Welcome showers are here, cooling the city, relief! The fans and ACs finally get some rest and I am actually enjoying my morning walk, with or without the music playing from the radio on my phone. With us getting an elliptical cross trainer very soon, I decided this morning, that a walk outdoors is a real pleasure, the trainer coming home would not make me stop doing this altogether. Its a pleasure to watch the cloudy sky, even bigger a pleasure is the lingering smell of the wet earth after the showers.
Along with them, the monsoons bring the urge to treat and tickle the taste buds with hot and spicy food. When it pours, you reach out for the coffee mugs. Along side the steaming cuppa, a hot savory treat not totally unwelcome...Crisp treats, bhajias, pakoras, roasted or steamed peanuts, warm and spicy corn on the cob...And of course a serving of warm dessert.
I love to eat spicy food but unfortunately hubby does not like his food very spicy. Sensitive tummy, thanks to years of eating out. Hence our everyday meals are quite low on spice and heat. I so look forward to eat the food my mother sends my way often as it really makes my taste buds come alive. Ahem.. hubby wants to forewarned when the food is coming in from my Mom's place as he can take an antacid before he eats. Or even when its Bisi Bele Bhaat for lunch. No exaggeration this! My mother makes special effort to go easy on spices when we are to eat at their place. I groan in protest, Mom wants to please the son-in-law more than the daughter! Predictably, the pickles at home are made and stored at home exclusively for me and of late my daughter, who has started to relish them hugely. Yaaayy!!
While eating out, I have the luxury of eating spicy food only when we order individual servings as in chaat, mine is extra spicy, hubby and kids opt for regular or less spicy. Sometimes, I prepare side dishes like Spicy Green Chilli Raitha which is only for yours truly to relish. And very rarely I go the whole hog and dish up really spicy snacks or main course which I fully know, only I will eat. I sound greedy don't I? Well, I am guilty of being greedy, for food pleasures!
On this rainy day, I was looking for an easy, non-deep fried spicy snack recipe. Search lead me to Sanjeev Kapoor's Low Calorie Vegetarian Book. Chillies stuffed with vegetables and spices and oven baked. Perfect!!! I had to try these out! The original recipe uses chopped mushrooms and grated processed cheese in the filling. I used crumbled cottage cheese and boiled sweet corn, threw in some chaat masala, some chopped green chillies and stepped up on the spices, roasted the stuffed chillies on a hot griddle... Fiery and tasty! Can probably stuff the chillies ahead and refrigerate them, cook when needed. Gawd! I really don't enjoy slaving and deep frying in batches when there is a crowd. How about you?
A simple and easy dish, tweak it to suit your taste. But be warned, this will not be for the faint-hearted!!
I have made the filling and then proceeded to fill as many chillies as I could generously fill. It made 9 large chillies.
Here is what we need:
Large green chillies: 9-10
Oil for brushing the griddle and the chillies
For the stuffing:
Cottage cheese, crumbled - 1/2 cup ( I used home made, low fat)
Onions, finely chopped - 1/3 cup
Boiled sweet corn - heaped 1/2 cup (I used frozen)
Green chillies - 2, finely chopped
Bread crumbs - 1/4 cup
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Roasted Chana dal powder - 1/2 tablespoon
Chaat masala -1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Fresh coriander, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Procedure: Wash and wipe dry the chillies. Retain the stems, helpful while cooking and while eating too...Slit them carefully on one side, de-seed (I left some seeds in), making sure the chillies are cut open on only one side. We all know this, but I will still say - we need to use this as a pocket and fill in the stuffing. Keep the chillies aside.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped onion, saute till lightly browned. Take off the heat. Add the corn, cottage cheese, bread crumbs - alright, the rest of the ingredients for the stuffing. Go easy on the salt, remember, the chaat masala has salt too.
Stuff the chillies generously. I like it that way. Heat a griddle, brush with oil. Lower the heat to medium. Place the chillies on the griddle. Careful, step away, they will hiss and protest a bit. Leave them there for a coupe of minutes or till the skin is slightly blistered and lightly browned. Flip them and cook till the skin blisters again. Brush them will a little oil if needed. The chillies will be soft on two sides and crunchy on the other sides. Can we call this textural contrast? Sounds good and like I know a good deal about food. Of course, I don't know much - I only know how to enjoy food...
The chillies with blistered skin will now not look very gorgeous. I never did say they would, did I? Or I would have named them Gorgeous Stuffed Chillies. But trust me, they will taste good...Isn't that all we need?
Take off the griddle, transfer on to the waiting plate. Wait for just about
a minute 30 seconds, not a second more. Dig In!!
You could eat them as is or with Green Chutney or sauce. I liked them as is. They were quite spicy, but you could always alter the spices to suit your taste.
What did I do with the 9 chillies? Between my house help, my brother and my neighbor, we polished them off.