One of my favorite things in the vegetable market, to look at and shop for, is the variety of chilies/peppers. I love the hotness and the crunchy freshness of these bombs. The hotter the better! Bell peppers are an absolute must-have in my refrigerator. I love them grilled, stuffed and baked, stir-fried, or eaten raw in a salad. Don’t even get me started on capsicum raita (coming soon)!

Another all-time favorite is the Maharashtrian-style stuffed chili pepper. The charred, smoky, blistered exterior of the chili contrasts very well with the sweet, salty, tangy, doughy interior of the chickpea flour. Serve this dish piping hot as a side with a simple, everyday meal.


Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chilies (You can make these with any stuff-able variety of chili, but I find it tastes best with fat, long varieties like Serrano or Poblano)
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ¼ cup fine semolina
  • 1 and ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Natural yogurt/buttermilk (about ¾ of a cup)
  • Vegetable oil for shallow frying


Method:

  1. Wash the chilies and pat them dry.
  2. Make a slit along the length of the chilies to reveal a seedy cavity.
  3. Deseed the chilies, taking care not to tear the skin near its head. (Use a spoon to do this if the chilies are very hot.)
  4. Mix all the other ingredients together, adding enough yogurt/buttermilk to achieve a thick batter. You want to stuff this into the chilies, so make sure the batter is not too thin else it will flow right out of your chili.
  5. Stuff the batter into the chilies, closing the cavity as far as possible.
  6. Heat a pan with vegetable oil. Place the chilies in the smoking hot oil and turn down the heat to medium.
  7. Cover momentarily in order to allow the chickpea batter to cook in the steam.
  8. Using a pair of tongs, turn the chilies over frequently until their skin is blistered and the oozing batter is set to a golden brown.
  9. Drain over paper and serve as a side.
  10. *Eat leftover stuffed chilies straight from the fridge with a cup of masala tea for a moment of instant sanity.