Pondicherry, recently crown as Puducherry is my native place. Situated along the coastline of Bay of Bengal, is rich in culture, attracts many tourists around the world.
The small coastal city stands alone for his rich and unique history, fought for his own Independence (August 16 is celebrated as Pondicherry Independence) against the French rulers. Dutch were the first to settle down and hand over to the French later.
Many freedom activists like Aurobindo and Subramaniam Bharati - tamil Poet took refuge in French territory and acted again the Bristish government.
The French people distinguished the city in two main parts: Ville blanche (French quarters) where still French people live. Many French institutions, including French schools, french consulate, oldest Church are located in these beautifully paved road.
If you are someone who is looking to stay in peace at Pondy, don’t want to wake up by the street vendors voice, no horn sounds, practically no kids playing, you can hear the lullaby of beach waves! Well, you got to book a hotel in French quartier!
The other part is refered to: Ville noire (where Hindus lived)- literally If I translate that would be hard!
Located at the opposite end of Ville Blanche with lots of temples, road names like Eswaran koil street, Perumal koil street, etc… always crowed, noisy and people talking Tamil!
Overall, you can feel the French flair everywhere; all the roads are perfectly angled (Thanks to Dutch for planning the city!) and all roads end to the beach road! Many buildings preserve the French architecture, the bold paint color, the street name are still in French and Tamil. The most important thing, a clean city, those who already visited should agree with!
One can perfectly, visit the whole town by walk or by bike ride! Many interesting places are : The beach which is main attraction, Aurobindo Ashram where Mother and Aurobindo are resting (spirituality area), Auroville (MatriMandir) attracts many Internationnal tourists each year to discover integral Yoga, Manakula Vinayagar ( Ganesha temple), Chunambar (for boating pleasure in backwater), etc...
My home is located in Ville Noire and went to French school in Ville Blanche! I was born in Pondicherry and inherited Indo-French culture. Half of my lifetime, I spoke only French and Tamil just with my mom! I was a French born confused Desi, typically in Pondy! We learn more about France than India because of our French academic.
Coming to the Indo-Franco cuisine, many Indians (Pondicherrian) stayed in France and moved back to Pondicherry. Their cuisine got a touch of Indo-french style, like spicy steak seasoned with black pepper, savory crepes eaten with chutney!
My mom French dishes reflected the Indo-Franco style; like baguette dipped in kurma was my favorite! I bet my place is one of city in India where you can really taste the French Baguette baked by local indian baker, look at this Bakery store; you will be amazed of the patisserie they offer you everyday in India!
The poivrons farcis got an Indian makeover in my mom’s kitchen. I always tasted a Non-veg version with minced lamb meat seasoned with chilli powder/masala stuffed in tomatoes or green bell pepper, but as the event is strictly vegetarian. I prepared with soy granule and stuffed with leftover cooked white rice.
The dish is quiet easy even if you have some leftover curry can be substituted!
For two green bell pepper stuffings, you need:
Ingredients for curry:
Soy granule (used the soy crumble): ¾ cup
Onion small: 1 diced
Tomato: 1 diced
Ginger-garlic paste: ½ tsp
Chilli powder: ¾ tsp
Garam masala: ½ tsp
Oil: 1 to 2 tsp
Salt: according ur taste
Cilantro: few leaves chopped
Heat a pan with oil, add the onion and fry until they turn translucent. Now add the tomato fry until they turn mushy, add the soy granules and all the powders, mix well and let it cook only few minutes (approx 5 min). (they are going to be stuffed in pepper later and cooked in oven)
Let it cool slightly and mix with leftover rice (about a cup)
For stuffing two capsicums:
I used only ½ cup of soy curry + 1 cup of rice or use some slice bread (4 slices) dipped in milk and squeeze the excess liquid, mix all together with cilantro
Bell pepper: 2 numbers/ Cut the top and remove the seeds and white membrane.
Season with salt and cracked black pepper, stuff with rice and soy curry mixture and close the pepper with the top .
U can use some pasta or tomato sauce for the base sauce in baking dish.
Preheat the oven at 400F, spray a baking dish, I used some pasta sauce down, placed the stuffed bell pepper in sauce and baked 30 min.
Take out from the oven and serve as a single serving with some plain rice or enjoy the stuffed bell pepper with some salad!
Sending to Lavi who is Hosting RCI-Pondicherry, created by laksmi. Thank you Lavi for chosing Pondy!
Some Tamil Nadu people think: Pondicherry, is a great retreat for consuming alcohol which is cheap! But being a Pondy native is a serene place to live on earth! Wanna glance of my town soon? Keep it in ur wish list!
Note: Farcis is French dish name and poivrons = Bell pepper.