Navarathri was a wonderful time and today being the last day of it, we are feeling a little down. This year I had the pleasure to make several new friends during the occasion. Bell pepper or capsicum rice was something that I had cooked during one of the nights, when I had friends over for Golu. This recipe is made with a homemade masala powder that was passed down to me through my cousin’s wife’s mother. I have this recipe in my recipe note book forever and I always have a batch of this powder made in the pantry. This week I got a chance to take pictures of it and I am posting it for this week’s cooking from a cook book challenge.
This rice powder is very versatile and can be used with any vegetable and rice. I happened to have lot of harvested bell pepper in hand; hence I made it with bell pepper. I usually also add onions when making this rice, but since I made it for navarathri, I skipped the use of onions. The masala powder stays very well in the pantry and comes in very handy to make for lunch boxes.
Preparation time – 20 mins
Cooking time – 40 mins for the masala powder and about 40 mins to make the rice
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make Bell Pepper Rice –
For the Vegetable rice powder – (makes about 500 gms of powder)
- Kadalai paruppu / Channa dal – 1 cup
- Ullatham paruppu / Urad dal – 1 cup
- Dhania / whole coriander seeds – 1 cup
- Cloves – 12
- Cinnamon – 4 sticks
- Red chilies – 25 (makes medium spicy)
- Desiccated coconut – ½ cup
For the Bell pepper rice – (serves 4-6)
- Rice – 1 cup
- Bell pepper/capsicum – 2 cups (chopped)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Kadalai paruppu /channa dal – 2 tsp
- Cashew pieces – few
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Asafetida – ¼ tsp
- Curry leaves – few
- Vegetable rice powder – 4 to 5 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
Procedure to make Bell Pepper Rice –
To make the Vegetable rice powder –
- Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned above separately until golden brown and aromatic. (I am missing the cinnamon in the picture).
- Let it cool down to room temperature and then grind it into a coarse powder.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Cook the rice and cool it in a wide pan.
- In a large pan, add the oil and season with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, kadalai paruppu, asafetida, curry leaves and cashew.
- Now add the chopped bell pepper pieces and cook it until it is almost done. Do not overcook the vegetable. Make sure it still has a crunch to it.
- Now add the salt and vegetable rice powder. Mix well.
- Add this to the cooled rice and mix well. Add some oil or ghee when mixing (optional).
- Serve with raita and chips!
- I served it with some Aviyal!