A bell pepper’s natural cup shape lends itself to stuffing with no great effort – you could say it’s a ‘capsicup’, even. I love the notion of popping a heavily spiced mix in there, whether it’s something like the filling from a subcontinental samosa, or something of your own design. Any shaped bell pepper will work – from the conventional bell pepper to the rarer bullhorn, if you can find it. Just remember to par-bake them first, to soften them up a little, then stuff to your heart’s content.
Excerpted from In Praise of Veg: The Ultimate Cookbook for Vegetable Lovers by Alice Zaslavsky. Text Copyright © 2022 Alice Zaslavsky. Design and Illustrations Copyright © 2022 by Murdoch Books. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Ben Dearnley. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Start by making the samosa mix. Pop the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold well-salted water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Strain and stand until required.
Meanwhile, heat the mustard oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Once you can feel the heat emanating from the pan with your palm hovering 4 inches away, add the mustard seeds and stir – they’ll begin to pop almost instantly. Scoop out half the seeds and reserve. Now add the turmeric, curry powder, garam masala, pepper, garlic, chili and curry leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add the beef to the pan. Using a potato masher to break up the bits, cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until browned and golden. Stir the potatoes, peas, sugar and vinegar through. Season with salt and pepper.
Pop the bell peppers on a baking tray, cut side down, and roast for 10 minutes, or until they are beginning to sweat and are warmed through.
Remove the seeds and membranes from the bell peppers, then fill the cavities with the samosa mix. Return to the oven on the highest rack and roast for 5–10 minutes, until charred and crisp.
Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, reserved mustard seeds and garlic. If using the papadams and extra curry leaves, quickly fry them up.
Spoon the yogurt over the bell peppers, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately, with the papadams and fried curry leaves if desired.