Saturday, July 16, 2016

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

I first tasted this chutney 17 years ago in Philadelphia.  My friend, Harini, had made it and I loved it!  We traveled to the east coast when my youngest was about 3 – 4 months old and my older son, 4 years old.  My husband had some work in Boston and we tagged along and made it a family trip.  We visited several friends and also squeezed in a trip to New York and Washington D.C.

It was tough traveling with young kids, but since we did not have an agenda or a checklist of things to see and do, it was not too stressful.




The highlight of this trip was meeting friends and family – Harini, Venkat, and Vinay; Anand and Latha (Samyukt was born a few weeks after our trip); Vara and Roopa; and Krithika

We went to Harini and Venkat’s place for dinner.  She had made an amazing vegetable pulao and this red bell pepper chutney.  I don’t know if she still makes this, but it is definitely my go-to recipe for entertaining.

I made this recently for a party.  My menu: medhu vadai, coconut chutney, red bell pepper chutney, regular idlis, kancheepuram idlis, sambar, coconut sevai, lemon sevai, black-eyed peas curry,  lauki kootu, parathas, yogurt rice, and ras malai

My friends brought 4 types of potato curry (my husband was in heaven), carrot salad, raitha, and watermelon

We had all done a tough hike that morning and so no one felt guilty about gorging on all the food at the party.



 

Here is what you need:


  • 2 – 3 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 4 – 5 dry red chilies
  • 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. split urad dal
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 green chilies
  • 2 tsp. tamarind pulp
  • ½ cup cilantro


 

Here is how I made it:


  1. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.  When they sputter, add hing, and after a few seconds, the dried red chilies
  2. When the chilies start getting brown, add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal.
  3. Fry on medium flame till the urad dal starts turning reddish brown.  Add the red bell pepper strips.
  4. Cook covered on low flame for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times, till the red bell pepper is soft.  Let it cool.
  5. In a blender, add the red bell pepper mixture and all the other ingredients and grind to a slightly coarse paste.

Serve chutney with pakodas, vadais, idli, dosai, pongal, rotis, puri – or rice.



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