Stuffed peppers used to be one of my favourite dishes when I was back home. In over two years of veganism I made so many new favourites, I almost forgot the old ones. When I got tired of spaghetti bolognese, I wondered what else I could do with soy mince...and I remembered.
This is a popular dish in many countries, with different names and stuffings. It is great with vegan yogurt, sour cream, cheese, or pickled vegetables. If you'd rather not use soy in this recipe, you can opt for seitan or mushrooms. However you make them, I know you'll love these hearty, delicious stuffed peppers. Just try them.
Step 1 - The base
- 9 red bell peppers
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp curry powder (mild)
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt, pepper to taste
- 5 Tb creamed tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 cup long grain rice, soaked for 30 minutes
- 150 g dry soy mince, rehydrated and drained
- 3 Tb tomato paste
- 1 tsp dill
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp lovage (if not available, just add more parsley or coriander)
- 3 Tb tomato paste
- Wash and dry the peppers. Cut the top off and remove the seeds and membranes inside. Arrange them standing in a large pot so that they touch each other.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Keep heat on medium. Add cumin seeds and let splatter. Add garlic and stir for a few seconds till fragrant. Add onion and sprinkle a little salt to help soften faster. Cover and leave for a few minutes.
- When the onion is soft, add the spices, salt, pepper and stir for a few seconds. Add the creamed tomatoes and the vegetable stock cube and stir till the cube has dissolved.
- In a bowl thoroughly wash the rice to remove the starch; drain. Add water to cover it and let soak for 30 minutes (prepare the rice in advance). Drain and add to the onion mix. Stir for a minute. Add 1 cup water and stir occasionally until the water is completely absorbed.
- Put the soy mince in a bowl. Bring some water to a boil, pour over the mince, stir it around and let rehydrate for 5 mins. Drain and press with the back of a spoon to remove excess liquid. Add to the onion-rice mix and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup water mixed with the tomato paste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Stir occasionally until the water has reduced and the mix is just a little moist.
- Add the herbs and mix. Remove from heat. Using a spoon, stuff the peppers till almost full.
- Mix about 1/2 - 1 litre of water with the tomato paste and pour 1 Tb in each pepper, then pour the rest in the pan to cover the peppers half way up. Adjust the amount of water if necessary to reach that level.
- Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about an hour until the rice is cooked and the peppers are tender (they shouldn't break easily).
Serve hot with yogurt, sour cream, cheese or anything else you prefer. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.
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