Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Dolma Felfel (Stuffed green peppers)

Stuffed peppers and courgettes (left), served beside iimam bayildi (right)

Dolmas in Algeria are vegetables stuffed with minced meat filling and cooked either in a meaty broth or a tomatoes sauce. Vegetables used in dolmas include peppers, courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes, onions and even potatoes. Dolmas make a hot hearty dish with one or a selection of the above mentioned vegetables.

In the Middle East, the same vegetables (except potatoes) are stuffed with aromatic rice and served cold as a mezze dish.

I have to say that I hesitated to use raisins in the filling, but I can assure you that the result is really nice. The addition of grated carrots is my own twist.

Ingredients: serves 4

6-8 small green peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1-2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup short-grain rice, washed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tomatoes
Juice of a lemon mixed with 3 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons cut into wedges


1.      Cut the stalks off the green peppers and remove any seeds and pith from inside the bell. Wash them inside and out and put aside.
2.      In a heavy-based pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir in the onion . As the onion begins to colour, stir in the pine nuts and currants. When the currants plump up and the nuts begin to brown, stir in the mint.
3.      Add the spices, followed by the rice, and pour in enough water to just cover. Stir in the seasoning, bring the water to boil, and simmer until the water has been absorbed.
4.      Cut the sides off the tomatoes to make lids for the peppers. Spoon some of the rice mixture into each pepper, fit them with the tomato lids, and place them upright, side by side, in a heavy-based pan.
5.      Mix together roughly 1cup water with the olive oil and lemon juice mixture and pour over the peppers. Sprinkle with a little sugar, cover the pan and cook gently for approximately 30 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
6.      Leave to cool in the pan. Serve cold with wedges of lemon to squeeze over them.

Coring courgettes using a teaspoon

Ready to receive fragrant rice filling

Peppers and courgettes cooking beside the aubergines (see imam bayildi)
just out of practicality

No comments:

Post a Comment