Capsicum and potato ~ chuck, cover and cook sabzi

In this beginner friendly recipe, the work is actually just peeling and chopping the vegetables. I stirred the curry a total of three times, towards the end of the cooking process and that too, only to distribute the salt and spices.

I had chopped capsicum on hand, so paired it with the versatile potato to make this. But this is my preferred method to cook any dry vegetable. I do the same thing with tendli, bhindi, cauliflower, brinjal, mushrooms etc. The key here is to keep the vegetables in largish pieces so they wont turn to mush. I usually go for long strips.

Start off by prepping the vegetables.

Peel and slice into strips the following:

1 medium potato, peeled and sliced into french fry size

2 medium green capsicum, de seeded and sliced into strips to match the potato

Heat a non stick or a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of any cooking oil, heat till hot.

Add 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.

Add the potato and capsicum strips, stir once to distribute evenly without crowding, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to the minimum and cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. If not yet done, cover and cook another minute or so. The idea is to cook the vegetables in their own steam, for this the pan needs to have a well fitting lid. If the veggies are drying or sticking, sprinkle a few teaspoons of water and cover and cook.

Sprinkle on top, salt to taste, 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander and cumin powder and 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder. Keep the spices minimum for the vegetables to shine through. Stir and cover for another minute. Turn off the heat, garnish with fresh coriander if you have it, or serve hot with rice or roti.

You can use this as a vegetable base to make a pulav. Add 1 cup of washed rice, salt for the rice and 2 cups of water, pressure cook for two whistles and allow the steam to release naturally. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

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