Saturday, March 30, 2013

Green bell pepper and peanut relish

This beautifully vibrant, tangy and spicy green relish is a wonderful accompaniment to any steamed or fried dish. The cilantro gives it the vibrant color and the lime juice gives it a lovely tang. Peanuts add bulk as well as some texture.

In India it is typically served with idlis (steamed rice and lentil cakes), dosas (crisp rice and lentil crepes), or uttapams (blinis made with lentils and rice). But I have found many other uses for it. Spread over grilled chicken or grilled fish, it tastes exceptionally good and it also spectacular with fish cooked in parchment paper.

Green Bell pepper and peanut relish

½ large green bell pepper cut into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon, peeled chopped fresh ginger
¼ cup roasted peanuts without skin
1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 green chili, chopped (use jalapeno for mild heat or serrano for extra heat)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice (lemon juice is not sour enough)
  1. Heat a small saute pan with olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the cumin and the bell pepper and cook till the bell pepper has softened but still has its color.
  3. Cool the mixture slightly and transfer to a blender. Add the ginger, peanuts, coriander leaves, green chili, salt and lime juice and blend till it is an almost smooth paste.
  4. Serve at room temperature. Keeps refrigerated for a week.
Yields one cup.

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