I have never favored curries or dishes with bell peppers as main ingredient. I just love to include bell peppers along with other vegetables. They provide a juicy and crisp texture to the dish. But my notion about bell peppers as the main ingredient changed completely with this curry.
A few days ago, I found one each of red, yellow, green, bell peppers waiting to be used up in the refrigerator. I had to use them up as soon as possible, as they would have gone bad by the next day. I was wondering what to make out of it, when I remembered this Kurma that I had tasted in a restaurant a long time ago. This Kurma was actually served as a side dish for Pulao and Biryani. The moment the memory hit me, I knew I would be making the Kurma.
Since I did not have the recipe, I had to follow my gut feeling so that the gravy would taste similar to that of the restaurant's. But then, the gravy did not taste anything like the one I had in the restaurant. It tasted way better. I served this Kurma with coconut rice and piping hot chapatis. The combo somehow took the flavor quotient to another level.
Bell peppers in Cashew peanut gravy
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 15min
Bell peppers- 3 med, deseeded and chopped into large chunks
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tspn
Onion- 1med, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tspn
Tomatoes- 2 med, finely chopped or pureed
turmeric or haldi- 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Thick yogurt- 3tbsp
Garam masala- 1/2tsp
For the ground paste:
Dry coconut or Copra- 3tbsp
Shah jeera or caraway seeds- 1/2 tsp
Peanuts- 2-1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts- 8-10, broken into pieces
Coriander seeds- 1tspn
Kashmiri red chilies- 4
Coriander leaves to garnish
For the ground paste:
- In a pan, dry roast the copra till fragrant and lightly browned and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the caraway seeds and fry till it turns brown.
- Add the peanuts and cashew nuts and fry for a min. Stir in the coriander seeds and red chilies and fry till the coriander seeds crackle and the red chilies are crisp.
- Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Grind the fried ingredients along with the toasted coconut to a fine paste by adding quarter cup of water.
For the curry:
- Heat a tsp of oil or ghee in a pan and fry the bell pepper pieces for 2minutes. Take off the heat and keep aside.
- Add two table spoons of oil in the same pan and add the cumin seeds once they turn brown, add the chopped onions and fry till it turns pink.
- Add the ginger- garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
- Add the chopped or pureed tomato and fry for a minute. Stir in the turmeric, salt, and sugar and fry for 3-4min or till the mixture thickens.
- Add the ground paste and fry for another two minutes. Switch off the flame and stir in the yogurt and mix well.
- Switch on the flame again and add the fried bell peppers and garam masala. Allow the bell peppers to cook on a low flame for 5-7mins before taking off the heat.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.
- This curry can be made with bell peppers of any color.
- The caraway seeds can be replaced with cumin seeds.
- The ghee can be substituted with oil