Indian Stuffed Masala Peppers with Paneer

This past weekend was Diwali- the most celebrated, festive and not to mention important party of the year for Indians! We had a small party at our house to celebrate this religious and cultural time, and since you’re technically not supposed to consume meat or eggs, my FOB side had to come into play to create some Diwali Recipes! (And I hope that you know FOB stands for fresh off the boat!) I wanted to create an appetizer that was fun, spicy and easy to eat, and that’s exactly what these stuffed baby peppers are! The spicy flavors of garam masala and cayenne pepper with creamy paneer and the sweet peppers is so good, one is definitely not enough! Topped with tamarind chutney and coriander, this dish is perfect for anyone. It was a hit at the party and everyone loved how small and party friendly it was! And ladies, these peppers won’t ruin your get-up (aka makeup, clothing- you get the drift!). Oh! I completely forgot to mention that I made the filling the night before, which made my day-of prep that much easier! Let’s get started on my Indian Stuffed Peppers!

Masala-Paneer Filling:

  • 4 small potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 white onion-diced
  • 3 cloves garlic- crushed and minced
  • 3-4 tbsp ginger– freshly grated
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice- freshly squeezed
  • 1 handful cilantro– washed and finely minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh paneer- cubed into small pieces (or use Firm Cubed Tofu)
  • 1/2 block paneer crumbled reserved for garnishing (or the Tofu crumbled)
  • 1 cup diced carrots and peas (I used frozen, thawed)
  • 4-5 tbsp garam masala mixture (RECIPE BELOW)
  • 1-2 tbsp salt
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 20-30 baby sweet peppers (I used these)
  • tamarind chutney (for garnishing)

Garam Masala Mix:

  • 2 tbsp Rajwadi Garam Masala (I used Badshah Brand)
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro- freshly chopped

1. For the masala mixture, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil and PAM over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for about 30 seconds. Add garlic and fresh ginger and saute until onions are soft and brown- about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the diced potatoes and saute until well combined. Add the garam masala mixture, salt and pepper. Combine until each potatoe is coated well. Add the carrots and peas and saute. Saute for another 5 minutes over medium heat until all the veggies are soft and coated with the masala. Add lemon juice and combine. If you feel that it’s a little dry, you can add a few tbsp of water and continue cooking.

4. Add the cubed paneer (or tofu) and continue sautéing. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until paneer is soft. Add chopped cilantro and remove from heat. Cool down before stuffing.

5. Preheat oven 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with PAM and set aside.

6. Cut each pepper in half and remove veins and seeds (without removing the stem!) Toss the pepper in the baking sheet until coated with PAM.

7. Add a generous portion of the filling to each pepper, making sure to stuff it in (about 1-2 tbsp). Line them up in a row on the baking sheet. Spray with pam and drizzle with a LITTLE vegetable oil. Top each one with the reserved crumbled paneer. Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, or until pepper is tender and filling is warmed.

8. Place the peppers on a serving platter, and drizzle with chutney and cilantro.

Makes about 30 poppers


 

Nutrition:

The only sources of fat in this dish are the 1 tbsp vegetable oil (14 grams fat, 0 cholesterol) and the paneer (which is generally made from whole milk and has a low sodium content). Otherwise, it is meant to be eaten as an appetizer, so about 2 peppers per person. So dig in!

Tips:

-On cilantro click HERE!

-On ginger click HERE!

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