Sunday, January 13, 2008

Taporia with bell pepper

I came across the recipe for taporia/besan mirch on Vyanjanaa by chance, fairly recently, and was hooked. For once I didnt just mark the recipe and sit on it for a few months waiting for my cooking instinct to grow up and become an adult - I acted pretty much rightaway.

G of Vyanjanaa says to use chillies that arent very hot, but I didnt have any such beasties - my choices were fiery long green chillies or the completely gentle bell peppers. Being too chicken to use just the green chillies for this recipe, I decided to use a combination of the chillies and a green bell pepper which, if I may say so myself, was a Very Good Idea.

For those who are TOTAL wimps, omitting the chillies entirely and using just a green bell pepper will give you at least an idea of the taste of this really simple, quick recipe from Rajasthan.

Other than some more changes to the ingredients - omission of saunf (fennel seed) powder, increasing the quantity of besan, omission of red chilli powder as I know from experience that the green chillies I used are VERY hot - I followed G's cooking instructions to the letter. I have to agree with what she said in her post about this recipe: "simple ingredients, short cooking time and immense flavor and heat". I couldnt have put it better.

PS. G was going to get married in November 2007. Wherever you are, G, congrats and here's hoping that you have a long, happy and successful married life! I hope you'll come back to your food blog at some point.

Recipe for:
Taporia with bell pepper


3 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
5 hot green chillies, chopped into 1/2-cm thick chunks
1 large green bell pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1-cm pieces (about 1 cupful)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole saunf (fennel) seeds
1/4 tsp heeng/asafoetida powder
1 tsp fennel powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp amchur (dried raw mango) powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp water


1. Dry-roast the gram flour in a heavy-bottomed pan for 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring it all the while. You'll be looking for the flour to turn slightly darker in colour - it will also smell nice.

(Be very careful while roasting because the flour burns VERY quickly. Stir it thoroughly all the time.) Take the pan off the heat when the flour is done, and tip the flour onto a plate to cool.

2. In the same pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, cover, and let the seeds splutter. Then add the cumin and fennel seeds and let them fry for 20 seconds in the hot oil.

3. Add the chopped chillies and bell pepper and stir till the ingredients are well mixed.

4. Now add 2-3 tbsp water,

cover the pan, turn the heat back down to medium-low and let the peppers cook for 4-5 minutes.

5. Remove the lid and add the various powders now, along with salt to taste. Stir till they are well incorporated with the peppers. (Add another tsp water now if the vegetable looks very dry.)

6. After 3 minutes, add the roasted gram flour and stir it in.

It will absorb any excess water in the pan. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan while stirring to dislodge any gram flour that is sticking to it.

7. After a couple of minutes stirring, serve the taporia hot with chapaties or puris.


Richa said...

besan & pepper sure does make one tasty combo :)
i make a steamed & stuffed version with peppers, u may chk it out if u like.

evolvingtastes said...

Definitely want to try it out, but these days I am getting wary about saying such things because the list is too long. I also second Richa's stuffed peppers, they have become a favorite with me.

TheCooker said...

Peppers and besan is lovely combo. I tried G's version a while back and it is a nice variation to my version.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

They do look spicy shammi. Thanks for such a beautiful recipe.

Shammi said...

Richa: I've bookmarked your recipe to try soon :) Thanks for the link!

Evolvingtastes: I know what you mean about loooooooong "to-try" lists! :)

The Cooker: Another version to try, then - yours! :)

Shankari: Credit where it's mainly due - to G. But thanks all the same :)

Suganya said...

Sounds like a spicy zunka. Good thing you added bell pepper. Aren't they aromatic? I will just add green chillies to my zunka next time.

Mansi said...

we make this all the time! just call it with a different name:)

you have someinteresting recipes here Shyam, I'm hopping off to that Polenta cake:)

Anonymous said...

Looks so good. Like the name too. Shammi- tried your eggless maple pecan cake. Was so easy and lovely to eat. I did not even use cake flour. The texture was like the cakes we get in India.

evolvingtastes said...

Shyam, I wasn't kidding when I said I definitely want to try it - so I did, and it is delicious. Thanks for showcasing the recipe for us! Like cooker said, a nice change from the usual maharashtrian besan-bell bepper.

rads said...

Hello - I am a very regular visitor to your blog though have never posted a comment commending you on a wonderful job. This time I decided to post a comment, 'cos ironically I ran into trouble making one of your recipes and I just want it to come right cos I love it. So I need your help/input.

Before I head to my doubt - I will take this chance to say I love your recipes and hope to try all of them in the coming weeks. Thanks and keep up your blog ...

Now to my doubt - w.r.t. your 5-herb scones recipe - my scones refuse to rise up like what I see in your pictures...where am I going wrong ? Mine come out flat like a pita so could really do with some advice and help...


Anonymous said...


Your blog looks really delicious.I am new blogger do encourage me plz….

Shammi said...

Suganya: Surprising how many recipes from different areas turn up so similar, but with different names...

Mansi: Hope you tried the polenta cake and liked it!

Mika: That's one of my fave cakes too.

Evolvingtastes: Was my pleasure!

Rads: First of all, thanks for the praise :) Second, sorry for the delayed reply, I was away for a week in Seattle. Third... re your question about the flat scones, because the recipe contains no eggs, your baking soda and baking powder have to be very fresh. Old stock tends to lose its raising properties. Other than that, cant see any reason why your scones didnt rise. Let me know how it goes when you try again?

Anonymous said...

Love your foodie blog too. The recipe looks delicious and the pics are awesome. It must have tasted good.

Anonymous said...

Just asking, What is a taporia? n_n

Shammi said...

Shriya: Thanks, and yes it did :)

Jamezu: What do you think it is? :) The name of the dish, of course!

vimmi said...

I make it the same way, but without amchoor. we love it. you can try it with spring onions, or cabbage too

Unknown said...

I made this dish this past week for lunch. It turned out excellent. One of my fav dishes now. Thanks alot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Shyam,

Now that’s motivation to get typing…:)

I was referring to your post on Taporia with Bell-pepper; I (and the resident guinea pig; aka my boyfriend) loved your recipe so much that we enjoyed it not once but 3 times that same week!
Wanted to make sure linking back to the source of my post was ok before I did so..:)