I decided many years ago that it would be really fun to cook a healthy recipe from every country in the world, and I've finally started doing it.
According to Wikipedia, Afghanistan is the first country in alphabetical order, and after doing a lot of research, I decided to try my hand at stuffed bell peppers - Afghani style.
I'm generally not a fan of stuffed bell peppers, but this recipe is truly an exception. The stuffing is very nicely spiced red lentils, and the peppers are baked just until they're tender. These peppers go well with any grain and / or a green salad.
Afghani Stuffed Bell Peppers
1 cup red lentils
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced, seeds and stems included (unless you're a wimp!)
1 inch ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bell peppers (any color)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Soak the red lentils for a half hour. Drain and set aside.
Place the cumin, coriander seeds, and olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the seeds start to pop.
Stir in the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and ginger. Turn the heat down to medium-low and saute for a few minutes.
Add in the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. The lentils should be around the consistency of a thick stew.
Cut the tops off the bell peppers, and stuff them with the lentil mixture. Put the tops on the peppers, and put them in a baking dish. (I actually like to put them in muffin tins if they fit.)
Cook for 25 minutes at 350F. Serve immediately.