We are so pleased to share Babak ‘Bob’ Abbaszadeh’s recipe for vegetarian stuffed capsicum from his recently opened Persian restaurant, Cafe Zeytoon.

“This is a very versatile dish. This particular recipe is vegetarian but it for a meat option, it’s perfect to add lamb mince to the stuffing for example. At my restaurant, I make a slow-cooked eggplant stuffed with lamb mince, split pea, rice and fresh herbs. It is a classic and can be adapted endlessly,” said Babak when I caught up with him recently. You can read the whole interview here.

Dolme Felfel (vegetarian stuffed capsicums) 

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

  • 6 medium Capsicums
  • 200g Basmati rice
  • 200g Mushroom (optional)
  • 100g Split peas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 bunch Dill
  • 1 bunch Mint
  • 1 bunch Coriander
  • 2 tsp Tarragon (dried is accepted)
  • 1 bunch Shallot
  • 1 can Crushed tomato
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt and pepper


1. Cook the split peas for about 20 mins with turmeric and enough water to cover.
2. Cook the rice in boiling water for about 5 min.
3. Chop all the herbs and add to pan with half-cooked split peas and rice, and add stock.
4. Chop the mushrooms and add to the mixture.
5. Cut a circle in the top of the capsicums and remove the seeds.
6. Stuff the capsicums with the cooked mixture.
7. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto a baking tray and place the capsicum in the tray.
8. Pour the crushed tomatoes and half a cup of water over the capsicums.
9. Place the train in oven at 200°C for about 40 mins. Bon appetit!

Babak hosts regular “Persian Delight” cooking classes at The Essential Ingredient Newcastle.