During the Ramadan, these stuffed peppers are almost a staple served in restaurants and almost every local Egyptian household. They are typically served alongside roasted lamb skewers as a complete meal. Some ground lamb can be added, but they are robust enough with aromatics and rice. If you choose to add some ground lamb, sauté it first with some onions, cilantro, pinch of allspice salt and pepper and then mix with the cooked rice prior to stuffing the peppers.
1 cup of white rice – rinsed
2 cups of water
1 small onion – chopped
1 cup of fresh cilantro
1 cinnamon stick
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of golden raisins – softened in warm water
¼ TSP of allspice
1 TBSP fresh dill
1 TBSP fresh parsley
½ cup of toasted pine nuts
4 bell peppers – any selection of color
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Cut the tops of the peppers and core carefully removing any side membranes.
In 1 TBSP of butter and a little olive oil, sweat the onion with a pinch of salt. Add the rice with the cinnamon stick, allspice and toast for a few minutes, mixing with a spatula. Add the fresh herbs and mix well. Cover with the two cups of water, season well with Kosher salt and pepper and cook for about 10-15 minutes till the water has absorbed. Set aside to cool.
When the rice has cooled, place it in a bowl add the and add about 2 additional 2 TBSP of chopped cilantro, parsley ½ TSP of cinnamon, the chopped golden raisins and the pine nuts. Mix well and adjust seasonings.
Fill the cavity of the peppers with the rice mixture. In a Dutch oven, add about ½ cup of water and the tomato paste with 1 TSP of sugar. Allow the paste to dissolve. With some tongs add the peppers inside the pot and simmer covered for about 1 hour till the side of the pepper is soft when pierced with a toothpick.
Serve in large deep bowls with some of the sauce spooned over and some chopped parsley for garnish.