Delicious peppers stuffed with minced meat. A delicious low carb dish which can be made with leftover keema or with a fresh cooked minced meat masala. The ground meat is stuffed in pasillo chllies and baked off, you can add a few shreds of cheese if you like. I serve them warm drizzled with a garlicky cumin yogurt slurry. A hearty indian meal which is a hit with family.
During summers, I am on a look out for light yet hearty lunches which are not necessarily salads and these peppers are just the right answer. Stuffed peppers are a classic comfort food in many cuisines and here instead of the bell peppers, I like using zesty pasilla chillies which are not hot but have lots of peppery flavor. You can cook the keema fresh and cook it a bit ahead as well and at the time of serving just stuff and bake in oven.
Some tips and variations to try in this recipe depending on how you like.
- Choose long and firm peppers which are not wrinkled and have fresh stems. Look for dark green ones since they have better flavor.
- Seasoning the peppers with a little bit of salt and oil and letting them stand for 10-15 minutes brings about good flavor in their flesh.
- Protein – Use ground chicken or ground beef.
- Vegetables- If you wish, you can add a few extra vegetables like bell peppers or peas to the ground meat. One small potato mashed with the mince tastes really good.
- Grains- Mix some cooked rice or quinoa with the keema before stuffing.
- Serve with a side of rotis for a full meal. They taste amazing with rotis.
Keema Bhari Mirch (Ground Meat stuffed peppers)
- 6 pasillo chilies, sliced lengthwise and skin & seeds removed
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 pound ground meat (choose chicken, lamb, or beef)
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- Spice blend(recipe below)
- 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro & fresh mint
- 1-2 tbsp shredded cheese (optional)
- Oil for brushing or cooking spray
- 1/2 tbsp corinader powder
- 2 tsp chilli flakes(adjust to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- In a small bowl, add all the powdered spices, mix well and keep ready.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the insides of pepper with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Let stand.
- In a heavy skillet/pan, warm up the oil and crackle the cumin seeds, bay leaf and cardamom. Add the chopped onions and cook them for 3-4 minutes till they are soften but not browned.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and the spice blend we made. Saute for 30-40 seconds. Add the tomatoes & sugar next and cook them with the spices for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till you see oil seperating.
- Add the ground meat, break it using a spatula and mix well with everythhing. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes till the meat is browned and has released its water. Open the lid, sprinkle the salt and then saute (bhuno) uncovered for another 8-10 minutes till all the liquid has evaporated. You will see that the meat is much deeper in color and the fat has started to release a bit. Dont dry the meat completely since it has to bake in the oven.
- Take it off the heat, pic out the bay leaf and cardamo, mix with cilantro and mint. (At this point you can mix boiled potatoes or cooked rice) Taste and adjust the salt.
- Divide the warm meat mixture evenly between the peppers. You might have some leftover meat.
- Lay the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet.Bake for 20-22 minutes. If you are using cheese, take out of the oven, top with cheese, return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes till cheese has melted. These taste good if they have a slight bite. Dont overbake. Serve warm.
- For the Yogurt Slurry – Mix 1 cup yogurt with 1/3 cup water. Grate 1-2 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder, fresh lemom juice and 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves and add to the yogurt. Mix well.
- This recipe makes 12 pepper halves which isn’t easy to finish in one go unless you are serving to a big family. I store the leftovers, they taste good for next 1-2 days. Reheat for 5 minutes in a toasted oven.
- If you are topping with cheese, just top the ones you are going to consume right away.