Stuffed Red Peppers

This is a pretty quick and easy recipe for a weekday meal or to brighten up a more extravagant one. Stuffed red peppers are always a great addition to the table – the vibrant red lights up anyone’s palate and the slightly sweet pepper with the flavorful filling is always a hit!

The stuffing for these peppers can take on many different looks depending on your palate. The stuffing shown in the picture to the left is the same stuffing used in the dosa (lentil pancake) recipe that I blogged about a few hours ago – the stuffing is a South Indian recipe for spiced potatoes. However, there is another recipe that I often use that utilizes more North Indian spices. I have provided both recipes here.

If you prefer you can use green bell peppers, however, I find the skin of the green bell pepper to be on the bitter side. One stuffed pepper serves between 2 to 4 people when served as a side.

As shown, South Indian Spiced Potato Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 red peppers
  • 3 – 4 Idaho russet potatoes
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 green chili, chopped finely (adjust quantity to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon haldi powder (also known as turmeric powder)
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt to taste (you’ll need at least 1-2 teaspoons to start with and can then adjust to you palate)

Wash the potatoes. Cut each potato in half. Wash and boil the potatoes over the stove in a pot of boiling water. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain the water. Peel the potatoes and break up the potatoes with your hand to bite-sized pieces.  Set aside. Then place a skillet on the stove and turn the stove on medium high. Add the canola oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, test drop a few mustard seeds. If they sizzle quickly, the oil is hot enough. Add all of the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the curry leaves and haldi. Stir. Then add the sliced onions and stir. Cover the skillet with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Allow the onions to cook until they are transparent and soft, stirring frequently to be sure they do not burn. When the onions are cooked through add the salt and stir. Then add the crumbled potatoes and stir. Adjust the salt, if necessary. The potato stuffing is now ready.

North Indian Spiced Potato Recipe

  • 3 – 4 Idaho russet potatoes
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 green chili, chopped finely (adjust quantity to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (also known as ‘jeera’ in hindi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder (this is a spice mix that has regional variations, but can contain roasted and ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon amchur powder (also known as dried mango powder)
  • small bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt to taste (you’ll need at least 1-2 teaspoons to start with and can then adjust to you palate)

Wash the potatoes. Cut each potato in half. Wash and boil the potatoes over the stove in a pot of boiling water. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain the water. Peel the potatoes and break up the potatoes with your hand to bite-sized pieces.  Set aside. Then place a skillet on the stove and turn the stove on medium high. Add the canola oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, test drop a few cumin seeds. If they sizzle quickly, the oil is hot enough. Add all of the cumin seeds. A few seconds later when they start to brown (not black, don’t burn them!), add the green chili and the onions.  Stir. Cover the skillet with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Allow the onions to cook until they are transparent and soft, stirring frequently to be sure they do not burn. When the onions are cooked through add the salt and stir. Then add the crumbled potatoes, cilantro leaves and stir. Adjust the salt, if necessary. The potato stuffing is now ready. Add the garam masala and amchur powder last by sprinkling both spices over the potatoes and then stiring the spiced potatoes again. The garam masala adds a lot of flavor to the dish. The amchur powder adds a nice slightly tart flavor to the spiced potatoes and does not need to be cooked. Once it’s added and stirred in, the pan can be removed from the stove.

Assembling and Baking the Red Peppers

Turn the oven on to 325 degrees F. Prepare a tray large enough to fit the number of red peppers by lining it with aluminium foil or lightly spraying it with canola oil. Then cut through the red pepper to extract the seeds and open the red pepper for stuffing. I recommend slicing the red pepper across the area that is about 1/3 down from the stem. Once cut open, the seeds and inner fiber can be removed from the red pepper. The spiced potatoes can then be stuffed inside each section of the red pepper. Fill the potato filling to the rim on both pieces. Then try to reassemble the two pieces together using a toothpick to hold the top and bottom together. Place all of the red peppers in the prepared tray. Rub the outside of each pepper with a little canola oil. Then place the tray in the oven, on a middle rack, for 30 minutes or until the skin of the red peppers look soft and wrinkled.

To serve, simply cut the red peppers into halves or quarters.

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