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Monday, February 6, 2012

Vegetarian Colorful Stuffed Bell Peppers with Smoked Gouda.

Stuffed peppers is a dish which exists in different names and forms around the world.

Vegetarian stuffed peppers in India:
Stuffed Peppers is one of several stuffed vegetable dishes in Indian cuisine.

It consists of bell peppers (Shimla mirch or Capsicum) stuffed with cooked mashed potatoes and onions and sometimes paneer, seasoned with chili, turmeric, coriander, cilantro, salt and lemon juice.

The peppers are then either browned in a Tawa (frying pan) or baked in an oven until the peppers are soft.

Mediterranean version is Dolma and Yemista is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes that consists of stuffed peppers or grape leaves.

Dolma are part of the Balkan cuisines and surrounding regions, such as Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and also Central Asia.

Yemista is part of the Greek cuisine and consists of baked stuffed vegetables. Usually tomatoes, peppers, or other vegetables hollowed out and baked with a rice and herb filling.

Mexican cuisine has more than one stuffed pepper dish: The Chile relleno, literally "stuffed pepper", consists of a roasted green Pasilla or poblano chile pepper stuffed with cheese (traditionally queso fresco), and/or (occasionally) minced meat, covered in an egg batter, and fried.

It is often served covered with a sauce, although the type of sauce varies widely. It is sometimes also served in a taco with rice, salsa and other toppings.

Jalapeño poppers are jalapeño peppers that have been hollowed out, stuffed with a mixture of cheese, spices, and sometimes ground meat, and then deep fried.

Filfil Mahshi an Arab cuisine
dish that consists of stuffed green peppers. Filfil Mahshi belongs to a family of stuffed vegetable dishes that consists of stuffed peppers or stuffed zucchini or stuffed eggplant. The stuffing is typically composed of spiced rice and ground beef or lamb.

Mahshi is an Egyptian and Sudanese dish that is spiced meat stuffed in green, yellow, or red peppers, or in tomatoes.

In Scandinavian and Baltic Countries it usually stuffed with ground beef (or pork), rice, various vegetables and spices.

Eastern European dish consisting of peppers filled with minced meat and rice. Most popular in the Zagorje and Vojvodina regions, it is influenced by Hungarian cuisine.

The meat, usually ground beef, is mixed with herbs, spices and rice. In Bulgaria, stuffed peppers are usually eaten with yogurt.

This dish is usually prepared with bell peppers, stuffed with ground meat (usually pork), rice, onion and other vegetables and spices, and then boiled in a sauce made from cream, tomatoes and spices.

Stuffed peppers in American cuisine is a dish where bell peppers (often the green variety) are typically filled with a stuffing such as ground beef mixed with breadcrumbs or cooked rice, egg, herbs and spices (especially paprika and parsley) and cheese.

Recipes vary, but often include the following steps: removal of the seeds of the pepper, boiling them, stuffing them, covering with cheese, and baking the combined foodstuff until the peppers are soft. A sauce may be served with them, often a tomato sauce, but this, too, varies greatly.

Posting of this recipes is partly inspired by one of my colleague's student intern Ms. Lauren, S. who is doing her 8 wks rotation at our hospital and partly by Super Bowl 2012.

Lauren was talking about making bell peppers stuffed with rice and beans and cheese for her company.

She gave me her quick verbal recipe and I thought I will try this because I usually make the stuffed bell peppers with Curried Potatoes, Onions and Paneer (Indian Recipe).

I have seen the bell peppers recipes stuffed with rice and beans but never tried this version before.

So with little modifications I came up with this American Southwestern style recipe of stuffed colorful bell peppers.

Also partly inspired from Super Bowl, which it was on yesterday and we were wondering what to serve for the super bowl party along with array of appetizers.

I served these with side of Guacamole, sour cream and tortilla chips, and of course my favorite Margaritas and they were a great hit.

* This recipe yields 8 servings. Here is the recipe.


* Red, Orange, Yellow and Green Bell peppers 2 each

* 2 cups of cooked brown rice (you can use any cooked rice (white or wild rice), but I used plain brown rice)

* 1 (15 oz) can of black beans

* 1 (15 oz) can of golden corn kernels

* 2 potatoes peeled and cubed in to small cubes

* 1 (24 oz) jar of spicy red peppers with tomato puree (I found this randomly at Aldi's but you can substitute this with 30 oz can of crushed tomatoes)

* 1 bottle of Pace chunky hot salsa

* 1 (8 oz) of shredded smoked Gouda cheese (I used Chipotle smoked Gouda)

* 2 yellow onions finely chopped

* One bunch of chopped green onions (about 3-4) (I did not have them so I omitted them)

* 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro leaves

* 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste

* 5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

* 8 tables spoon of olive oil (divided in two parts)

* 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon of Asafetida

* 2 tablespoon of cumin powder

* 2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder or to taste

* 2 teaspoon of Paprika powder

* 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder

* 1 teaspoon of crushed Black pepper

* Salt to taste

* 3 tablespoon of Taco seasoning

* 8 - 10 Serrano peppers chopped

For serving: (Optional suggestion)

* Pickled Jalapeno peppers

* Fat free Sour cream

* Tortilla chips

* Guacamole


* Preheat oven at 350*

* Soak 1/2 cup of brown rice in water for 2 hours and cook on stove or in microwave (per recipe to cook white rice in microwave on this blog, but you will need to cook for 5 more min)

* Set the cooked brown rice aside.

* Heat 4 tables spoon of oil in a pan, when oil is hot add cumin seeds.

* When these seeds crackle, add Asafetida, chopped yellow onions, chopped green onions, ginger garlic paste and chopped fresh garlic.

* Sprinkle little salt on it and saute until light brown.

* Add cubed potatoes and cook for 5 min, stirring in between.

* Add 1/2 of crushed tomatoes (I used spicy pepper in tomatoes)

* Add Pace salsa and mix well.

* Mix well, add corn, black beans and rice, shredded cheese, salt, chopped Serrano peppers, chopped cilantro and all the spices.

* Mix well until everything is well incorporated.

* Wash and carefully remove the top of peppers and scoop out the seeds, save the top for hat cover.

* Place the peppers in 8" deep disposable aluminum baking pan.

* Fill the stuffing in to each pepper, top with salsa or and cheese and cover with the hat top.

* Pour remaining salsa and spicy pepper paste or crushed tomatoes around the peppers.

* Drizzle remaining olive oil all over the peppers.

* Bake uncovered in heated oven for 65 min or until desired tenderness of peppers.

* Turn the oven setting to broil and broil the pepper for last 2-3 min.

Serving suggestions:

* Serve hot as side dish or you can serve like I did as follows.

* Cut open the stuffed peppers.

* Top with sour cream, Guac and Jalapeno peppers and serve with side of tortilla chips.

* Lauren mentioned that some recipes call for boiling the peppers before filling, but to preserve little crunch to the peppers this is the best way to do it. However if you desire the peppers cooked to softer side, you may want to boil them to slight tenderness before filling and cooking them in oven.

Information on stuffed peppers source:

Recipe by Surekha inspired by Lauren S. and Super Bowl 2012. (NY Giants Won !! :)

Photographs by Surekha
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spicy Mushrooms, Peas, and Green Bell pepper Sabji


* 1 (8 oz) pack of sliced mushrooms

* 1 tablespoon of olive oil

* 1 cup of frozen peas

* 1 small green bell pepper

* 4 Roma tomatoes

* 3 tablespoons olive oil

* 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon of asefetida

* 1 onion

* 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste

* 1 and half teaspoon of salt or to taste

* 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

* 2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder or to taste

* 1 teaspoon of garam masals

* 2 teaspoona of cumin powder

* 3 tablespoon of coriander powder

* 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper

* 2 teaspoon of mango powder

* 2 teaspoons sugar

* 1/4 cup fresh chopped Cilantro leaves for garnish


* Chop onions, tomatoes and green bell pepper, keep them separate.

* Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and saute sliced mushroom until light brown set aside.

* Steam frozen peas in microwave for 3 min in microwave on a steamer, set aside.

* Heat oil in a pan, when hot add cumin seeds.

* When cumin seeds crackle add, asafetida, chopped onions and ginger garlic paste.

* Saute until onions are light brown, green peppers and cook for about 1-2 min.

* Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 1-2 min.

* Then add steamed peas and sauteed mushrooms, mix well, cook for 1-2 min.

* Add all the spices, sugar and salt.

* Mix well, cook to desired tenderness of veggies.

* Garnish with chopped Cilantro leaves and serve hot with Chapati or Naan.

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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