Holiday season hasn’t even ended and I have already had enough of sugar! I don’t know about you but it’s definitely time for something spicy for me. While I love my desserts, chocolates and cookies, it’s the savory spicy Indian food that really has be salivating. After a sugar overload here in my blog I thought it’ll be nice to post a Indian Chutney or Pickle recipe.
A Pickle or Chutney is a typical Indian condiment which is a must have in your refrigerator. Chutneys can be made with several vegetables and fruits and each one have a unique taste. These almost instant chutneys are different from the traditional pickles which took days to make and were stored for years. Chutneys like this are cooked and used up within weeks or at the most one month. Because their main ingredients are seasonal, they provide a freshness and newness to your meals.
Todays Bell Pepper Chutney is tangy, spicy, oily and can perk up literally anything. I normally make this with tomatoes but I had a few red bell peppers in my refrigerator which needed to be used up quick so I decided to use them instead. Red bell peppers cooked slowly in oil have the most beautiful sweetness to them which compliments the fiery red chili powder used in the recipe. I have further sweetened the chutney using some jaggery powder. It has a very basic South Indian blend of whole spices but combined together it results in a fabulous taste.
Like all Chutneys, this one too can be saved in various ways. I eat it mostly as a side dish with my rice and curry meal but I also serve it along with Idly, Dosa, Chapati etc. Use in in wraps and sandwiches to give them an Indian kick. One of my latest and most favorite use of this chutney is the ‘Red Bell Pepper Rice’ that I make Haven’t planned what to cook for dinner or pack for lunch? No worries… just cook some fresh rice and stir a big dollop of this chutney with it. A beautiful red colored, spicy red pepper rice is ready! You can also make some very tasty ‘Red Bell Pepper Parathas’ with this chutney by adding a couple of spoons of this into the wheat four while making the dough.
I like how I feel all equipped for kitchen emergencies with a few of my chutneys on hand. Homemade chutneys and sauces are cheaper and healthier than the store bought ones and don’t even take too much time or effort to make. So make a batch of this delicious chutney and be proud of yourself for saving your family the trouble of eating all those extra preservative and chemicals.
You can replace the red peppers with ripe tomatoes in this recipe for a tomato chutney.
I have used mustard oil because I like the pungency and the flavor of it. You can use any oil you like instead.
You can reduce the oil considerably if you are looking at using it up immediately instead of storing it.
Jaggery is purely optional. Skip if you don’t like your chutneys slightly sweet.
2 tbsps of chili powder does make this chutney VERY hot. Reduce if are not too good with spice.
This chutney can be stored for 4-5 weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 3 cups of finely chopped red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- a spring of curry leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp jaggery
- 2 tbsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds till fragrant and let it cool completely. Pound it into a coarse powder and keep it aside.
Heat the oil in a big pan. Add the mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter. Now add the asafoetida and the curry leaves. Follow it with finely chopped red bell peppers and mix everything together. Close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the salt, chili powder and jaggery and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Bell pepper pieces should get cooked through and start to disintegrate. Now when the oil starts floating on top, add the powdered fenugreek and cumin seeds. Mix everything well and taste it. Adjust the salt and jaggery if needed and tuen off the that.
Let the chutney cool down completely before you store it in a bottle.
I wanted to share a happy news with you all today! I have won the ‘Best Vegetarian FoodBlog’ Award by ‘FriendsEAT.com’. Thank you all so much for voting and congrats to all the other winners:)