Dolma felfel: Vegetable stuffed peppers

Vegetables stuffed with delicately spiced minced meat are a mainstay of Algerian cooking. But there is another way! These peppers are stuffed with delicious Mediterranean ingredients, so you won’t even miss the meat.

INGREDIENTS

For the peppers

  • 4 long peppers
  • 1 cup of frik
  • A handful of spinach (wilted and squeezed to remove some of the water)
  • A handful of chickpeas (tinned or soaked and boiled)
  • 1 egg (vegans can leave this out)
  • 2 spring onions
  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • Half a bunch of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

METHOD

For the peppers

  1. Place the frik in a bowl with a half teaspoon of salt and two cups of boiling water. Cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the frik is tender.
  2. Finely chop the spinach and onions and add to the frik. Then add the chickpeas.
  3. Add the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Finely chop the parsley and coriander and add to the mix.
  4. Check the seasoning of the mix. Then add the egg to bind the mixture together.
  5. Chop the tops off the long peppers and clear the seeds from the inside.
  6. Stuff each pepper with the frik mix and place on a baking tray.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for around 40 minutes, turning regularly. The peppers should be soft and almost melting when they’re done.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce

  1. Finely chop the onion and sauté in olive oil in a wide pan until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few moments more.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and cover with boiling water.
  4. Simmer until the sauce is thick and reduced.
  5. Place the peppers in a dish and pour over the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with fresh bread.

You can use this stuffing for all kinds of vegetables including courgettes, tomatoes and potatoes.