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Aloo & Shimla Mirch Sabzi
- Duration: 20 minutes
- Serves: 4 to 6 people
Spice Level: Low
As Shimla mirch softens very quickly on being heated, it is best to stir-fry the potatoes first and add the Shimla mirch only when the potatoes are half-done. Also, once the Shimla mirch has been added to the potatoes, it is best to cook this mix on a high flame. This prevents the dish from getting mushy.
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Though capsicum traces its origin to Macedonia, ‘Shimla mirch’ came to be known as such in India because it used to be the major crop of Himachal Pradesh’s capital, Shimla, thanks to its cool climes and mixed vegetation system. It was in Uttar Pradesh, however, that the Aloo-Shimla Mirch combination is said to have come into being, when one winter morning, a vegetarian Brahmin family in Oudh decided to break the monotony of potatoes with a dash of capsicum. The resultant flavour was so heady that it soon became a popular main dish.
- Potato (aloo), washed, peeled and cubed (3, big)
- Green bell pepper (Shimla mirch), washed, de-seeded and cubed (4 to 5)
- Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (¼ tsp)
- Whole red chillies (khadi lal mirch), broken (1)
- Tomato, finely chopped (1, medium )
- Ginger (adrak), finely chopped (1 inch)
- Garlic (lahsun), finely chopped (3)
- Onion, finely chopped (1, medium)
- MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
- MTR Lal Mirch Chilli powder (¼ tsp)
- MTR Dhaniya Coriander powder (1 tsp)
- Dry mango powder (amchur) (¼ tsp)
- Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)
- Asafoetida (hing) (a pinch)
- Salt (to taste)
- Yellow mustard oil (2 tbsp)
- In a kadhai, heat the mustard oil and bring it to smoke point. Lower the flame once the fumes begin to rise.
- After about half a minute, toss in the methi dana and allow it to turn maroon in colour.
- Add the jeera, hing and broken lal mirch and stir-fry for half-a-minute.
- Next, add in the onions, ginger and garlic and keep stir-frying till the onions turn brown.
- Add in the MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder and the potatoes. Stir-fry for a minute, or till the potatoes are well-coated with the other ingredients.
- Next, add the salt, mix and cover with a lid. Let this mix cook on a low flame for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Take off the lid and check if the potatoes have softened.
- Add in the Shimla mirch at this stage and mix well.
- Turn the flame up to a medium/high and stir-fry for a minute so that the moisture in the Shimla mirch reduces.
- Turn the flame down to medium/low and cover with a lid.
- After about 2 minutes, take off the lid and stir again. Then, add in the MTR Dhaniya Coriander powder, the MTR Lal Mirch Chilli powder and amchur and mix well.
- Turn off the flame and transfer the sabzi to a serving bowl.
- Serve hot with rotis.
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