Stir-Fried Sweet Peppers
¼ cup pickle oil from any type of oil-cured Indian pickle, including spices (about half the volume of oil should be spices)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (Kalaunji; optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon green cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 medium red onions, halved through the core end, each half cut in half crosses and then sliced ½ inch thick (to make short, thick slices)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 each green, yellow, and red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½ inch strips
2 medium tomatoes, halved and very thinly sliced
Combine the pickle and canola oils, nigella, if using, cumin, cardamom, and fennel seeds in a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring three separate times during the cooking. Check the peppers and spices as they cook- if they begin to burn, turn the heat down.
Now add the tomatoes, turn the heat to medium, and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to high, uncover the pan, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and serve hot.