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Inspired Indian home cooking.

Beyond Curry: Capsicum Besan Sabji (Bell Pepper and Chickpea Flour Stir-Fry)

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[Photographs: Prasanna Sankhe]

I've personally never liked the flavor of capsicum or bell peppers. But tasting this method of preparation had me completely converted. It's a unique combination of chickpea flour and bell peppers, resulting in a wonderful textural contrast of soft and mildly crisp.

Made in many homes in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, there's also a variation wherein roasted and crushed groundnuts are added into the flour mix. I've often seen people packing it in lunch boxes, perhaps because of how easy it is to rustle up in the flurry of the morning scramble.

The dish gets even more interesting when different households add their own unique masala combinations to it. Yes, each region or sometimes each family, has its own special batch of spices toasted and ground in the summer. And the recipes to these spice mixes are carefully guarded by the elder women in the family. But even if you use just the regular spices found in Indian cuisine in this stir fry, the dish is bound to make a comeback to your dinner menu in another week or so.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her newly-married husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

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