Fate and the fact that Fall is almost over gave me a cold, dreary day. To be kind it also gave me colourful red, yellow and green bell peppers. Not that you don’t get them other time of the year but it is always nice to associate winter with colourful veggies and you need to thank Fate once in a while.
And then Fate conspired with Farah Khan to give the likes of me, (which might go up to millions) “Om Shanti Om”. It also put me in a spot where I can act like a true NRI and show my love for “Desh ki Dharti” and contribute towards upping my country’s economy by watching Bollywood Blockbusters on big screens with 100 other Desi Uncles and Aunties who were as mesmerized by SRK’s six packs as was Moi.
Truth be told I loved the movie. Ok, given that I get to watch hardly 2 movies a year, I love any movie, but this I loved the "bestest".
My sense of humor being fed on MTV stalwarts like Cyrus, Udham Singh, Quick Gun Murugan, MTV Bakra and such is definitely not very refined. I love gags and spoofs and more brainless they are the better. I do not do smiles where you just curl up the end of your lips, I want laughs that are on high octane, where you can slap your buddy on the back and throw your head back, sideways and do everything short of ROTFL (Rolling on the Floor..no thanks that I can’t do). This movie let me do most of that and the lines were replete with my kind of pun which the D does not get. He understood all the humor in this movie though…strange…maybe he is just ageing and getting hang of Bollywood.
And if you have low esteem for all things Bollywood and SRK, I forgive you. You are a young Indian with a fad for all things Intellectual or an older one like the D who still wants to hold on to the previous image, we have all been through that phase and turned up our snooty noses and watched Bergman over Barjatiya, before long you will be on this side of the camp.
The fact that my Dad who tagged everything beyond Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Amitabh Bachchan as “baje cinema” (baje = bad) is a fan of Govinda at his current age (no, he is NOT senile, only in his early sixties) proves the above theory.
Let me add in fine prints though, I am not a blind follower of Bollywood and do not like anything they dish out. So do not put Bollywood related Google Ads on my page and please don't ask me to watch "Sawariya" and such
Not to forget the Red, Yellow & Green Bell Peppers in this ensuing Bollywood drama.
With them I made Perun Bhaji or Bell Peppers with Besan. I know it is a Maharashtrian dish but I don’t know if this is the actual name, but I loved the feel of the name on my tongue so much that I now call it this. Actually I just utter the name even if I am not cooking it.
I first saw it at SJ’s and then at Lakshmi’s. Combined the two recipes and made the third.
As is the norm, I do not have measures. The ones I give here are very very approximate.
What You Need
Bell Peppers/ capsicum ~ 4 chopped in small pieces
Besan/Chickpea Flour ~ 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder ~ 1 loosely packed tsp (adjust according to your heat level)
Dhania/Corriander powder ~ 1 tsp heaped
Amchur Powder ~ ½ tsp
Kalonji/Kalo jeera/ Nigella Seeds ~ 1 loosely packed tsp
Hing/Asafoetida ~ ½ tsp
Oil ~ for cooking. I have used Olive Oil and also Canola at times
Salt ~ to taste
Sugar ~ 1 loosely packed tsp (totally optional)
How I Did It
Chop the bell peppers in small pieces
In a bowl add besan/chickpea flour and to it add the r.chilli, coriander, amchur powder and make a dry mix. No water
Heat Oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan
Temper with Kalonji and Hing
Add the Bell Pepper Pieces and sauté. Cover and cook till they are soft
Add the besan (mixed with the spices) to the capsicum cooking in the Kadhai.
Stir pretty vigorously to mix the besan with the veggie
Sprinkle a little water if necessary or add a little oil on the sides of the Kadhai. This is only if you think the besan is sticking to the sides of the Kadhai.
Add salt & sugar
Do the stir, cook routine till the besan takes on a crumbly texture and the bell peppers are cooked
Trivia: Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. Green bell peppers have two times the vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits (oranges, lemons etc.) and Red bell peppers have three times what the green bell varieties have