Homestyle Potato and Bell Peppers

Sometimes, we just need to get back to doing all those little things that make us happy! Simple pleasures like sitting under the cool shade of a water tank on warm summer afternoons, singing loudly in the shower, walking along the shoreline and collecting a bag full of seashells and in my case getting drenched in the water like there was no tomorrow!! And this simplicity holds good for food too. When I tire of all the fancy masalas and rich creamy gravies at the restaurants, all I want is some simple vegetables with my chapathis – a sabzi (or side dish, if thats what you like to call it) that tastes the way my mom or MIL makes them…not too many spices and just a hint of everything. And when it comes to getting back to basics in terms of vegetables, nothing can measure up to the humble potato. Yes?  So here is a simple veggie dish in which the potato is the star and the co-stars are pretty much left to your imagination. Lunch Bliss! 🙂

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The recipe will serve two adults with a moderate appetite

What you need:

– 2 Boiled potatoes – Peeled and quartered. I pressure cook the potatoes for about 4 whistles with not too much water and then remove them as soon as the steam has settled down so that they dry outside. I read somewhere that leaving potatoes in water for a long time will actually make them mushy as potatoes and some vegetables actually absorb more water and I agree! In fact, in my experience keeping the pressure cooked potatoes in the refrigerator overnight gives it the most perfect form to use in most recipes

– 1 small green bell pepper – Quartered

– 1/2 red bell pepper – quartered. This is optional. I happened to have it on hand.

– 1 medium sized onion – thinly sliced

– 2 inches ginger – grated. I grate my ginger as this brings outs its juices and flavor. Plus, it doesn’t give you any unpleasant surprised in your mouth when you eat he dish in its entirety. You can just chop it into tiny pieces if that what you usually do. Please don’t cringe on the ginger as this gives this particular recipe loads of pizzazz!
– 1 medium sized finely chopped  tomato

– Jeera / Cumin seeds  – 1 tsp

– Jeera Powder – 1 tsp

– Coriander Powder – 2 tsps.

– Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

– Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 – 1 tsp

– Finely chopped cilantro / dhaniya for garnish

– 2 tbsp oil

– Salt to taste

How its done

1. Heat a pan on the stove and when its hot enough add the oil and a minute later add the cumin seeds
2. When the seeds start to splutter add the onions and ginger and sauté them until the onion turns translucent
3. Add the bell pepper and sauté for few minutes, until the bell peppers seem half cooked
4. Add the tomatoes and all the spices with the exception of salt and garam masala and stir gently
5. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes and then cook with the cover removed
5. Cook until the juice from the tomatoes leave the sides of your pan. Avoid stirring the vegetables too much, as you could end up crushing your bell peppers and turning them mushy. The dish tastes better when the bell peppers have some crunch to them.
6. At this stage add the potatoes and garam masala and mix very gently. Again, take care not to squash the potatoes!
7. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and mix gently. Switch off the stove and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro / daniya.

Your super simble sabzi is ready to serve with some piping hot chapathis or dal and rice! This also does great when packed for office / school lunch breaks.

Note – You can add more vegetables like peas or broccoli depending on what you fancy or what you have on hand. But as I have said before, the most simplest version of this recipe is the best 🙂

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