There is something very appealing about a riot of colours. I try, as often as possible, to eat in colour. Most times, the colour is in our fruit boxes and not as much in our main meals. My pulaos tend to have almost the colours of the rainbow in them. But I don't seem to cook mixed vegetable dishes as often as I used to.
In 2012, we visited the US to attend my graduation ceremony. After the ceremony, we spent a couple of days with my uncle and aunt in New Jersey. One of the things I enjoyed about that stay was their fridge that was always full of food. My uncle says he likes to eat a variety of food everyday and so he just cooks whenever he has the inclination or time or both. And then, every meal is a feast.
One of the dishes that I enjoyed during that stay was a dish made of red bell peppers. I tried it the day we landed in Singapore. Then I forgot about it. More recently, I was at the supermarket with A. He picked out one green, one yellow and one red pepper. I decided I had to make the dish again. However, I had forgotten how. A quick text to my uncle and I had the recipe again. I've made this a couple of times since and while we love it, everyone we have served it to also seems to like it.
1 Red Capsicum
1 Yellow Capsicum
1 Green Capsicum
1/4 cup Red Gram Dal (Chana Dal)
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1-2 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
Dry roast the red gram dal for 5-7 minutes or until nicely browned, but not burnt. Grind to a coarse powder with some salt. (Any extra powder can be frozen for use later.)
Chop the capsicum into small pieces.
Heat the oil in a kadhai. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the capsicum pieces and fry for a minute. Add the chilli powder, turmeric and a little salt. When. the capsicum is half done, add the powdered red gram dal, a little by little (2 tablespoons or so). Stir from time to time, until the capsicum is cooked.
This dish goes very well with rice and dal/sambar and I think of it as a cheater's paruppu usli. I am quite sure it will make a nice side for rotis too. I love it just by itself as a quick snack and it could even be a carb free meal. I find this dish to be the easiest way to eat in colour.