath it looks super tasty.
Nandita: That’s true. I’d forgotten “vangi baath”. Colloquialisms are interesting. Objection withdrawn! –Deepa
Aparna – Glad you enjoying the series…Well I rarely get into a traditional cooking spree, hence this blogging effort, so as to preserve these recipes…I’m too busy trying out stuff from around the country and the world that our own cuisine seems so lovely and exotic to me :)Akay- it is called tomato pickle on the bottle…i haven’t tried ginger, only two i have tasted often are this one and the curry leaf pickle…Sumi – LOL @ your comment :)ET – Hope you like what you try :)ISG – thanks!Deepa – no objection taken to your objection, just clarification 🙂
🙂 Nandita, we hate brinjal at home too. So Pati made it with Capsicum and peas. Add peas to it and watch how the taste goes way beyond what you expected. Also, we make this spice powder every month or so. So, sometimes, its just yummy curry with the powder and eat with Thair saadam! Yummy!
Nandini – Thanks for the idea, will SURELY add peas next time…and your idea of making this powder in a jar for instant use is just perfect…did not get your last line..you mean we can eat this powder ‘as is’ with thair saadam??
Yay! You came to my blog. LOL. Thanks, Nandita, and about the powder – use that to make curry, and thottify with Thair saadam ;)Posted the same on my blog too!
Thottify-ya?? Purinjidhu 🙂
that looks yumm! i love capsicum bhaat, your powder mix recipe is slightly different than mine and sounds delicious! will have to give it a shot…
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Wow….How did I ever miss this lovely series of yours? That capsicum rice..the way you described it, it makes me want to make it NOW. I love foods that leave an impression like that. ;)have a lovely weekend.truptithe spice who loved me
I like this traditional lunch series. I especially like day 1 ka meals.:D
I like this series. Very interesting concept. I would love for you to send this recipe for my event – ONE DISH MEALS. Check my site or the link below for more details.http://www.archanaskitchen.com/2008/uncategorized/monthly-one-dish-event-meals/
That bell pepper rice looks fantastic! 🙂 thanks for the recipe!
Hi N,Totally love your blog! I’m a foodie and visiting this is a sure shot recipe for foiling any attempts at losing weight!I am glad you mentioned thair sadam. It’s one of the most underrated foods.Back in TN, Tam-brams are called ‘Thair sadams’ but I’ve become one after moving to Mumbai. It’s the ultimate comfort food! My MIL makes one version with beaten rice that’s superlative – you also toss in a couple of fried ‘mor mozhagas’ with the tempering. Wish I was as interested in making stuff as much as eating it!
cannot wait to try this one, nandita! re pumpkin raita, can i try it with butternut squash? any idea how that will turn out??
Hi,Capsicum baath looks yum..Will have to try once i get hold of all the items 🙂
^ That comment puzzled me. 😐 What is it doing here?Now, the bath is something I can make easily..can get all ingredients. Yay! Finally.I’d like your version of Bisi-bele bath too. Its popular in Karnataka. Mom makes it so well I’m actually hungry back here. Do give us a recipe for bisi bele bath. 🙂
The comment from anonymous is startling, I saw it in another recipe as well. Totally unconnected and strange. Lunch series 4 is super awesome .. yes, Karnataka – esp mysore and bangalore is defntly a veggies place and offers sooper dooper great food. Nice recipe for Capsicum bath and yes when replaced with eggplants – this becomes Vangi bath 🙂 It is also served during weddings. Thanks for enlightening me on the pumpkin raitha 🙂 will try that out for sure. And yes, hebbar (may be not hebbal .. from my 5 years stay in Bangalore) iyengars are very famous for their baaths, bisi bele bath and puliyogare.. so are melkote iyengars. They are just out of the world in perfection and taste. Great lunch combi .. must say my fav after lunch series 1 and 3 🙂
Hey nandita the bath looks very inviting. Reminds me of my bangalore days where every vegetable gets bath-ed if you know what i mean. And its hebbar iyengar or not hebbal. Hebbal is a place in bangalore