The often confusing data and research results that we hear about food makes it more difficult than ever to decide what foods to eat and what not to eat. One day it is fat, the next day it is carbs and sugars the day after which is responsible for all the problems with our diet. When in doubt I always fall back to the foods and ingredients I have know growing up and I am safely on the right track. "In Defense of Food - An Eater's Manifesto" written by Michael Pollan is the book for the moment, an amazingly well written page turner and would hold its own against any mystery thriller. It just confirms what we have always known, a traditional diet is better than any Western diet.
The recipe for this dish is from a booklet that came with a rice bag, which ammayi (maternal grandmother) had kept safely. Sometimes these tiny free booklets have some delicious and mouth watering recipes which are not commonly found in any cook book.
1. 2 Medium Bell Peppers washed, patted dry, seeds removed and cut into cubed.
2. a small sized ball of tamarind.
3. 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
4. 1 tsp methi seeds
5. 2 tsp coriander seeds
6. 2 tsp toor dal (chana dal preferable)
7. 1 tsp red chili (or to taste)
8. a small piece of asfoetida
Dry roast the above and make a powder
9. 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
10. salt to taste
1. Heat a 1/2 tsp of oil and saute the bell pepper and tamrind and blend to a smooth paste
2. In the same pan heat the rest of the oil, add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop
3. Add the blended bell pepper mixture, chili powder and salt and cook till they start to leave the sides
4. Add the powdered spices mix and a few drops of oil if required
Cool and store in a air tight container
Taste excellent when mixed with rice or as a side for idlis, dosais or chapathis.