Pepping up with peppers
September 12, 2019 | 8:52 AM
by Oneza Tabish


Sandwiches are the most portable and easy to handle of all food. Enjoyed by all and most apt for office goers, this sandwich tastes best when you need a change from the mundane egg or chicken mayo or vegetable sandwiches. The cream cheese with the roasted bell pepper gives it a unique yet delightful flavour..


• 1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber

• 2 roasted red bell peppers, drained and finely chopped

• 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened

• 3 tablespoons minced red onion

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 8 slices whole-grain bread/regular white bread

• 8 romaine lettuce leaves


• Spread cucumber and bell peppers onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; let stand 5 minutes to drain excess moisture.

Scrape into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the cheese, onion, salt, and garlic; stir with a fork until well blended.

Spread about 1/2 cup cheese mixture over 4 bread slices; top each serving with 2 lettuce leaves and 1 bread slice.


If you’ve ever been disappointed by soggy sesame prawn/shrimp toast arriving at your house from a take-away, the solution is to make it yourself. These are great as starters at every party or snacks and your guests would request for more of these at every bite.


• 6 slices of bread, or 8 depending on size

• 150g of shrimps, raw, de-veined

• 1 garlic clove, large

• 1 knob of ginger, thumb-sized

• 3 spring onions

• 1 cup of finely diced bell peppers( any colour of your choice)

• 1 red chilli, deseeded

• 1 egg

• 1 dash of soy sauce,

• 1 dash of sesame oil

• Rice flour, just enough to bind the mixture so it’s not too sloppy

• Sesame seeds

• Oil, for deep frying


• Roughly chop the shrimps, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, onions and chilli and stick the lot in a food processor with the egg, soy and sesame oil. Blitz until you have a paste, adding a little bit of rice flour if your mixture is too sloppy.

• Spread the mixture generously over the slices of bread, with more in the middle than the edges. Pour you sesame seeds into a bowl big enough to fit in the sliced bread and dunk it, shrimp mixture side down, into the seeds to stick.

• Cut your slices into two or four triangles .

• Heat up the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan and use a shrimp/bell pepper slice to carefully place them in the hot oil, sesame side down. Leave them for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, before carefully flipping them over in the oil for another minute or so to brown the other side. Do this in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan

• If you put too many in at once, your oil will cool and your toast will get soggy. Once it’s nicely golden, fish your shrimp toast out of the oil and drain it on kitchen paper, before serving with sweet chilli sauce.


Samosa, the most famous street snack, gets a make over! Substitute the usual potato filling with corn and bell peppers. Health buffs, could go for low-fat paneer and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 15 to 20 minutes, or till done.


• 8 samosa sheet (readily available in the market)

For the stuffing

• 1 tbsp oil

• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

• 1/4 cup finely chopped onions

• 1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste

• 1/4 cup finely chopped capsicum

• 1 tsp chilli powder

• 1 cup boiled corn

• Salt to taste

• 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

For serving

• Mint leaves chutney


For the stuffing

• Heat oil in a broad pan and add the cumin seeds.

• When the seeds crackle, add the onions and ginger-green chilli paste and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes.

• Add capsicum, chilli powder, corn, salt and coriander, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for another 2 minutes.

• Cool completely and divide the stuffing into 8 equal portions.

• Keep aside.

• Place a samosa sheet on a clean, dry surface and put a portion of the stuffing in one corner of the samosa sheet and fold into a triangle. Apply a little water at the edges and seal it.

• Repeat with the remaining sheet and stuffing to make 7 more samosas.

• Heat oil in a wok and deep-fry the samosas in batches till they turn golden brown in colour from all sides. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with mint chutney.


A good gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fibre quinoa is a quick and flavourful way to get in a serving of whole grains and when combined with chicken and bell peppers, it is every weightwatcher’s delight. A wholesome and healthy meal made in a jiffy.


• 2 large red bell peppers, cored and seeded with tops removed

•1/3 cup quinoa, cooked

• 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

• 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

•1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided

• 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided

• 1/2 tsp honey, divided

• Salt and ground pepper to taste

• 3/4 tsp ground cumin

• 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

• 1/4 feta cheese

• 4 tbsp of thinly diced bell peppers( yellow, green and red)


• Preheat broiler.

• Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Place bell peppers in and broil for 8-10 minutes, until charred. Turn halfway through cooking so it cooks evenly.

• In a bowl, combine quinoa, mint, parsley olive oil, lemon juice, honey, cumin, chicken, salt and pepper. Once combined, add cheese and the chopped colourful bell peppers.

• Spoon mixture into bell peppers. Top with bell pepper tops and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Oneza Tabish is a food blogger, consultant, and columnist based in Oman. She is also the owner of Oman’s popular Facebook group ‘What’s Cooking Oman.’

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