Capsicum is a flowering plant in the nightshade family. Its species are native to the US where they have been cultivating for thousands of years by the people from tropical America. The fruit of capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on place and type.
They are commonly called as chilli peppers, red or green pepper or bell peppers. The large mild form is called the bell peppers in the US and Canada. They are called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit). Some variety of capsicums is used as spices, vegetable and medicines.
Capsicum is a vegetable that comes in an exciting range of colors, like green, red and yellow. It is native to America and in fact, has been cultivated by the people of the tropical Americas since the past thousands of years. Known by a number of names, like chili pepper, bell pepper and red or green pepper, the vegetable is used as a spice, medicine and obviously, a vegetable. Apart from being good in taste, capsicum also holds a great degree of nutritional value and accords numerous health benefits to its users.
The most common variety that we find in India is the green bell peppers. They have a refreshing juicy flesh and crisp texture. And unlike mature bell peppers yellow and red, they do not have a sweet flesh. Chopped into narrow slices, this vegetable tastes great as pizza topping, can be cooked into curries and can be used as seasoning. This tangy vegetable is not only used for its medicinal properties, but the strong, spicy flavor is a great culinary ingredient.
Capsicum fruits and peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Those used in cooking are generally varieties of the C. annuum and C. frutescens species. They are suitable for stuffing with fillings such as cheese, meat or rice. Frequently used both chopped and raw in salads, or cooked in stir-fries or other mixed dishes and they can be sliced into strips and fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and incorporated into salsas or other sauces. They can be preserved in the form of a jam, or by drying, pickling or freezing. Dried peppers may be reconstituted whole, or processed into flakes or powders.
Pickled or marinated peppers are frequently added to sandwiches or salads. Frozen peppers are used in stews, soups, and salsas. Extracts can be made and incorporated into hot sauces. Capsicums are low in fat, cholesterol and calories. It is so much more than just a flavouring agent.
Capsicum is great for metabolism. The nutrients in these tangy vegetables lower triglycerides in the fat deposits in blood corpuscles. This not only burns extra calories, but also energizes the metabolism. Capsicum is a rich source of vitamin A and C, capsicum also has antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants combat the free radicals in the body and treat cardiac diseases, cataract, bronchial asthma and osteoarthritis. Capsicum has blood clotting properties. Capsicum as a vegetable is used combined with few vegetables like the potatoes, peas, cauliflower to make excellent tasty dishes.
Capsicum enhances the taste of the dish with its unique flavor. Below listed are some of the popular and easy Capsicum/ Green peppers recipes:
Green Pepper Mughlai is a majestic yet simple dish full of flavours, exciting green colour and a perfect dish to go with naan, roti, chapatti or paratha. It typically combines the ingredients to the Mughlai style of cooking such as use of chilli peppers, and different rich spices and freshly ground pepper that gives that extra zing to the dish.
Capsicum Masala Capsicum sada masala is a dish made with simple ingredients, capsicum cooked with onions chopped and fried nicely with spices tastes fantastic. Capsicum Masala Curry is a very popular and savory Andhra delicacy.
Capsicum Masala Rice This fast and flavorful dish is a simple recipe, quick and easy-to-make and so tasty! Capsicum and roasted peanuts gives crunchy taste! The capsicum masala rice is made of a mixture of roasted spices and peanuts for spiciness and nuttiness with various colours of bell peppers added to make it very colourful.
Shimla Mirch Ka Salan Shimla mirch or bell pepper cooked in an excellent dish where bell peppers are cooked in a flavourful dahi ka salan (yogurt based gravy made with a combination of peanut, coconut and sesame seeds).
Spicy Sambhar Fried Rice This is a good innovative dish made up of left over rice tossed with some tadka and added with sambar powder. This recipe is a must try dish by everyone.
Blood Cleanser – Juicing Capsicum Capsicum is a fruit pod of small perennial shrub in the nightshade or Solanaceae family, of the genus, capsicum. Scientific name: Capsicum annum. Instead of cooking this vegetable you can also make a juice and have it in your diet. This juice cleanses your blood and stomach and also it brightens your skin.
Kadai Paneer is one of the popular restaurant stye paneer recipe. Try this dish of cubed paneer combined with a spicy kadhai gravy! The aroma of spices cooking in simmering tomatoes is unmistakeable signature of this dish!
Chilli Paneer is a simple dish made from paneer (soft cheese), bell peppers, green chillies and other spices to give it a nice yummy taste.
Chilli Aloo is an excellent Indo-Chinese dishes in Golden fried potatoes tossed with bell peppers, onions and exotic sauce adds remarkable taste and flavour to the dish.
Chilli Tofu Paneer is one of the most popular Indo-Chinese dishes in India along with Veg Manchurian. From street carts to restaurants, you will find this dish across the continent. Tofu is an easy substitute for paneer cheese. Batter fried tofu cubes along with colourful bell peppers and onions are tossed to the sauce which adds more texture and taste.
Stuffed Banana Peppers seem to be on every Italian restaurant’s menu in western Pennsylvania. It is a quintessential appetizer for the local establishments selling homemade Italian style food.
Vegetable Jalfreizi Makhani Vegetable jalfrezi is a mildly spiced up and sizzling vegetable recipe with an array of vegetables like carrots, peas, capsicum, cauliflower etc embodied in a mildly spiced gravy. The vegetable jalfrezi is a special dish which may be served to guests on gatherings and parties.
Asian Noodles with Chicken & Shrimp or Malaysian style Chicken shrimp noodles are a very popular dish among the Indians living in Malaysia. Made with noodles stir fried in a array of exotic veggies, prawns, chicken with a mix of flavourful slurry made with oyster sauce, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar and dark soya sauce.
Mirchi ka Salan or curried chili peppers, is a popular dish made with a variety of long, big chillies, spices and peanut curry blended and cooked together. It accompanies Hyderabadi biryani.
Fodni Mirchi Tempered Green Chillies This fodni mirchi which is actually tempered green chillies originates from Maharashtra cuisine, and acts as a delightful accompaniment to curry, rice, chapatti, bhakri.
Fresh green peppers are wonderful vegetable that can be made into a variety of dishes.
Do try these recipes and delight your palate with different variations of green pepper recipes.
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