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Bulgarian Stuffed Peppers:
Piperki palneni postni

What's The Big Idea?

There is a tradition in Bulgaria of eating vegetarian stuffed peppers on Christmas Eve. I'm not sure if this is the traditional recipe for that occasion, but it is a Bulgarian recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers, so it could be.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its origin, this recipe includes a yoghurt-based sauce.

It is traditionally made using Bulgarian sirene cheese, which is sometimes made from goats milk, but more commonly nowadays from cows milk, and as part of the production process is soaked in brine. If you can't get sirene from your delicatessen, the nearest equivalent is probably Greek feta cheese, which is widely available.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion. finely chopped
  • 8 large peppers, tops removed and set aside, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼lb sirene cheese (or feta), grated or diced
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml yoghurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

What To Do

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F
  • Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a large pan to a medium heat and add the onion, carrots, potatoes and garlic
  • Fry, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, adding more oil or water if needed
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and about half of the black pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the parsley and cheese, cook for a further 5 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool
  • Spoon the mixture into the peppers and replace their tops
  • Pour the vegetable stock into a large casserole dish, and stand the peppers upright in this
  • Cover and bake for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the yoghurt, eggs, flour, paprika and remaining black pepper in a bowl
  • After 30 minutes, pour the sauce over the peppers, and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and turned golden

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