Pic of Chilli stuffed peppers with tomato spelt, soured cream and avocado

Chilli stuffed peppers with tomato spelt, soured cream and avocado

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Vegetarian mains

Chilli stuffed peppers with tomato spelt, soured cream and avocado

Main Serves 2 45 min
These peppers are stuffed with a quick black bean chilli. Everything is thrown together and the chilli cooks inside the peppers as they roast. The spice pot contains the usual chilli ingredients but I've added some paprika to give it a hint of smokiness and a little cocoa for some dark richness. Chocolate and chilli isn't a new idea, but it is the bitterness rather than sweetness that you want from the cocoa. A little dash of strong coffee can have much the same effect.

Cook's notes

Dried chilli can vary in heat so add a little to start with and taste just before adding to the peppers. Add more if you if you like it hotter.


  • 2 red peppers
  • oil for frying and roasting e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tin black beans
  • chilli spice pot, containing
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander leaf
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 200g pearled spelt
  • 10g fresh oregano
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp soured cream
  • salt and pepper
Image of Chilli stuffed peppers with tomato spelt, soured cream and avocado


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Split each pepper in half, lengthways. Remove the seeds and the worst of the white pith. Keep the stalk attached. Place the peppers in the roasting tray. Oil them and season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 2

    Bake, cut side up, for 15 minutes until starting to soften. Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion. Peel and finely chop 3 garlic cloves. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and fry gently for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Step 3

    Drain and rinse the black beans. Add half the garlic to the onions and cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip in the chilli spice pot and tomato purée. Cook for 1 more minute before tipping in the black beans, dried coriander leaf and one third of the chopped tomatoes.
  • Step 4

    Fill the bean tin one third full of water and add that too. Add some of the chilli flakes (see cook's note). Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Give the beans a rough bash with a potato masher to break some of them up a little.
  • Step 5

    Divide the chilli between the peppers in the roasting tray. Cover the tray with foil and bake the peppers for 20 minutes. Remove the foil halfway through so the top can take on some colour. While the peppers cook, make your spelt. Put a kettle on to boil.
  • Step 6

    Rinse the spelt in a sieve under cold running water. Gently heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the remaining garlic and fry lightly for 30 seconds before adding the remaining chopped tomatoes. Warm the tomatoes gently before adding the spelt to the pan.
  • Step 7

    Add a good pinch of salt and 400ml boiling water from the kettle. Bring the spelt up to a simmer and stir once to mix in the tomatoes. Loosely cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked. While the spelt simmers, pick enough leaves off the oregano so you have 1 tablespoon's worth.
  • Step 8

    Roughly chop them if the leaves are large. Cut the avocado in half. Remove the stone and skin. Cut the flesh into a half cm dice. When everything is ready, stir the fresh oregano into the spelt and check the seasoning.
  • Step 9

    Serve the peppers on top of the spelt with the diced avocado and a blob of soured cream on top. Scatter over a few more oregano leaves too, if you like.

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