Apart from going for walks near to home, lockdown has left me with lots of time to cook from scratch and explore the numerous cookbooks on our kitchen bookcase. Have you been doing the same?
There was a smattering of snow early this morning, and although it was long gone by lunchtime, it seemed a good time to enjoy something warming with a spicy kick after a muddy walk in the local nature reserve.
This recipe is adapted from Vivek Singh's Cinnamon Kitchen cookbook; which is one of my favourites for elevated Indian cooking.
The recipe says that it serves 4, but I had enough filling for another pepper, so it's easily enough for 6 people with the addition of another Romano pepper. The original recipe calls for 4 green chillies; the ones I had were small hot ones, so I took it down to 2, and then added a few chilli flakes to taste once I'd been able to taste the stuffing mix.
2 Romano peppers, halved lengthways and de-seeded (don't worry if they are a bit curly, they flatten down a bit once you have baked them in the oven.)
Vegetable oil spray
Couple of pinches of salt
Dried fenugreek leaves
For the Filling
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
1cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I cheated and used some ginger paste from a jar)
1 red pepper 1 green pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
packet of paneer cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and stalks
juice of 1/2 lemon
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degree C/Gas Mark 6
Spray a baking tray with the oil.
Place the peppers onto the baking tray
Salt the Romano peppers
Roast for about 20 minutes (the original recipe says 8-10 minutes, but I find it needs longer than this)
For the filling
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan to smoking point
Add the cumin seeds, when they crackle, add the chopped onion abd cook on a low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes
Add the chillies and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes
Throw in the mixed peppers and stir fry over a high heat
Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder and sugar
Gently stir in the paneer and cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes
Add the tamarind and adjust the seasoning
Sprinkle with the coriander and finish with the lemon juice.
Remove from the heat.
Divide the filling between the Romano pepper halves.
Sprinkle over the fenugreek leaves and serve immediately with a salad or dip of your choice.
This would be great for entertaining; as you can compare it all in advance, pop it in the fridge once cooled and then warm it up when you're ready.
If you try this, do let us know what you think.