Samosa-Mix Stuffed Peppers

Cook time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

6 red and/or yellow capsicums (peppers), halved lengthways, but left intact

⅓ cup Greek-style yoghurt

3 garlic cloves, crushed

For the samosa mix

500g medium-sized floury potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) pieces

¼ cup mustard oil or vegetable oil

2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 thin green chillies, thinly sliced

1–2 curry leaf branches, leaves picked and chopped, plus extra to garnish

400g minced (ground) beef

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp white vinegar

Crushed poppadoms, to serve (optional)

Coriander leaves, to serve

Samosa-Mix Stuffed Peppers

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Start by making the samosa mix. Pop the potatoes in a saucepan and cover them with cold well-salted water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Strain and stand until required.

Meanwhile, heat the mustard oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once you can feel the heat emanating from the pan with your palm hovering 10 cm (4 inches) away, add the mustard seeds and stir – they’ll begin to pop almost instantly. Scoop out half the seeds and reserve. Now add the turmeric, curry powder, garam masala, pepper, garlic, chilli and curry leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Add the beef to the pan. Using a potato masher to break up the bits, cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until browned and golden. Stir the potatoes, peas, sugar and vinegar through. Season with salt and pepper.

Pop the capsicums on a baking tray, cut side down, and roast for 10 minutes, or until they are beginning to sweat and are warmed through.

Remove the seeds and membranes from the capsicums, then fill the cavities with the samosa mix. Return to the oven on the highest rack and roast for 5–10 minutes, until charred and crisp.

Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, reserved mustard seeds and garlic. If using the poppadoms and extra curry leaves, quickly fry them up.

Spoon the yoghurt over the capsicums, garnish with coriander and serve immediately, with the poppadoms and fried curry leaves if desired.

Shortcut: Bake some frozen samosas while the capsicums bake, then stuff the whole samosas inside the capsicups. It may take a little squashing, but that’s all part of the fun, yes? Or, dice the capsicum and add to the samosa mix, wrap in filo or puff pastry, then bake.

Book notes:

A capsicum or bell pepper’s natural cup shape lends itself to stuffing with no great effort – you could say it’s a ‘capsicup’, even. I love the notion of popping a heavily spiced mix in there, whether it’s something like the filling from a subcontinental samosa, or something of your own design. Any shaped capsicum or pepper will work – from the conventional bell pepper to the rarer bullhorn, if you can find it. Just remember to par-bake them first, to soften them up a little, then stuff to your heart’s content.