My mother’s traditional Gujarati Bharela Marcha nu Shaak translates to stuffed peppers. Spicy peppers stuffed with toasted chickpea flour, coconut, sesame seeds, and Indian spices with a touch of sweet jaggery and lemon juice, cooked to perfection. Served with Indian millet bread(Rotlo) or Roti and raw onions on the side.
Traditionally, Bharela Marcha is cooked with hot small peppers. Every household in Gujarat has its recipe for Bharela Marcha. Though the recipes and method might be slightly different, the main Ingredients are hot peppers, roasted chickpea flour, and jaggery remain the same. Jaggery and lemon juice cuts the heat of the peppers and roasted chickpea flour makes the dish earthy and filling. The combination of flavors here is magical.
My recipe contains desiccated coconut and sesame seeds. The nutty flavors of coconut and sesame seeds along with chickpea flour, jaggery, and lemon complement the hot peppers so well.
It is so difficult to find the peppers I grew up eating in Utah, US. Jalapenos seem more manageable and close to the peppers we get back home. The heat of jalapenos is perfect and you can enjoy the meal without blowing hot dragon breath 😂. I have thought about making this recipe with Habanero peppers but I better hold on to that only for my thought 😂.
If jalapenos aren’t for you then try small sweet peppers or Anaheim peppers. I love the texture of Anaheim peppers with Indian millet bread or roti bread. Sweet peppers are great for an appetizer or a side dish.
My husband and kids love Anaheim and Sweet pepper ‘Bharela Marcha’. Although this isn’t a curry and usually served as a side dish, I sometimes like to create a curry like texture to have it as a main meal.
I like to add a tablespoon and a half of extra chickpea flour while making the stuffing. Reserve tablespoons of mixtures and add about 1/4 cup water to it. Once the peppers are cooked add the mixture of stuffing and water to the peppers and cook until thick.
I have instructions on cooking these delicious peppers in the oven as well. I like to roast chickpea flour, coconut, and sesame seeds in advance. Once you have these three things ready, you can whip up and get this recipe ready in no time.
The recipe is gluten-free, vegan , and vegetarian. Find all the ingredients required in my Amazon store front. Click here to shop the Ingredients
Hope you get to try this and experience the taste of my home. Feel free to ask any questions.
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