Spiced pepper pilafs

Spiced pepper pilafs

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 8
This colourful vegetarian supper is superhealthy and freezable in individual portions, so you can defrost as many as you need

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal209
  • fat2g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.38g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1cm piece ginger, finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 140g red lentils, washed and drained
  • 200g bag spinach leaves, chopped



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • handful mint leaves, chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 8 peppers



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, then gently cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the tomato purée and spices, and cook for 1 min more. Add the rice, stir to coat, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, tip in the lentils, cover with the lid and leave to cook over a low heat for 15 mins, until the lentils and rice are cooked. Stir through the spinach and mint (see tip below, if freezing).

  2. Use a sharp knife to slice the top off each pepper. Cut out the middle stalk and scoop out any seeds. Carefully trim the bottoms slightly so they stand upright, but the filling won't fall out. Fill each pepper with the rice mix and place the lid on top. Bake or wrap tightly in cling film or freezer bags and freeze.

  3. To cook, defrost peppers completely if frozen. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the peppers on a lightly greased baking tray and cook for 25-30 mins or until the peppers have softened. Serve with a green salad tossed with cucumber, herbs and a dollop of yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Nov, 2018
Love this recipe. A huge hit in my house, easy to make and freeze ahead. I found it tasty and not too bland, although another time I might add a little more spice.
7th Oct, 2014
Disappointing: the filling was overcooked (like poor risotto) while the peppers themselves were undercooked after 30 min in the oven. Would probably make the filling again as a side dish, though.
20th Nov, 2013
This was a nice recipe, I think I would serve it as a side to something next to time. See mine at my blog - http://aunichef.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/spiced-pepper-pilafs/
2nd Sep, 2013
These looked pretty but the flavours were quite mild for my taste. Plain joghurt brought out the flavours a bit but I think I'd add a bit more spice, maybe some chilli flakes next time. Good base recipe to experiment with though.
7th Feb, 2012
I loved this dish.i sometimes add raisins to the rice mix toand serve it with low fat yoghurt and mango chutney.freezes well too.
29th Jun, 2011
This was excellent and really tasty. It took nearly 45 minutes to cook and I made some changes. I used tomato sauce instead of purée, tinned lentils, risotto rice and I added some mushrooms. I also drizzled the peppers with olive oil before baking. Will definitely be making this again.
3rd Jan, 2011
This was tasty but just a little too dry. Next time I might add a tin of chopped tomatoes to make it more interesting and moist. Didn't try the freezing aspect, from past experience very wary about reheating rice in any form!
11th Jun, 2016
why can`t I print my saved recipes?
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