Delicious smoky walnut red pepper chutney packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fats and phytochemicals. The sweet smoky roasted red bell peppers, tart lemon juice, earthy creaminess of walnuts and aromatic spices come together to give you this delectable chutney.
Red Pepper Walnut Chutney
This Red Pepper Walnut Chutney has been seasoned in the manner of an Indian chutney and would go well with Indian breakfast dishes such as idlis (steamed rice-lentil dumplings), dosas (rice-lentil pancakes) and my Healthy Cauliflower Upma, suitable for diabetics. Or you could enjoy it with my popular omelette parathas or potato samosa rolls.
Traditionally, coconut, peanuts and such, have been used to give a creamy richness to Indian chutneys. So, using walnuts is a nice change and plus it adds some good omega-3 fats.
Red bell peppers are basically green bell peppers that have not been harvested and left to ripen further and turn red. And in that process they do acquire a slightly different flavor and an increase in vitamin C and carotenoids.
So these peppers are an excellent source of the aforementioned nutrients. In fact, a cup of chopped red bell pepper has a lot more vitamin C than one orange.
Not to mention the robust antioxidant potential - what with the high amount of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, phytochemicals etc. Red bell peppers are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. These vegetables are therefore pretty nutrient dense as they are low in calories.
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Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prick the eggplants with a fork in couple spots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the skin turns darker and shrinks. Check foot notes for grilling, broiling or stove top options.
- The eggplants should be cooked through completely in the center. To check, press the back of a fork on the eggplant. It should compress easily all the way into the center without any resistance.
- Cut through the eggplant skin and scoop out the soft cooked flesh and mash it with a fork and set aside.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding some seeds if you wish. See note below for peeled and deseeded tomatoes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan at medium setting. Add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne or chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are softened, stirring in between, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the mashed eggplants and cilantro. Continue to cook over low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, mashing it if needed, into a thick but slightly textured dip like consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt. Adjust as per taste, let it cool and transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate it overnight before serving.
- Take the zaalouk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes if you prefer.
- Chunky Zaalouk: To make a chunkier but less traditional zaalouk, insert garlic cloves into eggplant and roast it in the oven at 400˚F, along with the tomatoes. Chop the eggplants and tomatoes. Add the spices, herbs, half the olive oil, salt and mash it up to desired consistency. Drizzle olive oil and serve.
- Cooking Eggplants:
- Grill: Roast eggplants on charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them slowly in between, until skin turns darker and shrinks.
- Broil: Cut eggplants lengthwise into halves and place the cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Place on the second rack and broil until skin turns darker and shrinks, about 20 minutes.
- Stovetop: Peel the eggplants completely, only some stripes or leave the skin on if you don’t mind it. Cut the eggplants into small pieces. Steam on high heat until soft or cook in a pan with some water until soft and mushy.
- Easy Zaalouk: Combine all ingredients with ⅓ cup of water and cook it over stove top until softened. Mash it up well and drizzle olive oil.
- Peeled and deseeded tomatoes: If you prefer, you can blanch the tomatoes. Cut a small cross on the surface of tomatoes and dump them in hot boiling water. After a minute, pick out the tomatoes and peel the skin, cut them into halves and deseed. Chop them into small pieces.
- Use more tomatoes if you want the dip to be saucy. You may even try using a little bit of tomato paste to give it thickness.
- Leftovers: Can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. You can freeze zaalouk for couple months. Thaw and reheat. Adjust the consistency, evaporating or adding water as needed. Check the seasoning as well.
- Nutrition facts not including any added salt.
- For other variations, tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Tangy and Spicy Walnut Red Pepper Chutney
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Cut the red bell peppers into halves, remove the seeds and stem.
- Brush some olive oil on the bell pepper halves and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Roast the peppers for about 20 to 25 minutes until blistered on all sides.
- Peel off the blistered blackened areas and roughly chop the bell peppers.
- Add the remaining ingredients (from walnuts through salt) to the chopped bell peppers and run it in a food processor until smooth.
- Stir the chopped cilantro into the chutney, if using it.
- Adjust the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt to your taste.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a small seasoning pan, then add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to turn light brown and add the seasoning over the chutney and stir some into it.
- Serve this walnut red pepper chutney with upma, idlis, dosas etc.