Capsicum Masala Rice

This is a delicious and spicy masala rice made from green bell peppers. It is very different from the pulav rice and demands a different set of roasting and grinding fresh spices. This simple yet scrumptious one pot meal is prepared by cooking the rice along with diced bell peppers and flavoured with freshly ground spice powders. The addition of roasted cashews and peanuts give a rich, crunchy & nutty flavour to the dish. It can be served with raita or pappadams.

This is a recipe I adapted from the popular cookbook Rice Delights by renowned chef Mrs S. Mallika Badrinath. I have made subtle changes from the original recipe to adjust the spice levels for my personal preference.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serving: 2 to 3

Ingredients:

Regular rice (sonamasoori)1 cup
Green Capsicum (Green bell pepper)2
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Oil2 to 3 tablespoon
Saltto taste

For seasoning

Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Urad dhal1 1/2 teaspoon
Channa dhal1 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chillies 2 to 3
Curry leavesfew
Cashewnuts (optional)8 to 10
Peanuts (optional)1 tablespoon

To roast & Grind:

Coriander seeds2 teaspoon
Urad dhal1 1/2 teaspoon
Channa dhal1 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds1/2 teaspoon
Red chillies4
Cinnamon1 inch piece
Grated dry coconut or desiccated coconut1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon

Instructions:

  • Wash and pressure cook the rice in the ratio 1:2 (rice : water). Spread it on a plate and let it cool so that the grains are separate. Mix a teaspoon of oil.
  • Finely chop the capsicum into small pieces.
  • Masala powder – In a frying pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, add all the ingredients listed under ‘to roast & grind’ except grated dry coconut (Coriander seeds, urad dhal, channa dhal, cumin seeds, red chillies, cinnamon) and roast it to golden brown. Now add the grated dry coconut (desiccated coconut). Sauté for few seconds and switch off the flame. Transfer to a plate and let it cool. Grind it to powder and keep it aside.
  • In a pan, pour 2 to 3 tablespoon oil, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, add urad dhal, channa dhal, red chillies, curry leaves, cashews and peanuts. Cook until the dhals, peanuts and cashews turn golden brown.
  • Now add the diced capsicum and cook until they become soft and tender. Reduce the flame. Add salt and turmeric powder. Add the cooked rice to this and mix well. Now add 3 to 4 teaspoon of the freshly grounded masala powder. Stir the contents and cook for less than a minute in low flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with raita or pappadams.

Notes:

  • Along with green bell peppers, you can red and yellow bell peppers too for colour and nutrition.

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