Stuffed Bell Peppers with Brown Rice and Chickpeas in a Creamy Vegan Indian/ Mediterranean Curry Sauce

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Mood: This dish builds on my favourite 10-Minute Chickpea Curry recipe & it’s a definite crowd pleaser:) A delicious & wholesome Indian/Mediterranean meal, all rolled into one scrumptious Stuffed Bell Pepper:) This dish looks impressive (it’s all about the presentation!), is finger-licking delicious & is an extremely filling main course meal:) The best part? It may look all Pinterest-worthy, but here’s a little secret..it’s quite simple to make! Easy. Creamy. Fragrant. Scrumptious. Wholesome. If you’re looking to impress with a last minute dish, then this is your perfect go-to recipe:)


Time: 25-35 minutes
Serving Size: 2-3 people

Category: Lunch; Dinner
Author: Animagus Eats


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Ingredients:
Curry Sauce
• 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
• 2 tbsp Olive Oil/Vegan Butter
• 1 cup Plain/Unsweetened Almond Milk
• 1 tbsp Curry Powder*
• 1/2 tsp Salt (to taste)
• 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes/Powder (to taste)
• 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
• 1/4 tsp Pepper (to taste)

Chickpeas & Green Peas

• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used Mustard Oil)*
• 1 Small Onion (chopped)
• 3 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
• 1 1/2 cup – 1 3/4 cup Boiled Chana/Chickpeas (15.5 Oz. can) 
• 1/2 – 3/4 cup Green Peas (fresh/frozen)
• 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
• 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder/Chilli Flakes (to taste)
• 1/4 tsp Salt (to taste)

Grilled Bell Peppers
• 3 Large Bell Peppers (Capsicum)*
• 1 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp Dried Mixed Herbs
• 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
• 1/2 tsp Pepper
• 1 tsp Salt

Rice
• 1 cup White/Brown Rice
• 2/3 cups Water

Garnish

• Fresh Cilantro


Pot


Method:
Rice

1. First, let’s get the rice cooking:) Feel free to use white/brown rice, depending on your preference:) I used the microwave to cook brown rice, but you can use whatever method you’re comfortable with. If you’re using brown rice, then here’s an easy tutorial on how to cook brown rice in the microwave. If you prefer white rice, then check out this quick guide about cooking white rice in the microwave. The rice will take about 15-30 minutes to cook, depending on whether you’re using white rice (shorter time) or brown rice:)

Grilled Bell Peppers
2. Next, wash the bell peppers & slice off the top of the capsicum (slice it from a little below the stem) & cook/preserve the top, so that we can use it later like a lid cover for the bell pepper:) It’s all about the presentation, remember;)

3. Coat the bell peppers (the lids too!) with olive oil & all the dry seasonings (use your hands!) & then place them in the oven. Cook/grill them for about 15-20 minutes at about 300F-350F. The bell peppers will be ready when the outsides are a bit blistered & charred. The capsicums need to be soft enough to cut/eat, but if they are overcooked, then they will be too soft & mushy. Hence, it’s important to keep an eye on the bell peppers & take them out at the right time:)

Chickpeas & Green Peas
4. Now that the rice & the bell peppers are cooking away, it’s time to make the chickpea curry:) Heat the oil in a saucepan & add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to sizzle, add the onions & the garlic & sauté them till they are light brown.

5. Add the boiled chickpeas & green peas to the pan & sauté them for 1-2 minutes till they have a light char on them.

6. Add the salt & the chilli flakes/powder & sauté the ingredients for another minute. Turn off the gas & set aside the chickpeas & green peas for later.

Curry Sauce
7. Follow the steps of my Vegan White/Béchamel Sauce recipe & once the basic White Sauce is ready, add the salt, pepper, curry powder, turmeric powder & chilli flakes/powder to the sauce. Combine the spices well, using a whisk, & ensure that there are no lumps in the sauce. Also, make sure the sauce has a pourable consistency (not too thin/thick).

8. Add the Curry Sauce to the Chickpeas & Green Peas, mix well & set aside.

Assembling the dish
9. This dish is all about the presentation, so this is a very important step:) You can serve the dish in two ways. The first way is to serve the whole stuffed bell pepper with the lid on, like a mini edible pot:) To do this, first, fill half of the the grilled pepper with rice & then, add the chickpea curry on top, filling it to the brim. Garnish the curry with some fresh cilantro leaves & then pop on the grilled capsicum lid:) And voila! Your Stuffed Bell Pepper Pot is ready to be served:)

10. There’s also another way you can serve the dish:) Stuffed Slices! Carefully slice the grilled bell peppers in half, vertically. Fill up the bottom half of the capsicum with rice & the top half with the chickpea curry. Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro leaves & voila, your Stuffed Bell Pepper Slices are ready to go:)

11. I recommend doing a mix of both bell peppers pots & slices when serving the dish:) It’s definitely an impressive sight:) Remember to give your diners forks & knives, because they will need them for the dish. Finally, you should serve the remaining rice & chickpea curry in serving bowls on the dining table, so that your diners can serve themselves extra portions during the meal:) And there you go! Your delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers, with Brown Rice & Chickpeas in a Creamy Vegan Indian/ Mediterranean Curry Sauce, are ready to be devoured:) Bon Appétit:)


Lid Cropped


Notes:
*Curry Powder is available in all major grocery stores. You can also make the Curry Powder at home using this DIY recipe by by Minimalist Baker:)
*I used Mustard Oil to cook the Chickpeas & Green Peas & it added a unique flavour to the dish:) If you don’t have/like Mustard Oil, you can also use Olive Oil, etc.
*When you take out the Grilled Bell Peppers out of the oven, you will see some water/veggie juices inside each capsicum. Don’t throw the water away! It adds to the flavour of the dish & keeps the bell peppers nice & juicy:)

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