There are days when I JUST don’t know why I really don’t like making a brouhaha while cooking. Fuss-free, that’s me. Thus emerges an idea to cook something light and bright, and no, it is not always the obligatory Bengali “chochhori-ruti”, thanks to a father who has been blessed with an attitude and keen taste buds and a lifelong exposure to good food. He hated eating the same home-cooked food and brought in the tradition of going out for dinner in the family ever since he took charge after his father’s demise. Most of the family did not approve of it (who thought it was throwing away good money for the sake of taste, and no nutrition… they were a health conscious lot back in 1983). However, then came another food enthusiast who adored his love for food, and preferred good, tasty food over healthiness, etc etc.
That young little nubbin’ was me; exposed to a world of good food right in the middle of Kolkata, and as soon as I knew how to slyly unlock the kitchen with the end of a hairpin, I was set. My first cooking attempts were slightly shaky, and a lot of times my grandmother caught me heating water. But slowly she accepted the fact that I meant business, and I wanted to cook, and let me. They never taught me because I refused to be taught by anyone else but me (I consider this my Taurean trait).
Anyway, long story cut short – here I am, 20 years down the line, a good cook, and I will be sharing my recipe with you, so thank God you stumbled across this post. I got excellent quality huge peppers to make this from the market, and I realized that my estimation of 2 pepper per person was actually wrong (because between my parents, I barely got a bite of this. However, the food-gasmic expression was worth it. )
The pictures are pathetic. But do not be fooled… try this out yourself.
How DO You Make It?
Cut open the tops of and deseed 2-3 big peppers (or if you are that desperate then I would go slack and ask you to get 2-3capsicums), and then slice them in half so that they form a boat on which you can keep your goodies. Salt them, and keep them aside for a couple of minutes to drain off any excess water. Put a bit of good quality English mustard over each slice, and rub it in to smear the insides of the boats. Then cover them with a few little crumbling scoops of cheese (for my dish it was about a cube per 2 peppers )which would melt well and not string up (therefore, I would suggest some cheddar or gouda, or even processed American cheese like Laughing Cow or a brand like Amul will do). Cover the cheese with some chopped onions, sprinkle with a dash of red pepper flakes and if you like it, then salt, and then bake in 160 degrees celcius in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are perfectly cooked and the cheese has melted. If possible during the last 5 minutes of cooking raise the heat to 200 degrees.
Serve hot. The fun part is to see your father’s face when he bites into a piping hot bit, and then go “Omago!” thanks to the molten, lava hot cheese, but still refuse to spit it out.