This Persian recipe for capsicum stuffed with lamb is perfect when entertaining, and they make a colourful addition to any banquet. For a Greek twist on this simple yet hearty dish, watch the video recipe of Mamma's stuffed capsicum with garlic dressing.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (43 votes)


  • 10–12 large capsicums
  • 50 g parsley (see Note)
  • 50 g chives (see Note)
  • 50 g mint (see Note)
  • 50 g tarragon (see Note)
  • 50 g dill tips (see Note)
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) oil
  • 1 onion
  • 300 g minced lamb
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup rice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cut the tops off the capsicums in a circle to make a lid. Scrape out the seeds and pith very carefully. Avoid making any cuts or holes in the body of the capsicum. Put the lids back on each capsicum and leave aside.

If you are using fresh herbs, clean and wash the herbs. Drain and put in a tea towel for further draining. Chop the herbs finely and stir-fry very lightly in ¼ cup of oil for 1–2 minutes.

Chop the onion into small pieces and fry in ¼ cup of oil in a large frying pan. Add the minced lamb and stir-fry. When the liquid from the meat is evaporated, dissolve the tomato paste in ¼ cup water and add to the pan. Add ½ tsp salt and the pepper, cook for 2 minutes and put aside.

Wash the yellow split peas. Place in a saucepan with 1½ cups of warm water and about ½ tsp salt, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes (do not allow it to go too soft).

Meanwhile, wash the rice and cook with 1½ cups water and about ½ tsp salt over low heat for about 10 minutes until there is no water left.

Mix the cooked meat, chopped herbs, cooked rice and split peas. Test for salt and, if necessary, add extra. Fill the capsicums one by one, and put their own lids back on. Put the capsicums tightly next to each other in a saucepan.

Pour the remaining ¼ cup of oil and 1½ cups water all over the capsicums. Cook on medium heat for 5–6 minutes, then on low for an extra 20 minutes.

Place the capsicums carefully in a serving dish and serve.


• If you have to use dried herbs instead, replace every 100 g of fresh herbs with 5 g of dried herbs.