Punjena paprika (pronounced [pûɲenaː pǎprika]) (lit. stuffed pepper) is a dish made of peppers, stuffed with a mix of meat and rice in tomato sauce, the ingredients consisting of green or red capsicums, eggs, spices, salt, tomato, minced meat and rice.
The dish is called punjena paprika in Serbian and Croatian, Filovana paprika in Bosnian, Polnjena paprika in Slovenian, Palnena Chushka in Bulgarian, Polneti Piperki in Macedonian, Plněná paprika in Czech, Plnená paprika in Slovak, and Töltött paprika in Hungarian, meaning "stuffed peppers". The dish is popular in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. There are also many variations of the dish across the Balkans.
The meat, usually ground beef (pork and beef in Croatia and Slovenia), is mixed with rice, diced red onions, salt, herbs and spices, like garlic, ground black pepper, ground paprika, parsley or rosemary. The filling can sometimes contain mushrooms, mixed meats or cabbage.
The pepper tops are removed and the peppers are washed, seeded and loosely stuffed with the meat mixture and laid out in a large pot (tops facing up).
Enough water is added to completely cover the peppers. Spices like bay leaves, black peppercorn and other vegetables, like celery, cabbage and a whole onion may be added.
The stew is boiled until the peppers become visibly soft on the outside and the water reduces down to half. The thickening agent for the gravy is browned roux or flour and water. The heat is reduced and tomato paste, or even pasta sauce, can be added and mixed into the gravy. The dish is usually served alone, eaten with bread or with mashed potatoes and salad as a side dish. There are even other ways of serving this dish.
- June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Cookbook
- stuffed peppers