So, from now on, it is going to be these caramelised onion and cardamon rice stuffed peppers or no stuffed peppers altogether, alright? That’s right foodie friends, if you don’t have these stuffed peppers right here and now then pack up and go home (just kidding, I like you and want you to stay… please stay. You can bring other types of stuffed peppers, just make sure you try these first.)
It’s getting a little CRAZY in here people – like it does every single time I start describing a recipe to you – because today we have these caramelised onion and cardamon riced stuffed banana peppers. And as usual it’s not the recipe that’s going crazy, or the food, but – as usual – it’s me, because in this beautiful face-stuffing moment, I cannot get enough of these peppers.
And why is that? Well, you know I am going to tell you!
When it comes to awesome, flavour-kicking side dishes, these stuffed peppers are THE BOMB! I’m not joking around here – to those of you looking at me with raised eyebrows. Actually I may even go as far to say they are the BEST side dish I have produced so far on this here little food blog (cue the gasps of shock!)
I know, I know, I know, big call. That’s a huge announcement to make so early in the week (by the way, how was your weekend? Get up to anything exciting?) but I feel confident the truth has been spoken. Banana peppers all the side-dish way!
Because these slightly sweet, very mild peppers are going to be sliced in half and filled with rice – duh! – that has been cooked with cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and cumin (a.k.a tantalising foodie aroma swoon-fest time!) before being swirled together with pine nuts, currants, cilantro and a touch of sour/ regular cream just to keep everything moist juicy during the baking time. And then they bake in the oven to become awesome, spicy deliciousness.
Aaaaaaaand, when I say deliciousness I mean cheesy-deliciousness because, did I not mention, we’re also going to sprinkle over feta cheese (how could you not?!) and let it become all gooey, melty, drippy and generally all awesomely cheesy!
And then you’re got to serve these stuffed banana peppers alongside your next main meal (Mediterranean/ middle eastern in theme preferred) and you’re going to scoff them down like they were the best side dish you have ever tasted. Because they are THE BEST side dish you have ever tasted.
Then again you may just decide you don’t want to wait until dinner for these peppers and want to stuff them into face, like, yesterday. Then, my friend, go to town on them as a tasty lunchtime meal or even a (large-ish) between meal snack.
So about the chilli peppers. Do you really have to use Banana peppers because, let’s face it, not every fruit and vegetable // grocery store in the world is going to have Banana Chilli peppers just sitting there ready to go.
The answer is absolutely not. You do not have to use Banana chilli peppers. Neither do you have to use red peppers. You can use any of the larger, mild chilli pepper you want or have available to you. So, to help you along your way, here is a list of commonly available peppers that would be perfect for this recipe:
- Banana Pepper – duh!
- Pimiento Peppers
- Bell Peppers (capsicum)
- Poblano Peppers
- Italian Sweet Peppers
- and – if you want to spice things up a bit – try this recipe with Anaheim Pepper – Zing!
But, as a note, your chilli peppers, whatever variety and/ or colour, are probably going to be slightly different in size than the Banana Peppers I used which were about 14cm long(ish). S, if you’re using slightly smaller peppers you will find that you will need more to use up the rice mixture. Then again, if you decide to go with the Bell peppers, which may be larger, then you’ll need less. So you may need to tweak the amount of peppers/ rice mixture needed. Coppice?
Then again, you could always double the recipe, and have caramelised onion and cardamon rice stuffed banana peppers every day of the week…
Caramelised Onion & Cardamon Rice Stuffed Banana Peppers
Prep Time: 15 mins || Cook Time: 1hr 20 mins
- 6 – 8 Banana Pepper (or similar, see post above)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3/4 cup rice (white/ brown – it’s up to you)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 20g pine nuts
- 20g currants
- i bunch cilantro (around 20 – 30g) roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 100g feta cheese
- In a small pan over low heat, slowly cook the onion in 1 tbsp of the olive oil, stirring occasionally, until it becomes golden brown and caramelised – around 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, cardamon, cumin, cloves and cinnamon stick and cook for about a minute, stirring continuously (it will come together into a sticky paste) until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add a tablespoon of water to help lift any spices stuck to the bottom of the pan before adding the rice. Stir to coat the rice evenly in the oil and spice mixture.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a gentle simmer and allow the rice to cook – about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the rice you are using. Once cooked, stir in the cilantro, currants and pine nuts and – if the rice seems a bit dry and gluggy, the sour cream.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 390°F.
- Slice the banana peppers in half, remove the seeds and ribs, and arrange on a lined baking sheet. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers, cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the peppers are cooked and soft.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the feta over the peppers and bake for another 10 minutes or until the feta has melted. Serve.