Dolmeh Felfel – Persian Stuffed Bell Peppers


240 minute Meals: main Red Meat


  • 6 bell peppers (I like green, try to find ones that are sturdy)
  • ¼ cup rice (long-grain basmati rice is the best for Persian cuisine)
  • ¼ cup yellow split peas or lentils
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons mahram tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ⅓ cup mahram lime juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to prepare:

Soak your rice in water (minimum 30 minutes, best overnight).Simmer the rice and lentils/peas for 30 minutes in 2 cups of water and ⅓ teaspoon salt then drain. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t stick to the pot.While the rice and beans are cooking, wash and dry your bell peppers. Cut the tops off, scoop out the insides and set aside.In a non-stick skillet, saute your onion in 2 tablespoons of oil for about 3 minutes. Add the meat in and cook until brown, then add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste and mix until combined.Add the lentil and rice mixture to your meat mixture and combine. Toss in your chopped herbs and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. At this point you should have a really beautiful potpourri that will become your dolmeh filling.Arrange the bell peppers in a large, wide pot (you will probably have to jam them in, but no worries) and salt the inside of them. Fill up the bell peppers with your beautiful filling (again, don’t be shy to jam it in) and replace their lids. Good luck trying to match up the lids – remember that imperfection is still delicious.Mix the broth and tomato juice and pour around the dolmeh.Cover the pot and simmer for 45-60 minutes. The bell peppers should be very fragrant and semi-soft.Make the sauce for the dolmeh by combining 2 tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice, sugar, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon salt and saffron water and bringing to a boil.Lift the lid, inhale then pour your sauce over the dolmeh.Let simmer for another 45-60 minutes until the dolmeh are nearly falling apart (and they probably will, when you try to scoop them out). Serve, pouring some of the juice onto each plate and enjoy!


Dolmeh Felfel – Persian Stuffed Bell Peppers