650. Potato Stuffed Chilli Bhajias
What is Scoville Heat Unit or Index?
Time is flying! It’s already nearly the end of the month.End of the month usually means a recipe for the Shhh Cooking Secretly group.This group was started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes. I, along with Amrita of The Food Samaritan help Priya to run it. Ever since I joined the group in 2014, I’ve enjoyed being a part of it. Lots of changes have taken place, some old members have left, new ones have joined. Back then partners gave each other any two random ingredients, my first one being barley and broccoli. Nowadays we give partners two ingredients according to the decided theme. This month the theme was #stuffed.Though we know all participants will have stuffed recipes we’re impatient to know what each one was given to work on. My partner for the month of May was Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes. She initially gave me zucchini as one of the ingredients and can you believe it, I couldn’t find any zucchini! After I prepared my stuffed dish with the second set of ingredients she gave me chillis and potatoes, I found zucchini in the market! Well, no regrets in using chillis and potatoes as hubby dear loved the stuffed bhajias I made. I gave Priya eggplants and nuts.Check out what she made here.
Usually just as the rainy season begins we get lovely long green chillis which are not that hot. I went to the green grocers to buy those chillis and what do I see… beautiful green long and fat chillis. Long as in nearly 5-6 inches long! Had no idea what they were called and the shopkeeper told me long capsicum and promised me that they will not be hot at all. After googling the types of chillis (chiles, chilli pepper), I found out that the ones I used are called Anaheim Chile Pepper. The first time I ever saw habanero and scotch bonnet chillis was in a supermarket in Canada. “What were these really hot chillis doing in a supermarket in Canada. We don’t even get to see them in India or Kenya where majority of the Indians eat really chilli food?” I asked my hubby. He obviously didn’t have an answer to that. Well, today I think I have the answer to that. Chillis were grown in Peru and Mexico since prehistoric times. Christopher Colombus discovered them during his trip to the Caribbean. During his second trip Diego Alvarez Chanca, aphysian brought them back to Spain and reported the medicinal values of chillis. Chillis were introduced to India and the other Asian countries by the Europeans. If you want to know more about the variety of chillis check out this blog.
What causes the hotness of the chillis? Its a substance called capsaicin. How hot or mild a chilli is depends on the amount of capsaicin present in the pepper. How is the hotness or heat of a chilli measured? Its measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Carolina Reaper is the hottest at 1900000 SHU, Jalapenos are 5000 SHU, our Kashmiri Chillis are 2000 SHU, Jwala Chillis are around 20,000-30,000 SHU and bell peppers are 0 SHU.
The Anaheim Chile Pepper are 500-2500 SHU. I removed the seeds and the white fleshy part called the placenta. Did you know that most of the capsaicin is concentrated in the placenta or the white fleshy part and not the seeds? The top part of the chilli also has the capsaicin glands.
Another interesting fact…. chillis are not vegetables but are fruits. Fruits of the Solanaceae plants.
Enough about chillis… must admit, when I had my first chilli bhajia, I ran to the fridge to get some ice cold water as my mouth was on fire! My hubby was thoroughly enjoying them. I must have got the one where I didn’t remove the placenta properly!
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POTATO STUFFED CHILLI BHAJIA
6 long green chillis or small round capsicums
1 cup mashed potato
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
¼ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ – ½ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
pinch of carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
For the batter:
½ cup chickpea flour (chana flour, besan)
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp hot oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
pinch of soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ – ⅓ cup water
Oil for deep frying
Preparation of the filling and tempering:
- Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl except for the chopped onion.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, add the mustard, cumin, carom and sesame seeds.
- Add the chopped onion and stir fry them till they are a bit cooked.
- Add asafoetida.
- Add the tempered mixture to the filling mixture. Mix well with a spoon as the oil will be hot.
- Mix all the ingredients of the batter in a wide bowl. Remember the whole chilli should be able to fit in the bowl horizontally.
- Wash and wipe the chillis. Make a slit in each chilli from the top till ¾ of the way. Do not slit till the bottom.
- Using a small spoon ( I used the really small masala spoon) scrap out the placenta or the white fleshy part and the seeds.
- Stuff each chilli with the filling mixture. Press the filling into the chilli gently.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a wok, karai or frying pan.
- It is ready when you put a drop of the batter and it rises to the top immediately.
- Dip the filled chilli into the batter and coat it with the batter.Its easier to do this if you hold onto the stalk.
- Put the batter dipped chilli into the hot oil. Fry over low to medium heat till it becomes crispy and light golden brown in colour. I was able to fry 3 at a time.
- Serve these hot stuffed chilli bhajias immediately with some chutney of your choice or tomato ketchup.
- Remove the fleshy white part to reduce the hotness or heat of the chilli.
- Use any big chillis that are available in your local market.
- Adjust the spices of the filling according to your taste.
|red chilli sauce
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