Time is a funny thing. Time is bendable for some and unrelenting for others. And time changes us as we move on in life. Our perceptions or our outlook of it. What is so important to us today may somehow seem meaningless years or even months later. It is a fascinating and an intensely sad thing to me. How our childhood longings fade away, forgotten as we move into adulthood.
I think I mourn the loss of my childhood to this day. But it is only when you are old enough that you can fully let both times exist and have the ability to acknowledge them. Growing up is such a bittersweet thing.
The small city of Dehradun, where I grew up in North India, was the most beautiful place on earth to me and today it seems like a far away dream. For the years after I left it, all my dreams would be set in this idyllic northern city in India. It was my entire, innocent world. Going to New Delhi, which is but a few hours away, seemed further away then than flying to another far away country today. It was a beautiful time and it was all mine. A time of running free, no prejudices and no biases. Of holding no grudges and having insurmountable amounts of hope. Of ‘knowing’ that I possessed the undying ability to change the world. To change how people viewed women. To change perceptions.
I realize today that maybe as much as it is not possible to change the world in one large sweep; it is possible to change it in very small tiny ways. This is hard and sometimes a disheartening process with many steps back and few forward. But trudge on I must. The need to fight and make my voice heard is a need like no other I have known. With this also comes the realization that I must change too, that continuing to do things one way, is ineffective and sometimes foolish.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ― Andy Warhol
I do promise to resist change with all my heart but promise to embrace it with all my might too. That is the beauty of the contradictions that thrive inside me and all of us.
These spicy peppers are so so good. I was always used to eating peppers or capsicum as well call them in India, one way. But I am trying to change that and at least recreate the things I eat in different ways. The huge variety that makes Indian cuisine makes this very easy to do. These peppers are delicious beyond reason. Flavours upon flavours bursting in your mouth. If you haven’t eaten these its time to change that!
- 3 bell peppers (colors of your choice)
- For the Filling
- 100 grams paneer + some for the topping
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- ½ cup peas (cooked)
- 3-4 potatoes
- 1 green chili, chopped fine
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp red chili powder (you can use less if you don't want it to be too spicy)
- ½ tsp amchoor (mango powder, substitute with lime juice if needed)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 3 tbsps cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt as per taste
- Preheat oven to 395°F/200°C.
- To prepare, peel the potatoes and boil till very tender cooked right through. Mash and set aside.
- Slice off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Rinse with water, pat dry and rub with some oil. Set aside.
- In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle a bit, add the onions and fry till translucent and slightly browned. Add the chilies. Cook for a minute and the add the turmeric and the chili powder.
- Stir and then add the potatoes, peas and paneer. Mix well. Add the amchoor powder (or lime juice) and the salt. Stir well again to mix everything up. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garam masala.
- Mix well again and add the chopped cilantro.
- Let the mixture cool down and then stuff the peppers with the potato paneer mix. You can sprinkle some additional paneer on top if you like.
- On a baking tray, place the stuffed peppers and bake for 20 or 30 minutes or till the peppers are wrinkled and a beautiful golden color.
- Serve with rice and a lentil soup!