Indian stuffed peppers or bharwan shimla mirch are green bell peppers stuffed with a spicy potato mixture and then slow cooked in a pan. These stuffed peppers (also called stuffed capsicum) make a tasty side with rotis or parathas and can also be served as a snack or starter if using small bell peppers.
We usually make bharwan shimla mirchi with green capsicums but you can also make them with red and yellow capsicums. I prefer using small bell peppers to make this recipe as it is easier to eat them if they are small. Also if the peppers are very big, there is a lot of filling and each bite has more filling than capsicum.
In India, when we think of vegetarian stuffing, 9 out of 10 times, we think of potatoes. We love our aloo samosas, and aloo parathas and bread rolls stuffed with potato mixture :-). In this recipe, I use the traditional potato filling, but the filling can actually be anything you can imagine. You can stuff the peppers with steamed mix vegetables, mince meat, spicy soya granule mixture for a meatless variation of mince meat stuffed pepper or even leftover stir-fry rice or millet mixture.
In another stuffed peppers recipes, I use the Jãlapeno like Indian peppers and stuff them with a spicy besan/gram flour filling. That filling is perfect for vegetables where the amount of stuffing is less like for making stuffed eggplants, stuffed tinde or stuffed okra.
Stuffed peppers look beautiful as well and won’t they make such a lovely addition to any dinner party menu? If you like the recipe, please do take a moment to rate it below and/or leave a comment. It will really encourage me.
- Boil potatoes until they are tender. After the potatoes have cooled down, peel and cut into very small pieces.
- Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops and deseeding. Keep aside. Don’t discard the tops.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/kadhai. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds start to sputter, add the chopped green chillies and onions.
- Sauté for 4-5 mins till the onions turn soft. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, and turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Add the boiled potatoes and salt. Toss to coat the potatoes in the spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let the filling cool down. Once the filling has cooled down, stuff the peppers with this spicy potato mixture.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a shallow frying pan. Place the stuffed peppers in the pan. Cover and cook on very low flame.
- You will need to check on the peppers every 4-5 minutes and turn the sides so that all sides are evenly cooked.
- When the peppers have evenly browned and “wrinkled”, they are ready. I like the peppers to be soft and still have a bite which goes great with the soft potato filling.
- Serve hot as a side with rotis or as a snack. You can cut them in half for ease of eating and sharing or put the tops back and serve them whole.
- A common variation of the filling for the Indian stuffed peppers or bhawan mirch is using a mix of potatoes and paneer (cottage cheese). To add cottage cheese, prepare the potato filling as in the recipe and then add mix in the grated paneer when the filling has cooled down.
- Instead of pan frying, you can also bake the stuffed peppers. Rub some oil on the outside of each of the stuffed capsicum and bake it for 10-15 minutes in a 200ºC preheated oven till the peppers start to brown.
It is amazing, how stuffed peppers are cooked in almost every cuisine. The filling and the cooking technique varies with the cuisine. In America, I once had vegetarian stuffed peppers where the filling was made of corn, carrot and peas. The peppers were topped with lots of grated cheese and then baked. In Morocco, we once had dolma, where the peppers are stuffed with spicy mince meat.
Stuffed peppers are truly a versatile dish! Do you have a recipe for stuffed peppers that you think is really awesome? I would love to learn it and I hope you like my way of making stuffed capsicums.
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