As I saw it, it was my right to rebel. If she suggested I wear bright colors I would fill my wardrobe with grey and beige. Looking back on those days, I shudder to think the kind of hell I must have unleashed on my mom – demanding freedom but not wanting the responsibilities that came with it. I had yet to learn to embrace humility that is so essential to earn respect.
During that ‘difficult’ phase my mother would try to teach me basics of cooking, since I was of that “age” (how she found the patience or the desire for it, is beyond me). Initially I rebelled because I didn’t want to be one of those girls who excelled at cooking from an early age and settled down to a life of domesticity. In my day dreams, I had a higher purpose in life; I wanted to do something worthy of leaving an impact on future generations. If only that girl could peek into the future… Today the most impact I can hope is to have on my progeny, who is as rebellious, if not more, as me.
Ever since I became a mom, I have a renewed appreciation and admiration for all that my mom did for us three siblings. Between juggling a full time job and bringing up three kids she would try to find innovative ways to make us, especially me, eat a variety of vegetables. Stuffing Anaheim peppers with potatoes was one of her more successful recipes and she would make it as often as time would permit. Stuffing the peppers was my job and I saw it as her way of gently easing me into the drudgery of cooking.
When I saw the peppers in the store I thought of my mom wondering that first time, many years ago, what she could do to make me eat it. I could envision the sizzle of the peppers roasting in the kadhai and the sweet peppery smell of the charring skin signaling dinner time. I wondered if my son would try them and decided not to push my luck.
Traditionally in the north the peppers are stuffed with kneaded chickpea flour but potatoes are sometimes stuffed as an alternative. The peppers were spotted and cooked shortly after Manisha announced her IFC: Memories event. I knew I had the perfect memory (admission of guilt?) to ship off to her along with
This is also one of the many apologies, long overdue, to my mom for my brattish behavior.
4 – 5 anaheim peppers
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
For the stuffing:
4 – 5 potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tbsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
In a kadhai or wok heat ½ tbsp of oil, turn the heat to low and add turmeric, fennel seeds and red chili powder. You want the raw taste of turmeric to turn fragrant before adding the mashed potatoes. Add salt and combine. If the potatoes are tinged yellow all over, you know the salt and chili have been incorporated.
Cut each pepper in three pieces and slice lengthwise. Deseed the end pieces and keep aside.
Let the potato sabzi cool down a little before stuffing the peppers.