red capsicum

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Also Known as
Red bell pepper

Red capsicum is member of the plants named scientifically as Capsicum annuum like green capsicum, yellow capsicum. Like chilli peppers (jalapenos), red capsicum is originated in South America. Red capsicum is more mature than green, orange or yellow capsicum. They are rich in carotenoid, phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red capsicum have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.

Chopped red capsicum
Diagonally cut red capsicum
Clean and place the capsicum on a chopping board. Cut the capsicum into halves vertically and discard the seeds and white part from inside. Place the halves on a chopping board and cut them into thick strips and then start cutting them diagonally using a sharp knife. You can cut the capsicum into small or bigger diagonal pieces, as per the recipe requirement and use accordingly. These diagonally cut capsicum are great to garnish foods and make good toppings as well. Also these are frequently used in Chinese cooking.
Grilled red capsicum
One can grill red capsicum on an open flame after greasing it evenly with oil or it can also be cut into wedges and then grilled. The skin of the capsicum has to turn slightly blackish. They can be used in salads and soups as well.
Red capsicum cubes
Cut the red capsicum lengthwise on all four sides, cutting around the stem, seeds, and ribs. With the utility knife, remove any remaining rib. To create squares, slice each of the four sections in half. Slice across each section to create desired size.
Red capsicum strips
Red capsicum strips can be easily cut by following a simple method. Cut the capsicum into 2 halves vertically and remove the seeds and the white pith of the capsicum. Make long vertical cuts using a sharp knife and you will get thin or thick strips as per the recipe requirement. These strips are used to garnish salads, dips, soups etc. and also can be added to stir-fries and other such dishes.
Sliced red capsicum
Cut the red capsicum lengthwise on all four sides, cutting around the stem, seeds, and ribs. With a sharp knife, remove any remaining rib. Slice it into thick slices or thin slices or strips as the recipe calls for.

How to Select
Choose the capsicum which have deep vivid red colour, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Capsicum should be heavy for their size and firm enough so that they will gently yield to slight pressure. Avoid those that have signs of decay like dark bleck spots or small holes on the skin.

Culinary Uses
• Red capsicum can be used raw in salads, marinated and tossed into pasta, cooked and sieved and transformed into pepper sauce.
• They are frequently used both chopped and raw in salads, or cooked in stir-fries or other mixed dishes. They can be sliced into strips and fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and incorporated into salsas or other sauces. Strips of red pepper can be grilled along with other coloured pepper and vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, onions and tomatoes and served as a vegetable platter.
• They can be sliced into strips and fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and incorporated into salsas or other sauces.
• Because of the hollow shape, sweet peppers are perfect for stuffing.
• The rich colouring of red capsicum not only enhances the visual appeal of foods, but it can also be used as a major flavoring.

How to Store
Fresh red capsicums are best stored in a refrigerator. They can be wrapped in plastic bag and will stay crisp and firm for a week.

Health Benefits
• As an antibacterial agent and stimulant, it helps normalize blood pressure, improve circulation, and increase the production of saliva and stomach acids to aid digestion.
• Increases your metabolic rate, i.e. helps to burn calories, thus effective for weight loss.
• It is high in Vitamin C.
• Capsaicin is beneficial in Arthritis - it works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body.
• Capsaicin acts as an antioxidant, protecting the cells of the body from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals.
• Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages.

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