The sunset colored Bell Pepper Chutney is another of Amma's fantastic contributions to my culinary repertoire. Amma often made it to accompany Dosa, Adai, simple dal, Molakootal, or Molagushyam. Red bell chutney raises the taste quotient of an otherwise simple or bland meal.
Makes about 2 cups
1 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp Urad dal
1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1 or 2 red dry or fresh chilies (or more to taste)
1 pinch ground asafoetida (Hing)
2 large fresh red bell peppers
1 red or brown onion (optional)
A few curry leaves, about 12
½ cup fresh or thawed frozen grated coconut
1 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
A cherry sized ball, dry tamarind pulp or lemon juice to taste
Roast the whole bell peppers and the onions whole in a 425 F oven until the skins are charred. Cover them until cool, and peel the skins off. Remove the stems and seeds of the pepper and trim the onion. Alternately, the veggies can be chopped and added to the toasted ingredients and cooked until soft.
Heat oil in a small skillet and lightly brown the urad dal, coriander, and chilies. Turn off the heat and add the curry leaves and stir. Let cool.
Grind the bell peppers, onion and the rest of the ingredients with just enough water (add water a Tbsp at a time) into a smooth puree using a blender.
Taste for salt and add more if needed. Set aside or chill until needed.
This chutney will last for about a week or so in the refrigerator.
Serve with dosa or as a dip or condiment with sandwiches and snacks.