Capsicum Raita | Green & Yellow Pepper Raita:
This time round, with our traditional ‘kootu’ (pigeon peas cooked in spicy peppery coconut masala) it was time for capsicum or geen/yellow pepper raita. Raita being a natural yogurt based, cooling accompaniment to the meal, can be prepared very quickly using very few ingredients. It cleanses the palate as also provides an additional flavour component.
There are times when I prepare just a raita as the veg aspect (sabzi) to go with rice and dal (in different forms that is). Often raw vegetables such as cucumber, tomato can be used with yogurt and spices to form the raita. However certain others need to be slightly stir fried, cooled slightly and then made into raita. Okra, peppers, pumpkin etc need to be stir fried.
The yellow and green pepper raita has a peppery zing which makes it so delicious.
green pepper – 1/4 chopped into 1/2″length roughly rectangular pieces
yellow pepper – 1/4 chopped into 1/2″length roughly rectangular pieces
natural yogurt – 1/2 cup (beaten to smooth texture)
salt to taste
for tempering :
oil – 2 tsp
mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
dehusked split black gram – 1/4 tsp
yellow split peas – 1/2 tsp
green chili – 1 chopped fine or into thin discs
curry leaves – 4-5 (optional)
asafoetida – 1 pinch (avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet)
in a pan, heat the 2 tsp oil moderately
add mustard seeds and allow to splutter, add dehusked black gram and yellow split peas, geen chili, curry leaves and asafoetida
once the split grams turn slightly brownish, add chopped peppers and stir fry at med-high temp
we are looking to cause a slightly charred effect on the peppers. they will also need to be softened slightly, but should not be cooked too long to lose the crunch
then, transfer all the contents of the pan to a bowl, allow to cool slightly. then add in beaten yogurt, salt. mix well. add additional water if you wish for a thinner consistency
serve the yellow & green pepper raita/capsicum raita with your meal
for the tempering, you could just use mustard seeds, green chili, asafoetida and stir fry the peppers (the lentils are optional but will ad another crunch to the dish)