SIMLA MIRCH, is what Capsicum is called in Hindi, or as we call it Phoogi Mirchi in Marathi language! In India, New Zealand and Australia, it is generally called Capsicum. In Britain, it is called Green Pepper or Chilli Pepper. In the U. S. or Canada the large form is called Bell Pepper.
Capsicum is a very nutritious vegetable. It has immense health benefits, and Besan i.e. chickpea flour or gram flour too is rich in proteins! Naturally, this vegetable too can score quite well on the health quo!
As I have mentioned earlier, I had a few Gujrati friends in school whose tiffins I would share. From one such friend’s tiffin, I got hooked on to this vegetable and pestered my Mom to learn it from my friend’s Mom!
Thus, it got introduced to our family’s menu too! This is a delicious, chatpata tasting, slightly sweet and spicy vegetable. I love having it with chapatis. But, there are slight changes that I have made to this vegetable and that is adding onions (on the suggestion of my friend) and substituting jaggery for sugar! Otherwise it is a no onion no garlic recipe!
If you want to try some other besan dishes, do give a try to….
Here’s the recipe for Besan Simla Mirch Ki Sukhi Sabji….. (I do not know what they call it in Gujrati, though we call it Pith marun keleli phoogi mirchi chi bhaaji in Marathi)
- 2 large Capsicums (chopped into 1 inch cubes, approximately 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium Onions
- 5 tbs Besan
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (for some lovely colour)
- 3 tsp Corriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 4 tsp Jaggery….. to be adjusted
- 2 – 3 tsp Lemon juice
- Salt to taste
For tempering :
- 4 tbs Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
- To make the Besan Simla Mirch ki Sukhi Sabji, first wash the capsicums thoroughly and chop them into 1 inch cubes. Chop the onions finely.
- Heat a kadhai and the oil to it. Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they splutter, add the asafoetida.
- Now add the chopped onions and saute for a while. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Just after about 5 minutes of sauteing the onions, add the cubed capsicums too. Saute and cover and cook, stirring occasionally.
- When the capsicums are almost cooked, add all the spice powders, jaggery, lemon juice, salt to taste and mix well.
- Add the besan and mix well. Cover and cook for a while. If desired add about 2 tablespoons of water and mix well.
- Cover again and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes on low flame, stirring occasionally taking care that the besan doesn’t burn at the bottom of the vessel.
- When the capsicums and the besan too has cooked, turn off the heat.
- Serve hot with chapatis or some Varan or Moong Daal Fry and hot steamed rice for lunch or for dinner.
- Do serve some Paalak Raita and some Gaajar Flower Taaja Loncha or some Sweet And Sour NKGSB Style Raw Mango Chutney by the side!
A good option for tiffins too, this delicious vegetable does require a bit more oil for cooking as the besan needs to be cooked without water. And less oil can make the vegetable too dry. The spice levels and sweetness can be adjusted as per preference. Those who don’t consume onions, can simply avoid using them and substitute with a little more chopped capsicum. Though this vegetable might seem similar to the Maharashtrian Zunka, there are certain differences in the ingredients used and the method of cooking too!