My hosts asked me to make something with a nod to their Angolan heritage, and when I asked them what their favourite dish from home was, they both said Calulu de Piexe, which is a hearty fish stew. Because there was no way for me to get hold of all the ingredients at short notice in Nairobi, I did a little research, around their cuisine in general and created a recipe which would nod respectfully at their nostalgia, while still being fusion, experimental and exciting. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how this recipe was born. It is a stuffed pepper recipe unlike anything you’ve tried before; with umami, salt, sweetness and earth, rolled into one. Feel free to use any fish you can get your hands on as a substitute. For example, I think smoked mackerel would be gorgeous in this.
500g fragrant jasmine rice, boiled with ½ cup orange lentils
10 green peppers, deseeded and halved
10 anchovies or small fish, roughly chopped.
1 tsp garlic, minced
8 – 10 green olives, chopped
1 splash olive oil
3 dried figs, chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the rice together with the lentils until soft and ready to eat. Once boiled, take off the heat.
- Into the rice, mix all the other ingredients and combine well.
- Using a spoon, stuff each pepper half with the fragrant rice mixture
- Bake until the rice is a little crispy on top. Can be served hot or at room temperature
This recipe is from Season 1 Episode 9 of Minjiba Entertains, commissioned by The Africa Channel and showing on RealTime DSTV Channel 155, Emirates in-Flight Entertainment, Amazon Prime, and Demand Africa.