Stuffed peppers or stuffed capsicums as we call them, have always been a family favorite. I remember, as a kid I used to help out my grandmother with all the stuffing. This was not a “regular” preparation though, and were only made when guests were invited. My brother and I would hide outside the kitchen, around the corner waiting for the first batch to come out; when it did, we’d grab one each and run!!
We ended up with scalded fingers and tongues of course.
Grandma’s recipe asks for fish in a spicy turmeric and tomato sauce. The ones I made yesterday were stuffed with minced meat or more precisely, mutton. Now, mutton’s always usually goat out here, but minced lamb meat does more than well.
The meat’s prepared the way we prepare curry, keeping only a few points in mind:
– the onions have to be super-finely chopped, and
– the tomato is pureed
To make the stuffing, I used: (the quantities depend on how much you’re making, of course)
– minced meat (kheema), about 250gms
– boiled and mashed potatoes
– pureed tomatoes
– finely chopped white onions
– turmeric powder
– red chili powder…I like a lot of this to make the dish super-spicy!
– cumin powder
– chopped green chilies
– garlic paste
– ginger paste
– salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onions in a pan along with the ginger and garlic pastes, until the edges turn brown. Add the green chilies, turmeric, red chili powder and cumin. Cook for about a minute. Add the kheema and the potatoes. Mix well to coat the meat. Add the tomato puree…I use little of this, since I don’t want the stuffing to be too watery or tomatoey ….uh, is that a word?
Cook covered, on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Cut the peppers in half and remove the tops, seeds and membranes. Wash ’em and pat ’em dry. Spoon the stuffing in and add grated cheddar on top. Brush the stuffed pepper with a little butter. Place on a baking dish lined with parchment paper, pop it in the oven and bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. The peppers come out soft, perfectly cook with a slight crunch to them.