I have always been a great fan of stuffed vegetable side dishes. Be it stuffed mushrooms, stuffed peppers or stuffed tomatoes. Among them, stuffed tomatoes is my favorite. These charming little side dish unfolds a lot of my childhood stories. My family often visited this famous restaurant in Kolkata which served amazing sizzler. The stuff tomatoes were an integral part of the whole experience. Years back getting to eat sizzlers so often was an epicurean delight.
And then came a phase where the restaurant closed down and those dinner trips came to a sudden halt. Forgotten were those stuffed tomatoes and sizzler plates until my mum tried to make it on my birthday. It was one of the best birthday gift ever. And then i tried to learn it from my mumma. She taught me how to play with ingredients and provide an element of surprise in these stuffed veggies. I am no where close to how well she can cook but I strive to improve myself everyday.
This dish is really refreshing because of the juicy tomatoes and the flavorful herbs that go into its stuffing. Its visually appetizing and a easy to make party dish where you can do all the preparations before your guests arrive. No standing in the kitchen for long hours in this unpleasant weather and no missing out on the fun with your friends. So next time when you have a house party or potluck dinner/lunch, these stuffed tomatoes are a must do dish in the menu.
INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)
- 6 medium to large size red tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
- 1/2 medium sized onion, diced
- 1/2 green capsicum, chopped finely
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, chopped finely
- 1 cup boiled rice (85% – 90% boiled)
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried mint powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh cream
- 1/2 cup grated processed cheese or mozzarella
- salt, to taste
- freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
- Slightly cut the tomatoes from the bottom to form a stable base. Now cut the top of the tomato, scoop out the flesh and keep the remaining tomatoes aside to be filled later.
- Take the flesh and puree it in the blender and keep aside.
- In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 C for atleast 10 -15 minutes.
- In a saucepan, pour the olive oil. Once heated add in the chopped garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until they turn translucent.
- Add in the chili flakes at this stage.
- Now add the green capsicum and yellow bell pepper and sauté it well.
- Add in the pureed tomatoes and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until the peppers are halfway cooked.
- Add in salt, black pepper, chopped parsley and dried mint and mix well.
- Now add the boiled rice to this mixture and mix gently, without breaking the rice.
- Add in the cream and half of the grated cheese to the mixture and mix well.
- The filling is ready. It’s now time to assemble the tomatoes.
- Take the tomatoes kept aside in step 1. Fill it with the filling made above.
- Top it up with generous amount grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy.