Anybody who knows me knows that potatoes are one of my very favorite things. I would eat them in a boat, I would eat them with a goat. In a box, with a fox, on a plane or a train. You get the picture. Cooked any way, anywhere. I love them. When I was pregnant, there was about a month where I single-handedly went through a 10 pound bag every week. I’m not kidding. So it’s no surprise that my children are also crazy about potatoes, which is just good news for me.
Bell peppers have been great this year, sweet, juicy and – at least at my grocery store – on sale a lot. This is great, because in my house, it’s one of our favorite things, both for cooking with and snacking on. Did you know a red bell pepper has more vitamin C than an orange?
Combine these two favorite foods with some hot chile pepper, Indian spices and some lemony zing and you have one of my favorite potato recipes ever. It’s also one of the prettiest dishes too. Although this is from my Indian Home Cooking cookbook, it’s not like anything I’ve ever had in an Indian restaurant, and really doesn’t taste like Indian food to me. But it uses some of the spices and wherever it hails from, it’s just plain delicious. If you don’t like spicy food, eliminate the chile pepper, it does add quite a bit of heat.
Stuffed Peppers with a Kick
(from Indian Home Cooking, by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness)
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
4 bell peppers – orange, yellow or red
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 fresh serrano chile, minced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 egg whisked with a pinch of salt & cayenne pepper
Peel and cut potatoes into cubes. Cover with cold water and boil until very tender – about 20 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, cut around the stems of the peppers, removing the tops and scraping out the ribs and seeds. Set aside. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, just 1-2 minutes. Coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Mash them. Add the ground spices, cayenne, green chile, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to blend. Taste and add salt if needed. Spoon mixture into peppers.
Preheat oven to 400˚. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan on the stove. Dip the tops of the peppers in the beaten egg and place top down in the oil. Cook until the egg has browned and formed a crust, about 2-3 minutes. Then turn the peppers right side up. If your frying pan is ovenproof, you can use the same pan, or transfer to a casserole dish and bake in the oven until peppers are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve with fruit & veggies, or salad. Incidentally, they are also a great side dish for meat but they are quite filling as a main dish as well.