Stuffed Peppers 5 With Feta Cheese
Bharwan Mirch or Other Vegetables
There are many vegetables that can be stuffed for that extra special meal. Stuffing can vary to suit what type of meal you are serving the vegetable with, whether they are for a main course or for a starter or snack or a buffet. My stuffing varies depending upon what I have in the fridge! Here I have stuffed yellow sweet peppers (finger or lipstick peppers), as well as an onion, just as an example. Onions can be cut into halves and then shelled out into cups of 2-3 layer thickness. You can hollow out many vegetables, like tomatoes, finger chillies, courgettes, various types of gourds, aubergines, boiled potatoes. Even carrots can be cut into thick chunk, then hollowed out. Some vegetables may need parboiling, like potato halves and carrots, before you stuff them.
10-12 yellow finger peppers
1-2 small onions, peeled and halved
For the Stuffing:
200 gm. feta cheese or paneer, crumbled up. Try using other cheeses, if you don't like these ones or can't get them. Adjust amount of cheese per pepper depending upon how strong it is.
1 onion, medium sized, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 inch square piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled (optional)
1-2 green chillies finely chopped (adjust to taste)
1 tsp. Chat Masala
1/4 tsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. coarsely ground roast cumin seeds*
1/2 lemon, if using paneer cheese, which is quite bland
*It is worthwhile keeping a small jar of pan-roasted and coarsely ground cumin seeds in your kitchen, if you cook Indian food regularly.
1/2 cup Cooking oil of choice. I use olive oil
Split each pepper into halves lengthways and scoop out the inside flesh. Keep this aside for the stuffing.
Peel, top and tail and cut the onions to be stuffed into 2 halves. Shell each half out into 2-3 cups of 2-3 layers thickness. Slice off the bottom of each cup slightly, this will make them stand better on the tray. keep aside.
If using potatoes or carrot like vegetables, peel, cut into halves/chunks, hollow out and then parboil until nearly cooked. Drain and keep aside.
Preparing the stuffing
Chop (by hand or in a food processor) all stuffing ingredients (scooped out peppers, chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies), except cheese, finely.
Transfer to a bowl, add crumble up Feta cheese and salt and garam masala. Mix well. Adjust seasoning.
Divide into same number of vegetable portions that need filling.
Fill each vegetable using a teaspoon or your fingers. You can prepare peppers up to this stage in advance and refrigerate.
Heat oven to 200°C or 400° F or Gas mark 6-7.
Place stuffed peppers on a lined baking tray or any oven-proof dish.
Drizzle a little oil on top and around each vegetable. Cook in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes, until they look soft and lightly browned.
If you do not have an oven, you can also cook them in non-stick or well seasoned (with oil) frying-pan. They are easier to cook in a flat pan than a sloping karahi, where there is a risk of cheese melting and running out. Heat a little oil, place stuffed vegetables in it, cook until they are tender and browned, turning a couple of times.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
They make a nice sandwich filling when cool.