Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stuffed Chillies and the Many Colors of Food

The marathon cooks can almost reach out and touch the finish line, this is our penultimate day!

Today, we celebrate the many moods of foods, the colors that catch our eye, the palette that tempts the palate.

Yellow: Mustard oil tinges jhaal muri and turmeric gives khaman dhokla and paneer bhurji its characteristic warm color. Toor dal adds some mellow yellow to banana flower kootu. Eggs and turmeric together add a touch of yellow to egg biryani.

Green: It does your body good! Here we have zucchini and sage risotto in the palest green, fenugreek leaves as bright green flecks in this lasooni methi and this garlicky mashed water spinach, which is the most verdant shade of green ever.

Pink: A pink sauce is born by the blending of (what else but) red sauce and white sauce. And do I detect a tinge of green, as in (restaurant) envy? :) Another pink dish is this prawn curry with kokum painting the coconut milk pink.

Red: A simple vegetable soup is boldly dressed in red from beets and carrots.

Red-Orange: Curries and pasta sauces have their own rich hues. Here, red chillies add color and zing to lasnachi vali chutney, sweet and sour mango pachadi and onion chutney. Tomatoes lend their rich color to chicken kheema, macaroni in tomato ricotta sauce and cabbage kofta.

Orange: Carrots make for a lovely carrot soup designed to brighten up cold days and nectarines go into a pie that is a slice of summer.

Golden brown: The color of freshly baked bread is unmatched, seen here in whole wheat pav and bhaji, Syrian onion bread, whole wheat walnut bread and phulkas. Fried potatoes get a golden touch in vegan potato latkes.

Khosha charchari is a beautiful combination of green vegetable peels in a spicy brown gravy. Paneer chilli stir-fry wraps and veggie delight pizza are both a riot of white, green and red colors.

Finally, White: Powdered sugar showers snow on Noel nut balls.

*** *** ***

My kitchen sink still has no water, and probably won't for another 4-5 days. Cooking without running water in the kitchen? I hyperventilated for a few moments when I realized this, then reminded myself that millions of people cook this way (and with much less) on a daily basis and I could safely stop being a friggin' diva and get on with it.

As in, Keep Calm and Carry On.

So I made Recipe #2: Bharleli Mirchi, Maharashtrian style stuffed pepper, using this recipe from A Mad Tea Party. Anita's recipes are precious gems and this one is certainly no exception.

I found these great pale green-yellow jalapeno peppers yesterday and the rest was just pantry staples. With some liberal use of oil, a tasty stuffing came together and a sizzling dish was ready.

After a meal of these stuffed peppers with a simple khichdi (nothing but toor dal, rice, salt, curry leaves, cumin seeds pressure-cooked with too much water to get it nice and porridge-like), I am in such a state of bliss that even the hole in my living room wall doesn't bother me!

See you for the grand finale. I'll post it tomorrow around 6 PM and update it with whatever entries are posted later than that. Now to get some good sleep on the last night of 2009...


  1. Like the theme 'color' today..Mirchi are looking super spicy and tasty, goes well with any dish..

  2. Hi Nupur, The bharleli mirchi looks so good! You compiled all the recipes so well each day, great job!

  3. No running water and you make bharleli mirchi.God, you are a that!

  4. The bhareli mirchi transports me back to Mumbai whre I hail from and I miss some of the varied culinary delicacies from there.

  5. Luved the explanation for many colors of food!

  6. What a colorful dish and khichdi along with this sounds absolutely divine.
    Nupur, does this variety of chilli stay crisp after cooking or does it tend to soften up?

  7. These look delicious! And on a half functioning kitchen too.

    Thanks for being such a diligent marathon host Nupur; this is the most fun I have had blogging.

  8. I just came to your blog after a long break and that you are running a marathon, it's great to see so many recipes.., the peppers look really yummy, I came here today to wish you and your family a very happy new year, love to see more from your blog, which I love so much, love your write up to, May the Lord! bless you with a blissful year ahead...

  9. The bhaleli mirchi looks so mouthwatering, and a wonderful accompaniment to khichidi. I loved reading through the many moods and colors of food, have never come across such a description before!

  10. Perfect recipe for the banana peppers. The colorful array of foods is just the perfect melody for the penultimate day.

    See you at the finish line.

  11. happy new yr 2010,,,and y athanks fro hosting recipe marathon 2010 i truly enjoyed runnin the marathon,...

  12. Oh my goodness ... no water for another 4-5 days more!! I would have gone nuts by now, for sure!

    As you said earlier, I seriously think, the marathoners read each other's mind, I was all set to make bharleli mirchi too, but decided to make fish curry at the very last minute!

    I truly applaud your efforts to keep sane and cooking and updating our entries too! Thanks so much.

  13. kudos to you for cooking this yummy dish against all odds.
    You've inspired me- and so today, instead of choosing a dish that I've already made the past week, I will blog about something that will be cooked today(hopefully)

  14. Thanks for taking time and compiling the updates Nupur and still cooking, even without water in the kitchen. I would have been too depressed to think straight. Hope u get ur kitchen back together before long..
    Wish you a very Happy New Year.

  15. I like the way you presented the Marathon updates with different approaches, all were creative and special. Thanks for being a very enthusiastic and determind host Nupur. Truly appreciate your effort!
    Bharleli Mirchi is very similar to what my mom makes - Stuffed Capsicum on the side. I like the colorful picture!

  16. Nupur, bharleli mirchi looks so wonderful! It has been so long since the last time I ate one, your picture is just now reminding me of that :)

  17. we've posted pumpkin hummus. wishing you, dale and V a fantastic 2010.

  18. it looks delicious! Wishing you, V and Dale a wonderful new year.

  19. Thank you for the great comments, everyone!

    To answer a question:
    shankari- The jalapeno chillies softened up after cooking.

  20. Just want you to know I especially went and bought Jalapeno peppers to try this looks so tempting

  21. I tried this out. It came out really well. everyone here loved it. Thanks for the great recipe


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