Stuffed peppers are an indispensable part of Hungarian cuisine. Many of us would like to believe that we have been preparing it for hundreds of years, depending on the region, and putting it on the table for the family’s enjoyment. We are wrong: this Hungarian dish, which is considered traditional, is of Serbian/Aryan origin according to legend, but they are said to have learned it from the Turks. The dish known as stuffed peppers or tomato meatballs, which is barely 100 years old, is the result of their wild marriage.
And of course it is a favorite of our family, especially my husband’s. 💕
I indicated that it’s gluten-free because it needs flour and the ingredients have to be very selective to make sure everything is gluten-free (bouillon cubes, tomato puree).
Ingredients for 4 people
200 g rice
For tomato sauce:
400 g concentrated tomatoes
4 tablespoons gluten-free flour
50 grams chopped leeks
1 teaspoon salt
1 liter of power soup
For stuffed peppers:
300 g minced meat
4 larger peppers
50 g chopped leeks
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt
I prepared the rice first, I cooked it halfway and then rinsed it.
Since I didn’t have broth, I had to make it at the beginning, because I was going to add more of it during cooking.
I heated the oil and fried the flour in it. I added half the power soup, cooked it for a few minutes, then came the tomato puree, leeks and salt. I lowered the heat and cooked for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile I prepared the peppers. I washed them, cut off the stems and cut out the center.
I took a pan that was just a bit bigger than needed for the peppers, to have some space for any left-over stuffing. It’s important that the pan isn’t much bigger, otherwise the sauce won’t cover the peppers when cooking.
I lightly fried the leeks for the stuffed peppers in olive oil. I put it on the cooled rice with the other ingredients. I mixed it thoroughly. The original recipe has pork in it, but we are allergic to it, so I made it with chicken breast, which is why the meat doesn’t show up as much in the rice.
I stuffed the peppers. It’s important to fill the peppers all the way through, because if you leave the end empty, it’s not pretty when you serve it, it will collapse. You shouldn’t overfill either, because the half-cooked rice will swell and that will cause the pepper to crack. I left out some filling, formed them into dumplings and put them between the peppers.
In the meantime, I made the tomato sauce and poured it on top. If it’s too thick, you’ll need to dilute it with some more power soup. After boiling, I put a lid on it and reduced the temperature so it was just slightly boiling. You have to be careful not to burn it, but don’t stir it, otherwise the stuffed peppers will fall apart. You can loosen them by joggling the pan while they cook. Occasionally top up the sauce by adding more left-over power soup, so the tomato sauce always covers the stuffed peppers and dumplings.
There are regions where they do not serve any side-dish. Some serve it with freshly baked bread. In my country, I was taught, boiled potatoes must be prepared as a side dish, and the potatoes are cut into strict lengths. 😀
After 30-40 minutes, the stuffed peppers were ready. I served them with lots of sauce and potatoes. Some people eat the peppers, others just the stuffing. My kitchen was filled with an old, familiar smell, like in the old days in the village when my grandmother used to make them. 💗