Monday, February 16, 2009

Aloo Methi Capsicum

It was one of those mundane weekday mornings, where I have to drag myself off bed and go to the kitchen to join MIL in cooking - something needs to be cooked for breakfast and something to be packed off for lunch as well. And everyday it’s the same question – what do we have for breakfast? And what’s for lunch? Once or twice a week decide on the easiest – chapathis and some palya or gojju and there comes a bored voice..... ohhhh..... the same thing today???

Oops...... it’s a difficult task to think of and cook something new half an hour before you need to start to work. Unless it’s planned for and some preparation, at least mentally, has gone into it, cooking a new thing in the mornings is not something I prefer. I rather prefer to do it in the evenings or on weekends.
To add to it, that day there was not enough vegetables too.... all I had was a bunch of methi leaves, and a capsicum. But what do I cook for 5 people out of this small quantity??? But then, there’s always potato and onion on shelf – which I do not consider as vegetables(!) and I can make use of them too, can’t I?
So, I started out to make a combination of all these, along with mostly north Indian set of spices (which is not-so-common at home). And I came out with a new, dish, which everyone enjoyed with chapathis!
And here it is.....
Aloo Methi Capsicum

Preparation time : 10 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4

Methi leaves - 1 cup, chopped
Capsicum - 1 cut into pieces
Potato - 1 medium sized, peeled and cut into pieces
Onion - 2 cut into thin long pieces
Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Green chilies - 3-4, depending on taste, slit
Salt - ½ Tsp or as per taste
Curry leaves - 10-12
Garam masala powder - 1Tsp, grated
Dry Mango powder - 1 Tsp
Chili powder - ½ Tsp
Sugar - ¼ Tsp (optional)

• Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan
• Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and allow it to sputter
• Add slit chilies and onion and sauté till onion turns translucent
• Add a pinch of turmeric for color
• Add potato pieces and cook for a couple of minutes
• Now add capsicum and cook the mixture the vegetables are almost done, but do not overcook.
• Add methi leaves and sauté for a couple of minutes more till all the vegetables are cooked
• Now add salt, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, chili powder, sugar and mix thoroughly
• Turn off heat after a minute or two
• Serve it with hot chapathis or phulkas or rotis.

Tips n Tricks:
• Do not overcook the vegetables

• Tamarind or lemon juice can replace dry mango powder
• The same can be prepared without Capsicum also


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