Stuffed peppers..... ugh - the epitomy of unimaginative vegetarian cuisine. Still semi-raw but with flaky burnt skin, and stuffed with bland cous-cous or an cloyingly enormous pile of ricotta and spinach. No thanks.
However this fabulous recipe from the brilliant World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible* by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott couldn't be more different. A Sri Lankan recipe, this is a bright and colourful centrepiece which looks and tastes like it took an awful lot of work, but really didn't.
The World Food Café Bible, (like their Quick and Easy* book I reviewed here), is packed full of breathtaking photographs from the Caldicotts' adventures around the world. Featuring over 200 vegetarian and vegan recipes from North Africa & Arabia, West & East Africa, the Indian Ocean, India, Pakistan & Nepal, Southeast Asia, French Polynesia, Central & Southern America and the Caribbean, this really is a must-have reference 'bible' for vegetarians who enjoy experimenting with world cuisine.
Many thanks to the authors, and publishers Frances Lincoln for their permission to reproduce the recipe here.
Sri Lankan Cashew Nut stuffed Capsicum in a Coconut and Curry Leaf Sauce
- 10-12 sweet capsicums
- 1 large red onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
- 4 oz/115g cashew nuts
- 2 teaspoons roasted curry powder
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablepoons sunflower oil
- 2 green chillis finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 20 curry leaves
- 14 floz / 400ml coconut milk
- salt to taste
- Wash the capsicums and then slit each one down one side and carefully remove the seeds, without breaking the capsicum.
- Make the filling by blending together the chopped red onion, soy sauce, lime juice, dessicated coconut, cashew nuts, 1 teaspoon of the roasted curry powder, the chilli powder and the water until a paste forms. Stuff the capsicums with the filling then heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and fry on each side for a few minutes until brown. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
- Add the chopped green chillis, turmeric and curry leaves to the pan, fry for a couple of minutes, and then reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, salt to taste and stuffed capsicums. Bring to the boil and gently simmer until the capsicums are soft and the sauce has reduced. Finally sprinkle the rest of the roasted curry powder over the top, cover the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving with rice.
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