Boca Roja, literally translated, means "red mouth," which is an implication of the red Roquito peppers grown in Peru. These are small sweet red peppers that are delicious. Pop them into your mouth on a slice of roasted Japanese eggplant topped with a dash of yoghurt, a spot of caramelised or soused onions and your boca roja roquito on top!
This was the idea that created the dish below, as I searched high and low for these yummy roquitos. They are easily available in the UK, but not in Canada.
Instead, I found these delicious sweet peppers. Prepare similar flavours with a filling of roughly chopped roasted eggplant, garlic, herbs, and other ingredients. It is an easy recipe that can be prepared up to a week ahead. Refrigerate them after wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap. Just fill the peppers before serving this amuse-bouche! I love the red ones, but the choice is yours to pick from.
This will fill 36 peppers
300 g/10 oz grilled or roasted aubergine/eggplant; with skin
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp caramelised onions
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp finely chopped fresh herbs of choice like dill, coriander, mint or parsley
2 tbsp yogurt
pinch of sugar
Slice the fresh eggplant or aubergine lengthwise. Toss this with the oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast this in a preheated oven at 170 C|350 F on a baking tray which is lined with parchment paper for 45 minutes until cooked through. Alternately, grill it until cooked through.
When cool, roughly chop with a knife and place in a large bowl.
Add the garlic, caramelised onions, herbs, and sumac. Toss with a metal spoon.
Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to fill the peppers, mix in the yoghurt with the pinch of sugar in it.
Dried mint blends well with this recipe.
Sumac can be substituted by zataar or cumin if you wish.
Ready to use peppers are available in jars and can be mild or hot. Drain the pickled water before using it. They are available in mixed or red-coloured bottles.
Caramelised onions can be bought in a jar ready to use.
To caramelise onions, peel and chop the onions. Heat a skillet with a tsp of oil. Saute` the onions until the colour starts to turn golden brown. Add 2 tbsp of water, a pinch of sugar, and cover and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame. This will soften the onion. Remove the lid, allow all the liquid to evaporate, and you should be left with a perfectly cooked onion.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is an award-winning book. It was self-published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through Amazon Book Depot, Book Depository, and from the publishers.
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Niloufer's Kitchen: French Bistro or choose from any 9 e-cookbooks from the series.