Shimla Mirch Ka Raita – Capscium/Bell Pepper & Yogurt Dip

In the current hot, sunny weather, often times a curry with its fiery spices and oil floating to the top feels heavily unappealing and even icky. But, alas, in a South-East Asian household carbohydrates are a must and you most definitely must be on a diet/sick/upset/mental if you aren’t going to have a chapatti or some rice on your plate (Quote source: my grandmother).

 

Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip

It’s this kind of weather for which a cooling and fresh raita is used for. Usually, I make a very simple raita with either mint and coriander or cucumber mixed in with thick, creamy yogurt to serve with hot and dry curries such as a bhuna or rice dishes such as Biryani and Pilau. This raita is a much more ‘fancy’ and dressed up version of my regular raita using one of my many favourite vegetables: capsicum, also known as ‘bell peppers’. This raita has a very alluring aroma of roasted, smokey peppers even after chilling in the fridge which pairs beautifully with the flavours from the olive oil and mint.

 

Capsicums aren’t a commonly used ingredient for raitas – more traditional vegetables include aubergine and spinach. However, capsicums are a big favourite of mine and my Mother’s and I’m always on the lookout for ways to utilise them in various ways. Roasting and frying them really adds a depth of flavour that is irresistible – pair this with olive oil and as cliche as it sounds, you have a match made in heaven! I had really been wanting to cook up some capsicums for quite a few days till I saw Shayma from The Spice Spoon post a picture on her Instagram of a Borani, an Afghan/Persian yogurt side dish much like a Pakistani raita. Her post finally pushed me to finally get into the kitchen and start putting my capsicums to use! And to good use they were put! – Me and my husband really enjoyed this and I can certainly see myself making this soon again!

 

shimla mirch ka raita 2

 

I absolutely loved having this with some plain basmati  rice the first day I made this, however it went oh so well with some fresh, warm bread too. It’s incredibly versatile so don’t limit yourself to having this alongside a curry; enjoy it with bread sticks, crackers, steaks – anything you fancy!

 

Enjoy, with love x

 

shimla mirch ka raita 1

 

Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip
Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Capscium/Bell Pepper & Yogurt Dip
Print Recipe
Servings
5 people as a side
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
5 people as a side
Cook Time
1 hour
Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip
Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Capscium/Bell Pepper & Yogurt Dip
Print Recipe
Servings
5 people as a side
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
5 people as a side
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
  • 2 medium capsicums
  • 2 tbsp any neutral oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup full fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
Servings: people as a side
Instructions
  1. Over the naked flame of your stove, place one capsicum and allow the fire to char and burn the entire outer layer, turning so that all the skin turns black. Repeat for the other capsicum
    Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip
  2. Using a knife or your fingers, remove the burnt outer layer and discard.
  3. Chop the remaining capsicum very finely, making sure to remove most of the seeds from inside.
  4. In a pan, heat your neutral oil on medium/low and add in your chopped onion. Brown the onions till they are golden brown and soft - about 5 minutes. Remove 1/4 of the onions and set aside.
    Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip
  5. Add the chopped capsicums and the spices and cook medium/high, mashing the mixture with your spoon till the mixture comes together into a mass.
    Shimla Mirch Ka Raita - Bell Pepper/Capsicum & Yogurt Dip
  6. After about 10 minutes of cooking the capsicum and onion mixture, turn the heat off and allow to cool slightly before adding the yogurt. Stir in and check the spices, adjusting if necessary.
  7. Pour the yogurt into a serving dish. Place the reserved onions on top, add the dried mint and drizzle over the olive oil. Serve cold.
Recipe Notes

Tip: to make dried mint at home, take a few leaves of mint and place these in the microwave, checking every 15 seconds. Once the leaves have dried out and feel crisp, rub them between your fingers to form a powder. Ta-dah - dried mint in minutes!

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2 thoughts on “Shimla Mirch Ka Raita – Capscium/Bell Pepper & Yogurt Dip

  1. Great recipe Fatima! Don’t think I would ever have thought to use capsicums in a raita. And that dried mint tip at the end. ..definitely trying that soon!

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