Bharwa Shimla Mirch (Spicy Potato Stuffed Bell Peppers)

Bharwa Shimla Mirch was one of my absolute favorite dishes growing up.

Small green bell peppers stuffed with spicy potato filling and then cooked until done made a delicious meal with either plain paratha or roti.

3 pieces of bharwa shimla mirch (stuffed bell peppers) arrange in a black round plate

When I was little, there was nothing that I enjoyed more than bell peppers.

So strange but also so true!

It’s also worth mentioning that when I was a kid, we used to get only green peppers in India.

It was only when I grew up that I started seeing the other colorful peppers in the market.

So, we got only the green ones and they used to be very small compared to the huge peppers that we get here in the US.

I got introduced to this dish through my maami (my mom’s bothers wife). She used to make these bharwa shimla mirch (bharwa=stuffed and shimla mirch=bell peppers in hindi) and I would absolutely adore them.

In fact, sometimes I would request her to make these specially for me and she would always happily oblige.

Even now, when I go back home, maami never forgets to make these for me and bring home. 🙂

Over the years, I have tried making bharwa shimla mirch with what is available here but somehow, I always craved for those small green bell peppers to make this dish.

To my surprise, few weeks back I spotted them at the Indian grocery store.

They were still not as small as would get in India, but small enough to make me happy and make this bharwa shimla mirch straight away!

3 green bell peppers washed and arranged on a black plate

This Bharwa Shimla Mirch

✓ has a spicy potato filling tucked inside the bell peppers

✓ is vegan and can be made gluten-free

✓ pairs well with roti or paratha

✓ makes and excellent side dish to any Indian meal

✓ can also be served as an appetizer

To make these bell peppers, you first need to cut the bell peppers from top and them remove all the seeds from inside.

They need to be hollow for the filling. For some peppers, I also cut a little from the bottom so that they stand straight when I place them in the pan.

You don’t need to do that for all the peppers, but just for the ones that have wobbly bottom.

Once the peppers are ready, you then need to make the potato filling.

This potato filling is my favorite- it has so much flavor! There are cumin seeds, fennel, garam masala, amchur, coriander, chili powder and cilantro!

You can actually use this filling in paratha or sandwiches too.

process shot showing green bell peppers being stuffed with potato filling, while some are stuffed, some are hollow

So, if you are left with some of the filling after you have stuffed the peppers, you know how to use it.

After filling the peppers, I like to cook them on a stove-top on low heat.

This takes some time, but the end result is so worth it. You have to carefully flip the peppers using a tong and make sure it gets cooked from all sides.

Also it’s important to turn it upside down once during the cooking process so that the potato filling on top gets nicely browned.

It tastes really good that way.

Can you make this dish with red peppers? Sure, you can but in India we always made it with green peppers.

Can you bake instead of cooking in pan? Yes, you may! Brush the peppers lightly with boil and bake at 350 F degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the skin of the peppers is soft.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from my childhood.

If it was up to me, I would eat this every day and not complain!

Method

Before you start, wash the bell peppers and then dry them. Cut the top and discard.

Then remove the seeds and stems from inside to make it hollow for the filling.

You may also need to cut down the bottom of some of the peppers slightly if they are wobbly.

This is to make sure that they are able to stand upright in the pan while cooking.

4 small green bell peppers cut from top and seeds removed to make them follow from inside

1- For the filling, start by boiling the potatoes until soft and done. You can do this using a regular pressure cooker, 8-9 whistles on high heat or use an Instant Pot, 10-12 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.

2- Let the potatoes cool down, then peel and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

3- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and crushed coriander seeds.

Saute for 30 seconds until the seeds sizzle.

4- Then add the hing, followed by chopped onion and green chili and stir.

step by step pictures of making bharwa shimla mirch

5- Saute the onions for 3 minutes until soften.

6- Add in the mashed potatoes and mix.

7- Then add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala, amchur, red chili powder. Also add the salt. Mix everything together. I use a potato masher to mix everything well.

8- Cook for 1 minute and then add in chopped cilantro. Mix and remove pan from heat.

step by step pictures of making bharwa shimla mirch

9- Now, take each of the prepared bell peppers and fill them all the way to the top with the prepared potato mixture.

Press tightly so that potatoes don’t fall out while cooking the peppers.

10- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot, lower the heat to low.

Add the prepared bell peppers into the pan. Close the lid and cook for 3 minutes.

11- After 3 minutes, change sides of the bell pepper using a tong and cook again for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes again change the side.

Basically you cover and cook for around 20 to 25 minutes on low heat, changing sides of the pepper every 3 minutes or so making sure it gets cooked from each side.

Make sure to also turn them upside down so that the potato filling gets nicely roasted from top. Remember to keep the heat to low at all times.

12- The skin of the peppers will soften and wrinkle up once cooked.

step by step pictures of making bharwa shimla mirch

Once done, remove each pepper from the pan carefully using a tong.

Serve bharwa shimla mirch with roti or paratha and enjoy!

potato stuffed bell peppers arrange on a white plate

If you’ve tried this Bharwa Shimla Mirch Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Bharwa Shimla Mirch

Green peppers stuffed with a spicy potato filling! These Bharwa Shimla Mirch make a great addition to any Indian meal. They are also vegan.

3 pieces of bharwa shimla mirch (stuffed bell peppers) arrange in a black round plate
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword bharwa shimla mirch
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 195 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 400 grams potatoes, boiled & mashed, around 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 6-7 small bell peppers (capsicum/shimla mirch), each weighing around 75-80 grams
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided, I used avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing, asafoetida
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur, dried mango powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Before you start, wash the bell peppers and then dry them. Cut the top and discard. Then remove the seeds and stems from inside to make it hollow for the filling. You may also need to cut down the bottom of some of the peppers slightly if they are wobbly. This is to make sure that they are able to stand upright in the pan while cooking.

  2. For the filling, start by boiling the potatoes until soft and done. You can do this using a regular pressure cooker, 8-9 whistles on high heat or use an Instant Pot, 10-12 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.

  3. Let the potatoes cool down, then peel and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and crushed coriander seeds. Saute for 30 seconds until the seeds sizzle.

  5. Then add the hing, followed by chopped onion and green chili and stir. Saute the onions for 3 minutes until soften

  6. Add in the mashed potatoes and mix. Then add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala, amchur, red chili powder. Also add the salt. Mix everything together. 

  7. Cook for 1 minute and then add in chopped cilantro. Mix and remove pan from heat.

  8. Now, take each of the prepared bell peppers and fill them all the way to the top with the prepared potato mixture. Press tightly so that potatoes don't fall out while cooking the peppers.

  9. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot, lower the heat to low. Add the prepared bell peppers into the pan carefully. Close the lid and cook for 3 minutes.

  10. After 3 minutes, change sides of the bell pepper using a tong and cook again for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes again change the side. Basically you cover and cook for around 20 to 25 minutes on low heat, changing sides of the pepper every 3 minutes or so making sure it gets cooked from each side. Make sure to also turn them upside down so that the potato filling gets nicely roasted from top. Remember to keep the heat to low at all times. 

  11. The skin of the peppers will soften and wrinkle up once cooked.

  12. Once done, remove each pepper from the pan carefully using a tong. Serve bharwa shimla mirch with roti or paratha and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  1. You can make this with large bell peppers too. In that case, I would suggest cutting them into rings and then follow the same recipe as it is. 
  2. You can also bake these peppers: 350 F degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until done. Don't forget to brush them with little oil before placing in the oven.
  3. Skip hing (asafoetida) to make it gluten-free.
Nutrition Facts
Bharwa Shimla Mirch
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Sodium 491mg 20%
Potassium 656mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 4g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 9%
Vitamin C 126.1%
Calcium 6%
Iron 23.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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