Another childhood classic. Grandma claimed that this dish comes from Hungary as Hungary is known for the abundance of fresh produce especially peppers. It wasn’t my favorite. Grandma would make a tomato sauce to eat the peppers with that I despited. She would put tons of sugar into it and cooked it with cloves and it was all too much for me, the aroma, the intense sweet-tomatoey taste. As a child I didn’t even liked the baked peppers and basically stripped this dish to only the stuffing on my plate.
Years passed by and I moved to Istanbul where I discovered stuffed peppers again “biber dolmasi” same but so different. Stuffing made with rice and ground beef as my grandmas but also with fresh herbs and spices. My taste buds were definitely ready this time. As any turkish recipe, this would also contain a million of different ingredients to blend into deliciousness. There was no tomato sauce no sweet and clovey smell. There was yogurt! That was a shocker for me. I have never imagined yogurt could be consumed on a savory dish, on top of your lunch or dinner. I grew to love it! I came to my grandmas and brought yogurt to eat with her peppers. I loved stuffed peppers and asked my mom and grandma to make it as a my preferred dish.
Stuffed peppers also became a staple dish of the time when I traveled the Americas with my yankee couz. We loved to stuff our peppers with spinach and feta cheese and sometimes tomatoes and we served sweet potato and fry plantain on a side. We ate it every day for weeks. Even when my mates grandma took us to dine out hopping we would eat something different we only wanted sweet potatoes, every time!
I surfed the internet and found out that stuffed peppers are a Peruvian dish too, same and different. Chile Rellenos are a dish known throughout the Latin word.
I make stuffed peppers with so many memories on my mind. Thinking about my grandma and about the abuelitas in the new world. About Ottoman chefs bringing the taste to perfection about the plant based movement, about the Hungarian farmers, and all the farmers. Grateful for the planet earth giving us food.
Today I don’t eat meet or diary anymore. I stuffed my peppers with basil, lentils, brown arroz, walnuts and garlic. Served with almond yogurt and dusted with Cayenne pepper.