This recipe is from my grandmother. I often cook it at home – it is favorite to all of us. Fresh peppers (green, yellow and red) are suitable for stuffing. Also, during the winter season you can fill dried red peppers with the same stuffing – the taste is fantastic! If you choose this option, you should soak the dried peppers in warm water beforehand and then deseed them.
13 pcs. raw peppers – choose bulgy
1 kg pork mince (may be a mixture of beef + pork, better that pork predominates);
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup rice (maybe 1 cup – I use Basmati, which does not turn mushy)
black pepper to taste
cumin to taste
nutmeg to taste
1 tbsp savory
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp red paprika (might be smoked)
2-3 pcs. bay leaf
1/2 cup tomato puree
sunflower oil to taste and optionally (depending how greasy the mince is)
parsley to taste, finely chopped
lemon juice from 1 lemon
for thickening the dish (optional):
1/2 cup cold water (or a little bit more) + 5 tbsps. flour
Greek yoghurt to taste (optional, matches perfectly)
I remove the pepper stalks (using a knife), deseed them, and rinse them well. I make a very small cut, 2 cm from the top of each pepper – I do it to let them “breathe” and not to burst during baking.
Mix the stuffing of mince, onion, rice, black pepper, savory, cumin and nutmeg. With this mixture, fill the peppers. Sometimes I top the opening of each filled pepper in flour (but not necessarily).
Put them in a saucepan. Add salt, red smoked paprika, bay leaf, tomatoes and sunflower oil (if necessary). I add water to almost cover the content. Cover with a lid and boil at a low temperature for 45 min.
Add parsley and leave on the hob for another 5 minutes. Remove from the hob and pour the lemon juice. The dish is ready.
If you prefer a thicker sauce, then mix cold water with flour to get thick pap – there should be no lumps. Add this mixture to a thin stream in the saucepan, shortly before removing it from the hob (before adding the lemon juice) and stir constantly without damaging the peppers – pour the mixture at one point to make it easier for you. It only takes a few seconds.
Serve the peppers with yoghurt garnish (1-2 tablespoons per serving).