I had a heavenly dish in a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant when I was frequenting Washington DC. I can’t recall the name of the dish, it was aromatic rice stuffed in capsicum, squash and one more vegetable (might have been tomato) sitting in a tomato gravy. The colors, the taste, the smell, the texture.. Made a lasting impression.
I knew I had to try my hands on it and I finally got to recreate the magic. I kept it simple by using just one vegetable for stuffing. My choice was capsicum! ‘why’ you ask? Various reasons.. I know I would like to have both capsicum and squash prepared in that manner for sure. I can’t recall the third vegetable that might mean it wasn’t that good OR my husband ate it all and I never had a chance to relish it. 😛
I will experiment with other options later, my first priority was to recreate the magic. So it came down to two. I chose capsicum over squash as I had it handy + I have experience cooking stuffed capsicum (Indian bharwa shimla mirch) + I like red and yellow color combination!
Well, so I embarked on the quest to find the perfect flavour and came out with flying colors.
Here is my recipe roundup
Ingredients (for stuffing) :
- 2 capsicums ( cored and seeded)
- 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 Carrot (shredded)
- 1 tsp Zatar
- 1 tsp Sumac
- feta cheese (optional for garnish)
Ingredients (for Tomato gravy) :
- 2 medium size tomatoes (Pureed)
- 1 tbsp Corn flour
- Salt – as per taste
- Black pepper (freshly crushed) – as per taste
- Preheat oven to 350
- Coat the halved and seeded capsicum with oil
- Cook the capsicum in oven until tender (make sure it is holding shape but cooked enough to cut with light pressure of spoon)
- Heat oil in a pan, and Carrots
- Mix in Zatar and Sumac
- Add Cooked rice and salt, mix well and keep aside
- For gravy, heat the pureed tomatoes in a shallow pan,
- Mix corn flour with a little water to make a thin paste, add this to boiling tomato puree
- Add some salt and crushed black pepper as per taste
- Let it simmer for about five minutes and then turn off the stove
- Fill the rice stuffing in cooked capsicum halves
- Serve over tomato gravy and garnish with feta cheese
Hope you enjoy the recipe. Happy Cooking!