There are perhaps 50,000 capsicum varieties grown worldwide and they have been classified under 5 major species of cultivated capsicums:
Have I bored you enough? :) So, I came across these peppers while grocery shopping at NTUC Finest in the east of Singapore last weekend. A young lady of perhaps 20 was dressed in a beautiful traditional Korean Hanbok and I was curious to see what she was promoting. At first sight, I was horrified at these chilli peppers! They were huge and looked quite menacing. But she laid my concerns to rest and claimed they were only mildly hot and that they taste very much like our regular capsicums. She had these lettle plastic cups with samples of these cut Dangjo peppers in a mild tomato gravy. I tried a small piece with a tissue on hand in case I needed to spit it out immediately.
Contrary to what I thought, it actually tasted yum! I was bought! The packet of around 15 of these premium peppers costed around $7.50 Singapore dollars but they are truly worth it. Plus, I wondered how long she must have been standing there the whole day and wondered if anyone had bought her pretty expensive bell peppers. I just wanted to help her out in her promotion.
Who says we can't mix Korean and Indian cuisine?
Today I tried making an Indian version of these peppers. It turned out quite delicious. The tomatoes added a sour taste to the peppers and it complemented their mild heat. My husband thought so as well. No way I could introduce peppers to my teen daughters! These Dangjo peppers are so versatile - because they are quite large, you could stuff them with tofu brown rice mix and bake them or you could even make a simple Chinese version by frying ginger and adding light soy sauce and serve them topped with toasted sesame seeds.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish)
300gm Dango Peppers cut at an angle
1 medium sized red onion, sliced
1 ginger garlic paste
1 to 2 tsp turmeric powder
1 to 2 tsp cumin powder
1 large ripe tomato sliced
Salt per preference
A sprig of coriender leaves, chopped roughly
This is a relatively easy recipe so I didn't take photos of the actual method.
1. Take a medium sized cooking pot and fry the sliced onion.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a while.
3. Add the spices and salt and stir well.
4. The sliced tomatoes go in next.
5. After a few minutes when the tomatoes get pulpy, add in the sliced Danjo peppers and coriander leaves.
6. Stir, add half a cup of water and cover.
7. Cook till the Dangjo peppers are soft.
8. Serve it at your next gathering - I'm sure it will be a conversation starter!!
Kimchi, also called Kimchee or Gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made up of a variety of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is Korea's national dish and has originated in Korea since the 12th century. The main ingredients of Kimchi are vegetables like cabbage, radish, and seasonings like gochugaru (red chilli pepper flakes) garlic, ginger, brine, saeuojeot (shrimp sauce), eonguljeot (oyster sauce) and aekjeot (fish sauce). There are 187 varieties of Kimchi!!
At this point, I have to mention my friend Aminah (we call her Ena) who truly exemplifies what good friends do for their friends. She was on a trip to Korea with her family years ago and I had requested a vegetarian version. I had told her.. don't feel obliged. Just get it if its convenient. Ena brought back a huge packet of Vegetarian Kimchi (1 kg) specially prepared for me without the shrimp, oyster and fish sauces! Apparently, she had waited for an hour in the morning to get the vegetarian version in a Kimchi shop enroute to the airport for her return flight. Imagine with all the luggage and with 3 young cranky kids in tow?? Thank you darling for your wonderful act of love and sacrifice. I enjoyed it tremendously :) I know this happened years ago, Ena but I still remember it and hold you close to my heart. How can we forget the acts of love of our friends and family?
Recently, I came across a vegetarian version of Kimchi at a local online store (Redmart). Making a simple fried rice with Kimchi was my next natural step. That's what I did last week when my girls were in school and my husband was out of town. Do note that there is no protein in this fried rice - so do make an egg or have grilled tofu with it.
Ingredients (serves 1-2)
2 tbsp canola oil
3 cups of cooked white rice
1 tsp pounded/minced ginger
1 tsp pounded/minced garlic
1 cup of mixed vegetables like carrot, peas, corn
1 cup of Vegetarian Kimchi, drained and chopped roughly
1 tsp of Gochujang (Korean Red Pepper paste, if Kimchi is not spicy enough)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and Pepper
Red Bird's Eye chilli, sliced (for garnish and for side dish)
Extra Kimchi (for side dish)
1) Get all the ingredients ready. From left : Cooked rice, mixed vegs, chopped Kimchi, sliced Red Bird's Eye chilli, gochujang paste, ginger, garlic, canola oil, salt, pepper and sesame oil.
2) A close up of the Vegetarian Kimchi and the Korean red pepper paste Gochujang.
3) A close up of how Kimchi looks like. The usual Kimchi is usually has a sour fermented taste and smell. Surprisingly, this version was very pleasant and light in seasonings. No foul off putting smell at all.
4) Get a big wok or frying pan and heat the canola oil. Then fry the ginger and garlic for a few minutes.
5) Add the mixed vegetables and a pinch of salt for flavor. Let it cook for 3-5 mins.
6) Then, add in the chopped kimchi and saute the whole mixture further. If you want it extremely spicy, you can add in the gochujang paste here.
7) Now, add in the cooked rice, salt, pepper and sesame oil and give it a good mix.
8) Serve with more Kimchi and some sliced red bird's eye chilli as additional condiments.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.