09 January 2013,20:35 by

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Nigella, or kalonji, has a mild, slightly nutty flavour. It is toasted for a few seconds in a dry frying pan before being used in a recipe. This helps to bring out its flavour.
Serves :

Preparation Method :

  • Cut the tops off the peppers, then remove and discard the seeds.
  • Cut a thin slice off the base of any wobbly peppers so that they stand upright.
  • Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to boil. Add the peppers and cook for 5 - 6 minutes. Drain and leave them upside down in a colander.
  • Cook the potatoes in lightly salted, boiling water for 10 - 12 minutes until just tender. Drain, cool and peel, then cut into 1 cm / ½ inch dice.
  • Put the onion, garlic, ginger, and green chillies in a food processor or blender with 60 ml / 4 tablespoons of the water and process to a puree.
  • Heat 45 ml / 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large, deep frying pan and cook the aubergine, stirring occasionally, until it is evenly browned.
  • Remove the aubergine from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add another 30 ml / 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the pan, add the potatoes, and cook until lightly browned.
  • Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.
  • If necessary, add 15 ml / 1 tablespoon sunflower oil to the pan, and then add the cumin and nigella seeds.
  • Fry briefly until the seeds darken, then add the turmeric, coriander, and ground cumin. Cook for 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the onion and garlic puree and fry, scraping the pan with a spatula, until the onions begin to brown.
  • Return the potatoes and aubergine to the pan, season with salt, pepper and 1 or 2 pinches of cayenne.
  • Add the remaining water and 15 ml / 1 tablespoonn lemon juice and then cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
  • Fill the peppers with the spiced vegetable mixture and place on a lightly greased baking tray.
  • Brush the peppers with a little oil and bake for 30 - 35 minutes until they are cooked.
  • Leave to cool a little, and then sprinkle with a more lemon juice.
  • Garnish with the coriander and serve.


  • 6 large evenly shaped red or yellow (bell) peppers
  • 500 grams waxy potatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 inch piece fresh root ginger, chopped
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1.5 litre water
  • 100 ml Cooking oil
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant), diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds
  • Cayenne pepper about 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish

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