These colourful baked stuffed peppers make a great main course or side dish. Thanks to the combination of fresh coriander, coriander seeds and cayenne pepper they are spicy and fragrant, and really bring to life timid chickpeas. The highlight of this dish for me is toasting and grinding the coriander seeds. If you’ve never done it before and decide to give it a go (it only takes a couple of minutes) you will be surprised at how much fragrance can be produced by such a small amount of seeds. The baking time in this recipe is flexible and really depends on individual preference. I like my peppers quite soft and sweet so I keep them in the oven for about 1 and 1/2 hours, but you can take them out sooner (anytime after 45 minutes).
8-9 large peppers
1 and 1/2 cup presoaked and cooked chickpeas (or chickpeas from a can)
2/3 cup brown rice
2 large handfuls fresh coriander, finely chopped (about 30 g) plus more for garnish
1 and 1/3 level tablespoon coriander seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium courgette, grated
1 heaped teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying (plus more for drizzling)
While the rice is cooking (according to instructions on the package), in a pan toast the coriander seeds (for about 2 minutes), grind them to a powder in a pestle and mortar and set aside. Heat up the oil in a small frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Lower the heat and sauté for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the chickpeas, coriander (fresh and powder), the onion and garlic mixture, carrot, courgette, seasoning and rice (once it’s cooled). Mix together thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C / gas mark 4. Cut off the tops of peppers, remove the seeds and fill with the rice mixture. Put the tops back on, place the peppers in a baking dish and roast for 1 and 1/2 hours (or less according to preference). Sprinkle with some fresh coriander, drizzle with oil and enjoy!