The sweetness of Carmen peppers, the spiciness of Indian style chickpeas and the nutty flavour of Asparagus go together really well in this recipe. I have used a few Indian spices here, which are easily available in any organic store or supermarket. Try this delicious dish and you will be hooked :)
I hope you all are having a beautiful weekend and enjoying the weather wherever you are :)
Lots of love Xx
Chickpea stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Serves 2-3 people
Total time, including prep: 35 - 40 minutes
350 grams cooked chickpeas, cleaned and washed
2 big carmen peppers, washed and dried
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized tomato, chopped
1-2 fresh green chillies
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
3-4 big garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Aniseed/fennel powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder, optional
Salt to taste
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 fresh lime, cut in half
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
A bunch of Asparagus, washed and cleaned
Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies together in a pestle, crush them down into a paste and keep aside. Now heat a deep pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and some salt, and cook them for about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for another 2 mins. Now add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala and fennel/aniseed powder, mix well and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the oil bigins to separate from the mix. Keep stirring so that the mixture doesn't get burnt.
Once done, add the chickpeas to the gravy and mix well. You may add a little water (half a cup) if the mix is too dry, however, please make sure not to add a lot of water. The chickpeas need to be of a semi-dry consistency in order to stuff them in the peppers.
Now there is a trick here to bring more flavour to this dish. When you add chickpeas to the gravy, cook them for about 1-2 minutes. Then, using a potato masher, mash some of the chickpeas while cooking. Now cook for another 2-3 minutes and add some fresh coriander leaves. The chickpeas are now ready to be stuffed in the peppers. Take it off the heat and transfer it to a bowl.
Now in the same pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil, add the asparagus and stir it for 1-2 minutes. Add some salt and pepper to season them and keep them aside.
For this recipe, I have slightly charred the peppers right on the stove top. Turn the burner to medium high and set the peppers directly on the flame. I used a pair of tongs to turn them. I didn't char them a lot as these pepprs are sweet and they taste really well with a delicate charred flavour, along with the stuffed chickpeas.
Next, slit the peppers length-wise on one side. Take a pepper in your hand and fill it with the cooked chickpeas. You may use your hand, or a small spoon, to fill the stuffing.
Once done, stuff the cooked asparagus in the peppers, the way I've done in the picture above.
If you have some chickpeas left over, you may enjoy them with some rice and yoghurt.
Before serving, sprinkle some more fresh coriander leaves and drizzle some lime juice on top of these stuffed peppers.
You may serve these as a side or as a main course, or have them with some rice and some spinach yoghurt.
You may adjust the spices according to your taste and you may also try this recipe with your choice of pepper :)