Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers: This recipe is an Indian twist to the popular American recipe- Jalapeno Poppers. It is vegetarian, gluten free and has low carbs. These sweet colored beauties are also healthy as they are baked in oven(and not fried). Give it a try and never look back!
Years ago, when I was helping for my friend hosting a cricket match viewing party at her house, I discovered this recipe by chance. She wanted some easy-to-grab-less-messy Indian food for her party. The twist was- she didn’t want the regular potato snacks. So I had to wear a thinking hat and come up with a new dish.
What are Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers?
Traditionally, this recipe is made with jalapeno where they are sometimes wrapped with bacon and fried. It is often breaded and uses cream cheese filling.
However, I have used sweet mini peppers as they have have a natural sweetness that complements various stuffings.
And to give it an Indian twist, I have tempered the Riced cauliflower(a low carb and healthy alternative to potatoes) stuffing with with samosa tempering making it a perfect Indo-American fusion recipe.
The process involves removing the seeds and core of the pepper, then filling the cavity with a mixture that can include ingredients like samosa flavored cauliflower filling and cheese.
Once stuffed, the peppers are typically baked either in the oven or air fryer until tender and the stuffing is cooked to perfection. This dish can serve as an appetizer, side dish, or even a snack, offering a delightful blend of tastes, textures, and colors.
1. Riced Cauliflower
Riced cauliflower serves as the main component of the stuffing. It’s a healthy and low-carb alternative to traditional starchy fillings and makes the best filling base for these Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers. You can also use boiled and mashed potatoes if you are not worried about the carbs and starch.
2. Sweet Mini Peppers
These small, colorful peppers add a mild sweetness to the dish. Cutting them in half and removing the seeds creates a vessel for the stuffing.
3. Grated Cheese
Grated cheese adds a gooey, melty, and rich texture to the dish. The choice of cheese can vary, with options like cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend of cheeses.
4. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds have a distinct sweet and licorice-like flavor. They are commonly used in Indian cooking to add a slightly aromatic and warm taste to dishes.
5. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds have a nutty and earthy flavor. They are a staple in Indian cuisine, known for their ability to enhance the overall taste profile of a dish.
Also known as “hing” in Indian cuisine, asafoetida has a strong and pungent aroma. It’s used in small quantities to provide a unique umami flavor and aid digestion.
7. Garlic and Ginger
Garlic and ginger are aromatic and add depth to the dish. They are commonly used together in Indian cooking to create a flavorful base.
Known for its vibrant yellow color, turmeric adds not only color but also a warm and slightly bitter taste. It’s also renowned for its potential health benefits.
9. Red Chili Powder
This ingredient brings a spicy kick to the dish. The level of heat can be adjusted based on personal preference.
10. Dry Mango Powder
Also called “amchur,” dry mango powder adds a tangy and slightly fruity flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile.
11. Garam Masala
A blend of various spices, garam masala contributes a complex and aromatic depth to the dish. The specific spices in garam masala can vary, but they typically include corainder seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and more. Try my homemade Garam Masala recipe.
How to make
Here’s how to bring these flavors together:
For the cauliflower stuffing
- Heat oil in a pan over medium flame.
- Add fennel seeds and cumin seeds to the hot oil and sauté them. Also, put in a bit of asafoetida, garlic, and ginger. Let them cook for about 30 seconds to release their wonderful aromas.
- Mix in turmeric, red chili powder, dry mango powder, garam masala, riced cauliflower, and salt. Cook this delicious mix for around 3 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Once cooked, garnish with cilantro and take the pan off the flame. Let it cool down.
Assemble the Peppers:
Now, let’s move on to preparing the peppers and stuffing them with the delightful cauliflower mixture for making these Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers:
- Begin by cutting the sweet mini peppers in half, making two halves from each pepper. Remove the seeds from the peppers.
- Now, it’s time to stuff the peppers. Use the cauliflower samosa stuffing mixture to fill half of the peppers.
- Next, fill the rest of the space with grated cheese. You can adjust the amount of cauliflower mixture and cheese according to your requirement.
- Place the stuffed peppers in the oven and let them bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- For an extra touch of deliciousness, switch the oven to the broil function. This step is optional but it will make the cheese on top turn beautifully brown. Let it broil for about 2 minutes.
- Once the cheese is golden and bubbly, carefully take the peppers out of the oven.
- These Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers are best enjoyed while hot. You can serve them up with some ketchup or mint chutney for an extra kick of flavor.
Here are some unique recipe tips to elevate your Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Pepper Poppers and make them even more exciting:
Add Nuts for Crunch:
Consider incorporating finely chopped nuts like almonds or cashews into the cauliflower stuffing. They’ll add a delightful crunch and an extra layer of texture to your dish.
Play with Herbs:
Introduce fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, or parsley to the cauliflower mixture. These herbs will infuse the stuffing with a burst of freshness and color.
Alongside the grated cheese, add a dollop of creamy goat cheese or cream cheese to the stuffing. This will create a luscious, velvety texture and a rich flavor profile.
Savory Filling Variations:
Experiment with the stuffing by incorporating cooked lentils, quinoa, or chickpeas. These protein-packed options can bring a different dimension to the dish.
Exotic Cheese Blend:
Instead of using a single type of cheese, blend different cheeses like feta, smoked gouda, or pepper jack for an intricate cheese flavor.
If you enjoy some heat, consider mixing a bit of finely chopped jalapenos or green chilies into the cauliflower stuffing for an added kick.
Add a sprinkle of lemon or lime zest to the cauliflower mixture before stuffing the peppers. The citrus zing will brighten up the flavors of Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers.
Experiment with Peppers:
While the recipe calls for sweet mini peppers, you can also try using jalapenos. It will give a nice fiery kick to this dish.
Sauté some thinly sliced onions until caramelized and mix them into the cauliflower stuffing. This will bring a touch of sweetness and depth to the flavors.
After baking, consider topping the stuffed peppers with finely chopped fresh herbs, microgreens, or even a drizzle of balsamic reduction for an elegant touch.
Add a small amount of finely diced pineapple or mango to the cauliflower stuffing for a hint of sweetness and a tropical flair.
Spice Blend Variations:
Create your own unique spice blend by experimenting with spices like coriander, smoked paprika, or fenugreek for an interesting twist.
Top the baked peppers with some crushed papadums or panko breadcrumbs before broiling. This will create an irresistible crispy layer on top.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Pepper Poppers
1. Can I make the cauliflower stuffing ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the cauliflower stuffing in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. This can save you time when you’re ready to assemble and bake the peppers.
2. Can I use frozen riced cauliflower for the stuffing?
Yes, frozen riced cauliflower can work well in this recipe. Just make sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly before using it in the stuffing. Excess moisture can affect the texture of the dish.
3. How can I adjust the spiciness level of the dish?
If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of red chili powder or omit it altogether. You can also remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos or skip them if you’re looking for less heat.
4. Can I add meat to the cauliflower stuffing?
Of course! If you’re not following a vegetarian diet, you can experiment with adding cooked and finely minced meat such as ground chicken, turkey, or even crumbled cooked sausage to the cauliflower mixture or can totally skip the riced cauliflower to make a meat filling only.
6. Are there any alternatives to broiling for browning the cheese?
If you don’t have a broiler or prefer not to use it, you can achieve a similar effect by placing the stuffed peppers under a preheated grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese turns golden and bubbly.
7. Can I freeze these stuffed peppers for later?
While it’s possible to freeze these stuffed peppers, the texture of the peppers might change slightly upon thawing. Consider freezing the cauliflower stuffing separately and assembling the peppers just before baking for better results.
Additional Suggestions for the Recipe
As you prepare to make these Cheesy Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers, here are a few tips to ensure a delicious outcome:
- Prep Work: Before you start, make sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This will help streamline the cooking process.
- Seasoning: Taste the cauliflower stuffing as you go and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Remember, cooking is all about finding your perfect flavor balance.
- Cheese Melting: Keep a close eye on the peppers when broiling to prevent the cheese from burning. The goal is to achieve a lovely golden-brown color without overcooking.
- Serve Promptly: These stuffed peppers are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. Serve them promptly to savor the gooey cheese and vibrant flavors.
- Experiment and Adapt: Don’t hesitate to tweak the recipe according to your taste preferences. Whether it’s adding more spices, experimenting with different fillings, or adjusting the level of heat, the recipe is your canvas.
Here are some serving suggestions to complement your Cheesy Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers and create a well-rounded and delightful meal:
Serve the stuffed peppers with a variety of dipping sauces. Classic choices include tangy tomato ketchup, cooling mint chutney, or a zesty yogurt-based dip. These dips can add an extra layer of flavor to each bite.
Accompany the stuffed peppers with a refreshing side salad. A simple mixed greens salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a nice contrast to the cheesy and savory flavors of the peppers.
Opt for a creamy coleslaw as a side dish. The creamy texture and crunchiness of the coleslaw can complement the peppers’ texture and offer a hint of sweetness.
Prepare a quinoa salad with diced vegetables, fresh herbs, and a lemony dressing. This protein-packed side dish adds both nutrition and a complementary texture to the meal.
A bowl of cucumber raita, made with yogurt, cucumbers, and spices, can provide a cooling element that pairs well with the spiciness of the stuffed peppers.
Roast a medley of seasonal vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, and broccoli, to serve alongside the stuffed peppers. The roasted flavors will harmonize with the dish.
Offer a serving of fragrant rice pilaf as a side. The fluffy rice can soak up any flavorful juices from the stuffed peppers, enhancing the overall dining experience.
Prepare a colorful fruit platter with a variety of sliced fruits. The natural sweetness of the fruits can provide a refreshing contrast to the savory stuffed peppers.
Serve a selection of warm, crusty bread or naan on the side. These bread options can be great for mopping up any remaining stuffing or sauces.
Pair your stuffed peppers with refreshing beverages like sparkling water infused with lemon or mint, a fruity iced tea, or a light and crisp white wine.
Don’t forget to garnish the stuffed peppers with some fresh herbs like chopped cilantro, parsley, or microgreens. The garnish adds visual appeal and a burst of freshness.
And there you have it! A delightful fusion of flavors and textures that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering or as a tasty snack which is also keto friendly and healthy at the same time. The combination of the cauliflower stuffing and gooey cheese creates a symphony of tastes that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
Cheesy Samosa Stuffed Mini Sweet Pepper Poppers
- 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 8-10 Sweet Mini Colored Peppers
- Prepare cauliflower stuffing:
- Add oil into the pan and place it over medium flame.
- Add fennel seeds and cumin seeds and sauté it. Add asafoetida, garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add turmeric, red chili powder, dry mango powder, garam masala, riced cauliflower and salt and cook for 3 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Remove the pan from the flame. Allow it to cool.
- Assemble the Peppers:
- Cut the Sweet Mini Peppers in half to create two halves per jalapeno. Remove the seeds. Stuff each of the jalapenos with the cauliflower samosa stuffing mixture.
- Now take some grated cheese and fill the remaining peppers with it.
- Place it into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now switch off the oven and start the broil function. This is an optional step but it will turn the cheese over the top brown and more delicious. Broil for 2 minutes till the cheese turns brown.
- Take the peppers out of the oven/air fryer and serve hot.
- Enjoy with some ketchup or mint chutney.
Please note that the nutritional information provided in this recipe blog is an estimate only and may vary depending on the ingredients and brands used. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes, especially if you have underlying health conditions.