Continuing with the valentine dinner ideas, I tried out something different with the regular mushrooms, onions, bell peppers that I had on hand. It happened to be a most wonderful spicy, taste bud tingling chutney that you’ll find many uses for. There’s a lot you can tinker with this recipe. If you love Italian flavours, feel free to substitute the Indian spices with some dried basil and Italian seasonings.
Mushroom and bell pepper chutney
Category – Spread, chutney, spicy accompaniment
Time taken – Under 45 minutes
Makes – 1 1/2 cups
Mushroom and Bell Pepper Chutney
- 1 pack button mushrooms
- 1 bell pepper large - any colour
- 4 cloves garlic - finely minced (I used two very large cloves).
- 1 red onion large .
- 1 tsp cumin seeds .
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds .
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder .
- 2 tbsps vinegar white cooking .
For the spice mix.
- 10 - 12 chillies dried red .
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds .
- 10 - 12 curry leaves .
- Broil on a pan on low heat. As soon as you smell the aromas, remove from pan, cool, and grind to a fine powder in spice mill / chutney jar of your mixer.
- Wipe mushrooms clean with wet tissues. Dreseed the bell pepper. Chop the mushrooms, onion and pepper to a fine mince. You need to mill them separately with a cleaver until they are very very finely chopped. If you've already done your share of arm exercises then by all means use a food processor. I for one feel that the act of fine chopping, going tak tak tak on the chopping board is a great stress buster.
- You can mix the onions and peppers but keep the mushrooms aside due to varied cooking times.
- In a sauce pan, heat the oil. Splutter the cumin and mustard seeds. Saute the garlic first, for about 10 seconds and then put in the finely chopped onions and peppers with a tsp of salt. On a medium to low heat, stir them around so that they cook evenly and do not burn.
- After 4-5 minutes of cooking, add the turmeric powder and the mushrooms with another pinch of salt. Keep the flame slightly high so that the moisture released by the mushrooms dries up soon.
- After 2-3 minutes, add the spice powder mixed in the vinegar and remaining salt.
- On a high flame, stir rapidly all ingredients. This is to let the veggies absorb the spices well. Check for salt at this stage and adjust. Once the moisture is absorbed, mushrooms cooked and the mixture comes together which will take around 5-7 minutes, stir around on a low flame for little more time more taking care that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The chutney is done. Remove it onto a clean dry plate. Cool and then fill into sterilised jar. Seal with an airtight lid and you are done.