While this dish can be cooked on the stove top or in the oven, it is the perfect dish for a weekend BBQ. Served with yoghurt and flatbread, it is a perfect light weekend lunch.
Use either hot or mild banana chillies. Hot Banana chillies contrast well with the more mild filling. Mild Banana chillies have a mild sweet flavour, despite their chilli-related name. They are not at all hot or spicy. And we temper the heat of the spices in the stuffing by using warming spices and only a little chilli, adjusted to your taste.
Bharwan means stuffed in Hindi. The stuffing is made from chickpea flour and spices, moistened with tomatoes. You can basically add any ingredient of your choice into the stuffing. The combination of the banana chillies and mild tangy stuffing is quite flavoursome and this dish makes a great light lunch or side dish. It is a recipe from Rajasthan in India.
First the banana peppers are simmered to soften then, and the inside seeds removed. The stuffing is made and the peppers are stuffed before grilling.
Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices | Bharwan Mirch
8 yellow, orange or light green banana chillies, or use long, mild green chillies
35g chickpea flour (besan)
1.5 Tblspn ghee
1 small onion, finely chopped
1.5 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn cumin powder
0.25 tspn amchur powder
0.5 – 1 red chilli, finely chopped, or to taste
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tspn lemon or lime juice
1.5 Tblspn chopped coriander leaves
Using a sharp knife, cut a slit along the length of each chilli. Simmer the chillies in salted water for 5 – 6 minutes and drain well. When cool, gently prise the slits open, remove the seeds and pat the chillies dry inside and out with absorbent paper. Sprinkle the insides with a little salt.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan and roast the chickpea flour, stirring constantly aromatic and golden – the flour darkens as it toasts. Do not burn. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add 1 Tblspn of the ghee to the pan, add the onion and chilli and cook over medium heat until the onions are golden. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, amchur powder and cumin and stir until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 8 – 10 mins. Stir through the toasted chickpea flour, lemon juice and coriander. Season to taste.
Spoon the spice mixture into the prepared banana chillies. Brush the chillies with the remaining ghee (melt it if necessary), then char grill or BBQ for 2 minutes on each side until lightly charred and heated through.
Serve and enjoy!
recipe notes and alternatives
Serve with yoghurt, cucumber and flatbread for a light weekend lunch. They also go well with dal.
Serve with Roti Phulka or rice.
Rather than adding tomatoes, mix the chickpea and spice mixture with enough yoghurt to bind it.
Rather than char grill, place in a covered pan with a little oil or ghee, cut side up or on the side, for 5 mins, then turn to the other side for 5 mins.