Updated: May 12, 2022
The art of stuffing vegetables, or meats and whole animals is very old. It derives from the concept that the stuffed item imparts its flavor to the stuffing. I in particular I am fond of stuffed eggplants and peppers.
This Indian dish is different because it uses potatoes, rather than the traditional flour based stuffing. The soft potatoes are subtly spiced and tangy from the amchoor (mango powder). Togethre with the spicy chilies it is the perfect combination of spicy and sour. You can use any variety of green chilies, or peppers for this recipe, I used the spicy wax pepper variety, but you can select a milder type. In addition, the visual of this dish is great.
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8 fresh large stuffing green chilies
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard oil
A pinch asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajowain)
3 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
Salt, to taste
1 cup water
Cilantro, minced to garnish
For the potato stuffing:
2 large potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 black peppercorns
3 green cardamom pods
1 small bay leaf
1/2-inch cinnamon stick
Water to cover the potatoes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and pounded in a mortar o a powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder)
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
Salt, to taste
Peel, cube and boil the potatoes with the salt, peppercorns, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and water till very soft, about 18-20 minutes. Drain, remove the whole spices and mash the potatoes till very smooth. You may add some of the cooking liquid to smooth out the potat but keep the mash quite form.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the potato stuffing and taste. The mix should have a wonderful pop of flavor, spicy, tart and elegant. Set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, make a slit in the chilies along their length from the base to the tip. Be careful not to cut the chilies in half, you want to create a nice pocket for the filling. Remove the seeds and ribs taking care not to rip the chilies.
Stuff the potato mix into the chilies very carefully, getting them quite full but not torn. Set aside.
in a large frying pan, heat the oil. Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and carom seeds and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the chickpea flour and salt and cook on a medium-low flame to form a roux. Add the chilies in and add 1/4 cup water. Mix gently to disolve the roux in the water and cook covered for 7 minutes. Open, flip all the chilies and add another 1/4 cup water mixing in the spices again. Be very careful not to let the stuffing form the potatoes ooze out. Cook covered for another 7 minutes. By this time the peppers should be cooked and getting soft, You will see this by seeing the skin of the peppers begin to shrivel. Cook with the lid open till the water is almost completely evaporated and the spiced roux begins to stick to the peppers. Be careful not to let the spices burn. The spice paste should fry with the peppers. Turn the peppers to make sure both sides are evenly cooked. When cooked turn off the heat.
Serve hot on a platter scraping all the spice masala onto the peppers.