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Dolmeh felfel recipe | Persian Stuffed Bell peppers, delicious Iranian colorful dish in 11 steps

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Dolmeh felfel (Persian Stuffed Bell peppers) is one of the delicious and different types of Iranian dolmeh cooked with various ingredients.

To see the complete cooking tutorial and step-by-step how to prepare bell pepper dolma, stay with The Cookery Magazine.

Ingredients for making Dolmeh felfel

Bell peppers (in yellow, green, red and oranges color)8 pcs
Rice1.5 cups
Minced meat350 grams
Split peasĀ½ a cup
* dolmeh vegetables300 grams
Tomato paste4 tablespoons
Butter50 grams
Onion1 medium size
Salt and black pepperAs much as needed
Turmeric and liquid oilAs much as needed
Lemon juice (as you desire)As much as needed
Thyme, garlic and paprika powder (as you desire)As much as needed
Barberries or raisins (if desired)As much as needed
Garlic (as you desire)2 pills
  • dolmeh vegetables: The most critical vegetables used in the preparation of Dolmeh felfel are a wonderful flavor to the food. There are vegetables such as leek, parsley, dill, savory, mint, and tarragon. You can store this vegetable in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe for making Persian Stuffed Bell peppers

The first step in preparing Dolmeh felfel

split peas soaking

To prepare Dolmeh felfel, first, we put the split peas in a bowl of water the night before so that it is well soaked, and the swelling is removed. Next, we rinse the soaked split peas and pour them into a suitable pot.

The second step

At this stage, we add two glasses of water and some salt to the pot, then put the pot on medium heat until the split peas soften a little for 30 to 40 minutes. Next, we chop the dolma vegetables into small pieces.

The third step

delmeh felfel vegitable

Now put a suitable pan on the heat and add some oil, then add the vegetables to the pan and fry well until it is fried. Note that it is unnecessary to fry the dolme vegetables too much so that the color becomes dark.

The fourth step in cooking Dolmeh felfel

After frying, please take out the dolme vegetables from the pan and set them aside. Next, we cut the onion into small pieces and fry it in the same pan with a little oil until it becomes light and glassy.

The fifth step

frying onions with minced meat for dolmeh felfel

After the onion changes color a little, we add minced meat along with some turmeric and fry well until the color of the minced meat changes, and it is fried; then we take it out of the pan and keep it aside.

The sixth stage

Now put a pot of boiling water on the heat and add the rice. Then, we give about 8 minutes until the rice gets soft. When we test the rice under the teeth, if the surrounding part of the rice grains is soft and the core is hard, we should rinse the rice.

The seventh stage

After the split peas are cooked, put a large pan on the heat and pour the butter into it, then fry two tablespoons of tomato paste in the butter until its raw taste is removed.

The eighth stage in making Persian Stuffed Bell peppers

Next, we add rice to the pan along with cooked split peas, fried vegetables, minced meat, and some salt, turmeric, and black pepper and fry the ingredients for a few minutes until they are mixed, then put the pan aside.

The ninth stage

Persian Stuffed Peppers

Now we separate the heads of the bell peppers with a sharp knife and put them aside;

then we take out their insides, then we fill the insides of the bell peppers with meat and rice and place them side by side in a suitable pot.

Persian Stuffed Peppers dolmeh

The tenth step

In the end, we put the bell pepper caps (bell pepper heads that we cut out with a sharp knife) in place. Now we fry the rest of the tomato paste with a little oil until its raw taste disappears, then mix it with a glass of boiling water and pour it on the bell peppers.

Dolmeh Felfel

The eleventh and last step in cooking Dolmeh felfel

Add another glass of boiling water and put the pot on the heat.

It takes about one to one hour and 30 minutes to cook dolmeh.

After the dolmeh felfels are ready, please put them in the desired dish and pour the rest of the sauce.

persian Dolmeh Felfel

Golden tips for having the best Persian Stuffed Bell peppers

  • You can use meat extract or juice from the foreshank instead of water.
  • Make sure that the size of the pot is such that the bell peppers are placed next to each other without a gap so that they do not fall over when the sauce boils.
  • The height of the sauce in the pot should be so that the peppers are half inside the sauce.
  • When you put the peppers in the sauce, reduce the heat until the sauce boils.
  • In the middle of cooking, remove the pot and pour some of the sauce on the pepper so that the sauce is absorbed, gets a better taste, and settles well.
  • You can use bulgur instead of rice.

Having a journey in the history of Dolmeh felfel

Dolmeh felfel, also known as stuffed bell peppers, has a rich history traced back to the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

The origins of dolmeh felfel can be traced back to ancient Persia (modern-day Iran) and the Ottoman Empire. Stuffed vegetable dishes have been a part of Persian and Ottoman cuisine for centuries, with various vegetables used as the base for stuffing.

In traditional dolmeh felfel recipes, bell peppers are typically used as the vegetable vessel for the stuffing and filing. We make an empty space inside the bell peppers and fill it with a mixture of ground meat (such as lamb or beef), rice, herbs (such as parsley and mint), spices (such as turmeric and cumin), and sometimes dried fruits or nuts.

Persian Stuffed bell Pepper Dolmeh Felfel

The stuffed peppers are then steamed, baked, or simmered in a flavorful sauce.

Dolmeh felfel and other stuffed vegetable dishes have influenced various cuisines throughout history. As the Ottoman Empire expanded, the dish spread to neighboring regions and influenced the culinary traditions of countries such as Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria.

Dolmeh felfel or Persian Stuffed Bell peppers are special in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures, often prepared for festive occasions and celebrations.

It is assumed to be a dish that showcases hospitality and generosity, as the preparation can be time-consuming and requires skill.

In some cultures, it is also associated with auspicious occasions and is served during weddings, holidays, and family gatherings.

Frequently Asked Questions about Persian Stuffed Bell peppers

When can we add lemon juice, garlic powder, thyme and these side dishes?

We can add lemon juice, garlic powder, thyme, and these side dishes to our dolmeh while we fry onion or add them and fry them along with frying minced meat.

How is dolmeh felfel traditionally cooked?

Dolmeh felfel is traditionally cooked by steaming, baking, or simmering the stuffed bell peppers in a flavorful sauce. The cooking method may change depending on the regional or personal preference.

Dolmeh felfel recipe

Recipe by Fatemeh BanialiCourse: Main courseCuisine: Persian foodDifficulty: Difficult


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Bell peppers (in yellow, green, red and oranges color), 8 pcs

  • Rice, 1.5 cups

  • Minced meat, 350 grams

  • Split peas, Ā½ a cup

  • dolmeh vegetables, 300 grams

  • Tomato paste, 4 tablespoons

  • Butter, 50 grams

  • Onion, 1 medium size

  • Barberries or raisins (if desired), As much as needed

  • Garlic (as you desire), 2 pills

  • Salt and black pepper, As much as needed

  • Turmeric and liquid oil, As much as needed

  • Lemon juice (as you desire), As much as needed

  • Thyme, garlic and paprika powder (as you desire), As much as needed


  • First step: preparation of materials
    First, soak the rice with some salt a few hours before, then let it heat up and cook it halfway. This means that when you press the rice grains, the edges of the rice should be soft, and the middle should be hard.
    Soak the split peas 1 hour before and leave them with some salt until it is cooked. Wash the bell peppers, remove the head, and remove the seeds inside.
  • Second step: preparation of intermediate materials
    Put some oil in the pan, finely chop the onion, put it in the pan, and fry until it turns golden. Then add the minced meat to the onion and fry until the meat changes color.
    Then add turmeric and black pepper, rice, split peas, and paste, respectively, and fry until the raw smell disappears and the paste becomes nice colored.
    Fill it with the middle ingredients and press well so it does not come out during cooking.
  • Third step: making delicious bell pepper dumplings with meat
    In another pot, fry the remaining onion with some oil until it becomes golden, then add pepper and turmeric; add two tablespoons of paste and fry until the raw smell of the paste is removed, and it becomes nice in color. At the end, add some water along with it.
    Add a few spoons of lemon juice, adjust the sauce’s salt, and put it in the pot until the sauce boils. After the sauce boils, put the bell peppers together in the pot.
    When the bell peppers soften, our delicious dolma is ready. Take care of the bell peppers. Don’t overcook them so they don’t lose their shape and look ugly. Enjoy serving.


dolme felfel dolme

Thank you for being with us with this delicious and popular Persian food. If you have any more questions, it’s my honor to answer. Enjoy your exploration of Persian cuisine!

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