These stuffed bell peppers are filled with an Indian spiced potato mixture and pan fried to perfection for an easy, vegan, and gluten-free vegetable dish.
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I love the month of April (actually the second half of it). The days when spring starts handing over the days to summer but its not really hot yet. The days when I start pulling out my light summer dresses and wear them light sweaters to cope with hormonal Kansas weather. Does this have anything to do with this stuffed bell pepper recipe? Nope, but I thought you should know about my feelings for April. Thanks for listening!!!
Potato Masala Stuffed Bell Peppers
This recipe of potato masala stuffed bell peppers goes back to my mom’s kitchen (this is one of her signature recipes). Not an unusual happening in the #TKD kitchen. But recently, the craziness of days and the kids have requests for “their” kind of dinners have kept me away from some of my favorite recipes from my mom. And this stuffed bell pepper recipe is definitely one of them. I remember her making these for special dinners when we were hosting friends and all her guests going crazy over these. Or during the thick of summer when our vegetable garden would produce an insane amount of small, adorable looking bell peppers.
This stuffed bell pepper recipe is called Bharwan Shimla Mirch in Hindi, Bharwan means stuffed and shimla mirch is bell pepper. The bell peppers that we get in India are smallish, almost half the size of the ones we get here in the US. So, one bell pepper is one serving but I have usually made them in halves here. This past weekend, Dr. A found bell peppers that were smaller in size and we were entertaining a few friends on Saturday night so I took it as a sign. I still made them in halves “laying down” rather than stuffing the whole pepper “standing up”...if you can visualize what I mean. Yeah, I’m intellectually gifted like that!
So here’s an easy, one pot recipe that is
Great vegetable side dish
Go have fun with the stuffing and there are endless possibilities
The bell peppers
While I was growing up, only bell peppers that were available in the markets and grown at home were green. So that is what is traditionally used. Since my dad’s research involved vegetables, we started getting and growing colored bell peppers in India way before they were introduced into the commercial space. So my mom inducted other colored bell peppers to this recipe as well. I am biased towards green but any colored peppers will work. Actually their sweeter flavor might work better with this stuffed bell pepper recipe. This thought revealed itself to me just now. So I might give the red ones a try! Take your bell peppers, slice them in half, scoop the innards out and get them ready to be stuffed with the most delicious masala ever!
This is the biggest flavor factor of this stuffed bell pepper recipe. I use almost the same basic potato masala recipe as in this potato pattie recipe and aloo parantha recipe but with a few changes. You can also use this masala for sandwiches and take your tea/coffee snack game to a different level.
Pan fried or baked
Either will work! Though I’m biased with the pan-fried method. Because this is how my momma made it and I feel like I have more control over the recipe if I make it in a pan vs. the oven. I have issues!!
Recipe run down:
Boil some potatoes. Wash, dry and prep the bell peppers. Mash the boiled potatoes and make the potato masala. For the masala, I recommend dry roasting the coriander and cumin seeds and coarsely crushing them. Heat up oil in a pan, add the toasted seeds, onions (if using, recommended), add the potatoes and the seasonings. Mix well and remove to a bowl to cool down.
Once cool enough to handle, take each bell pepper piece and fill it all the way with the potato masala, taking care not to over stuff. Take the same pan in which you prepare the masala and add some oil to it. Place the bell peppers in the pan, potato masala side up. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip the peppers and cook until the potatoes develop a crisp layer. Flip again and cook until the peppers are done. Enjoy with roti or naan!
Here’s your handy dandy printable:
Easy Potato Stuffed Bell Peppers | Vegan, Gluten Free
- Non Stick Pan with a lid
- 1 lb/450 g potatoes boiled peeled and coarsely mashed see notes
- 5 small green bell peppers
- 3 tablespoon oil divided, I used olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 cup sliced red onion optional
- 1 green chili minced, optional
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder dry mango powder optional see notes
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried mint optional
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Plan ahead and boil the potatoes. You can start prepping the bell peppers while the potatoes are boiling.
- Wash and slice the bell peppers in half lengthwise. Using your hand, gently take the stem part off and take the inner veins and seeds out to create a hollow cavity. Set aside
- Heat the same pan again and add 1 tablespoon olive oil along with the coarsely ground spices followed by green chili and sliced onions (if using). Add the mashed potatoes followed by salt and other spice powders. Mix everything well and give a taste check. Adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the potato masala is cool enough to handle, take each of the prepared hollow bell pepper pieces and fill them all the way to the top with the prepared potato mixture. Press tightly so that potatoes don't fall out while cooking the peppers.
- Wipe the pan in which you prepared the potato masala and return it to medium high heat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shiny and hot, add the bell peppers potato masala side up. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Take the lid off, turn the heat to medium and flip the bell peppers so that the potato side is down. Cook for another five minutes. Flip again and cook again for 5 more minutes, covered. Now for the final flip - turn the heat to medium high and put the potato side down. Cover and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until the potatoes have a crispy layer and the bell pepper skin is blistered (bot not burnt) and cooked through. See notes for baking instructions.
- Using tongs or flat spatula, remove the peppers to a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and serve with rot, parantha or naan!
If you cannot find amchur powder, you can use lime/lemon juice, about from ½ a lime. Just to add some tang.
To bake the stuffed bell peppers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 175 degrees C. Spray/brush the peppers with oil, set in a greased baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. You might want to give a quick broil at the end to get some crust on the potatoes.
If you make this Easy Potato Masala Stuffed Bell Peppers, please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear from you guys. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and Facebook! I love to look through your creations!!
Love – Vaishali