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plumeriandeity in feastsandflicks

Stuff it in a bell pepper

My mother, a few years back, made this amazing stuffed bell pepper dish. I don't remember what exactly she put as the stuffing but when I asked her about the recipe, she suggested a potato filling. But I remember it as a rice stuffing. Maybe I've been watching too much Food Network and was channeling one of its dishes. Whatever the case, I hunted on the Net for some stuffed bell pepper and rice recipes and found some...and reworked it my own way.

Every time I go to the supermarket, I'm tempted to grab the lovely looking yellow or red bell peppers. But I always go for the green since I use them more in my cooking. But for the stuffed pepper, I grabbed a red and yellow. Since I only cook for myself, I didn't need more than two. If you're cooking for your family however, definitely grab four or five (best bet are those lovely bags showcasing the peppers).

Here are the ingredients for my stuffed peppers recipe:

2 bell peppers (preferably of different colours...think of the lovely presentation!)


1 cup cooked rice (I used basmati but I'm sure arborio, long grain or sona masoori would be OK too)
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup peas
1/2 grated paneer (tofu can also be substituted)
1 cup chopped spinach
2 tsp chopped cilantro (to garnish)
2 tbsp olive oil (or whatever oil you use to saute)
Chili powder, cumin, garam masala (for an Indian taste)

(feel free to add any other veggies...carrots, beans, etc.)

To make:

1. Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds from the inside. You can save the tops to cover the stuffed pepper later or throw them away (I threw them away).
2. Grease a baking pan with oil or cooking spray. Also lightly grease the peppers (warning: If you have a big pan and two peppers, as I did, you are going to have a pain of a time trying to keep them standing pre-stuffing).
3. Broil the peppers for a couple of minutes in the oven just to cook them a teensy bit. After you take them out, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Once the onions are tender, add the corn, peas and tomatoes.
5. Once the tomatoes are nice and cooked, add the spinach and let it get tender as well.
6. Once all the veggies are cooked, add the salt and spices. Once again, I add a liberal dash of chili powder.
7. After the spices have blended, add the grated paneer and after that's cooked, add the cooked rice. Mash up the mixture a tiny bit and let it all cook together. The stuffing should not be mushy but not dry either.

8. You should have the pre-cooked peppers ready in its greasy tray. Stuff the rice into the hollowed-out peppers up to the very top. Put in oven and let it bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the skins blacken a bit.

When you remove it, garnish with the chopped cilantro and voila! Ready to eat and pretty to look at.

I couldn't get very nice photos since my camera just wouldn't focus that day. The lighting was bad and well...I have excuses galore. I also think I didn't have the right baking pan and the peppers weren't as blackened as I would've liked. The pre-broiling didn't work as well for me. Let me know what you think when you try this out and tell me how it goes. Happy eating!

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I have always been a fan of stuffed peppers... And this recipe looks and sounds great!

June 2010

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