I had the chance to savour this heart warming side dish in my sis-in-law's house. It was one of the humbly placed accompaniment, in a casserole, supposed to be a 'not-so-prompt' one among the lunch spread. When every one was enjoying the speciality meals of the day; vegetable biriyani, sambhar sadam, paruppu thuvayal sadam, raving about the array of rich as well as comfort food all laid on the table, the taste of this simple dish dominated my taste buds. It went perfectly well with the chapathis and all the varied rice meals! Both Akka ( sis- in law) and her daughter-in-law were busy catering to our needs but as always, the curiosity heads and prompts me to find out the recipe!
Gayathri, her pretty and homely daughter-in-law, narrated instantly how they made it, smilingly.
The mental note grasped by my recent 'not-so-efficient-n-highly-impatient-brain-cells' again prompt me loud and clear, Cummon , I can't hold it for long babe. Try soon, it's simple!
Succumbed to the instinct, I tried the following week...
Preparation time: 10 mins
Stove top time: 15-20 mins
Total time needed: less than 30 minutes
1 large green bell pepper / capsicum
One medium sized large onion
1/2 tsp sambhar powder
A fat pinch of turmeric powder
Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste
2 tsps oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds and urad dal each
A sprig of Curry leaves
Wash bell pepper and peeled big onion. Halve the pepper, de-seed and cut into 1 cm cubes. Chop onions.
Heat oil in a non-stick kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and throw in the curry leaves. Add the bell pepper bits and sauté along for a few minutes, say for 4-5 minutes . You may sprinkle very little water after a while only if needed to get them cooked. But see to it it retains the crunchiness. (Mine wasn't quite fresh, so I had to.) Now, stir along the chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric and sambhar powders. [I have used my own recipe of sambhar powder which contains no turmeric. If your version has already the turmeric powder in it, avoid using it again.]
Remember, do not close the pan at any point while making this dish. Stir to combine. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until the pieces are shrunk, cooked ( not soft but still, a little crunchy) and the spices seeped in.
Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice or Indian breads.
I had them with warm phulkas.