Stuffed dried pepper is another signature dish of Turkish cuisine. As the world knows, Turkey is famous for its stuffed dishes such as stuffed green pepper, stuffed cabbage rolls, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed mussels, and stuffed meatballs. You can consider stuffed dried pepper as the cousin of stuffed dried eggplant because its ingredients and the cooking style are the same.
At my stuffed dried eggplant recipe post, I already informed you about how Gaziantep city is famous for its stuffed dishes. We also have a village besides Gaziantep city which is also famous for its dried red peppers and eggplants. This village name is ‘Nazilli’ and it is under the territory of the Aydın city of Turkey. This village also has a nickname called “the valley of eggplants”. As you know, Turkey is famous for its weather by having long summers throughout the year and Turkish people like to dry eggplants and peppers under the sun at their back yards, on their balconies and rooftops.
Currently, Turkey is the biggest exporter of dried peppers and dried eggplants around the globe. Nazilli village is exporting nearly between 60.000 Tons to 80.000 Tons of dried eggplants and peppers each year. Luckily, you do not need to fly to Turkey to find these dried peppers and eggplants. Amazon.com has the all necessary ingredients for you and I put them down below.
In Turkey, restaurants, service stuffed dried peppers and stuffed dried eggplants either together or separately. According to your preference, you can cook both of them at the same time in the same saucepan. Because, as I mentioned above, their cooking style is identical.
If you ask me, I like to eat them separately. If you like to show off your cooking skills, just cook and service them together. Then watch your guest ask you one more plate.
Stuffed Dried Pepper
- 18 Dried Pepper shells
- 300 gram ground (minced) meat
- 150 gram long grain rice rinsed
- 1 liter water to boil dried pepper shells
- 1 large onion grated
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for filling)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon dried mint
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)
Boil the 1-liter water in a large pan and put the dried peppers into boiling water. Boil them about 2-4 minutes until they get soften. Then place them into cold water in another pan for about 2 minutes. This will help to keep the peppers' color and prevent them to break apart.
Mix onions, pepper paste, garlic, tomato paste, 1 tbsp. olive oil, spices, salt and ground black pepper in a large bowl. Mix them with your hands for a minute and making sure all mix well. Stir the ground meat, pomegranate molasses and rice to the bowl and mix all well. This will be our filling.
Pour the 2 tbsp. olive oil to the heavy cooking pan. Spoon the filling mixture carefully into each peppers and press the filling gently to settle in (do not overfill them because rice expands). Place the filledpepperss upright and line up tightly.
Pour about 2 cups of water (or a little less) over and around the stuffed peppers. The water should cover the half-length of the stuffed peppers. Bring it to the boil then reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 30 – 35 minutes.
Tip: Serve with plain yogurt aside or at top.