When Indira blogged about her recipe for chutney with red bell peppers, I knew that I had to make it. It was again one of those recipes where one look at it tells you that you are gonna like it. (And at Indira's blog, you get this feeling after reading every post. :)) However, once I made sure that I had all the ingredients, and started making this chutney, some other ingredients expressed the willingness to be a part of it. :) In other words: I had some ridge gourd peels lying around on the kitchen top at that time. ;-)
What came out was a delicious chutney. (It got over in a couple of hours!) Perhaps it does not taste too different from the original. (Or maybe the original one tastes better!) I am yet to try out the original recipe by Indira. However, what I am happy & excited about is that I used ridge gourd peels, which are thrown away otherwise.
Having said that, I must make it clear that using peels of vegetables in chutneys is not really 'my' idea. It is rather common in the Maharastrian cuisine. (And maybe other cuisines too? Please let me know.)
I like it for two reasons.
A) You benefit from the nutrients, which are in or right under the peel.
B) You generate less waste!!
What you emerge as, after eating this, is a healthy plus environment-friendly person. :)
Before I get tempted into more exaggeration and word-play, here is the recipe. :)
Recipe for Red bell pepper chutney with ridge gourd peels
1 large red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium red/yellow onion, cut into chunks
peels of 1 ridge gourd
3-4 dried red chillis, broken into 2-3 pieces each
1 tsp oil
¼ cup roasted, peeled & crushed peanuts (I used store-bought roasted peanuts.)
1 tsp readymade tamarind concentrate, dissolved in some water
½ tbsp jaggery or to taste
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
Clockwise from left: chopped yellow onion, chopped red bell pepper, ridge gourd peels
1. Heat the oil in a pan/skillet. Sauté the first four ingredients in it until light brown. Let cool.
2. Mix all ingredients apart from the cumin seeds in a mixie/food processor and grind till it reaches a smooth paste-like consistency. Add water as you go, if necessary. Take it out into a serving bowl.
3. Heat the same pan that you used for roasting the veggies. Roast the cumin seeds in it until darker in colour and aromatic.
4. Sprinkle these roasted cumins seeds over the chutney. (That's garnishing and seasoning in one! :))
5. Mix the chutney well when serving.
This one is a great accompaniment to any kind of dosas or a side-dish with any kinda meals. What Indira paired it with are these yummy Besan dosas. (Next on my must-try list.) If you want it to be a totally 'green' breakfast (environmentally, that is), serve the chutney with these pancakes by Ashwini, which can be made using the white part of watermelons. Yes, the part which is usually thrown away. (Bye bye, Waste-bin? :))