Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stuffed Vegetables

So in an attempt to begin writing more about healthy food, and in doing so eat healthy food because I have not been eating so well today, I went back to a recipe that I first tried a few months ago when making arabic mezze for friends. After living in Abu Dhabi for a few months and enjoying the food there I was really missing such things so decided to make a whole lot of it myself, branch out from the usual hummus and carrots. One of the hits and my favourites of the night was peppers stuffed with a sweet spicy rice mixture. So last night I hunted through the cupboards and threw together as similar a dish as possible, and below I have given both the real recipe and my adaptation. I used brown rice as it is far better than the processed variety, and eggplant even though I'm still not sure that I really like it that much. I just eat it anyway. Incidentaly, it turns out that eggplant is not really a vegetable at all, it is more like a fruit, and classed as a berry, and related to deadly nightshade.

Filfil Rumi Mahsi - Arabic Stuffed Peppers

6 green bell peppers
100 grams pine nuts
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups long grain rice
Olive oil
1/2 cup sultanas
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped mint (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar

Heat the oil in a large pan and lightly fry the pine nuts and chopped onions. Then add the rice and stir for about 5 minutes. Then add the sultanas, a bit of salt and pepper and the sugar and on top of this pour about 2 cups of water (enough that it is about twice the depth of the rice and stuff). Now it must simmer until the water is absorbed.

When the water is absorbed stir in the lemon juice, mint and spices. I have never made this recipe using mint, but maybe it is good. It is good without it too though. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid or tinfoil and just leave it until any last bits of liquid have been absorbed. Then leave it to cool right down.

Now you are ready to stuff your peppers (or whatever it is you are stuffing, aubergines and courgettes are also good). For peppers though, you must cut the top of and carefully take out the center with the seeds. Stuff each pepper with the rice mixture, loosely because if you pack it too tightly they will probably split in the oven. Place the top on the peppers and place them in an oven tray. Sprinkle the  peppers with salt and sugar if you want (I did not) and rub the peppers with a little oil.

Bake in the oven until they are tender. You will probably find that you have far too much rice for 6 peppers, I know that I did. It is yummy though so either stuff more peppers or just eat it!

This evening I did not quite make this, I adapted it somewhat to suit what I had in the cupboard. I stuffed aubergines (or eggplants as I would call them) and I used brown rice. I left out the onion because I had none and am not supposed to eat it anyway. Also I had no pine nuts so I used some almond flakes instead, and not an entire cup full because I did not have that much. I cut the eggplants in half lengthways and carefully took out the flesh from the middle, leaving nearly a centimetre thickness on the skin. I chopped the removed flesh up small and fried it up with the almonds and rice. As usual I did not use mint. So you see you can pretty much adapt this as you like, and also in the past I have made a similar dish with couscous or bulgar wheat.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi there wonderful reader! If you've liked what you see here or have anything to say whatsover, please do so because I would love to hear from you!