Last Updated : Jun 18,2018

Capsicum Glossary |Health Benefits, Nutritional Information + Recipes with Capsicum, Bell Peppers, Shimla mirch |
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Other Name
Shimla mirch, Pepper, Bell Peppers

Capsicum should be a uniform, glossy colour, firm. The peppers can be round, long or square. Depending on the variety, it may be mild, sweet, hot or fiery. Capsicums are also called green, red or yellow peppers. The two varieties are sweet pepper or chili pepper.
Sweet peppers are green, orange, red or black capsicums with a mild flavour. Chili peppers are significantly smaller than sweet peppers. They are also green, orange, and red but are extremely hot. Turn every meal into a flavorful, healthy and spicy food adventure with different forms:

Blanched capsicum
Take whole capsicum, slice the top and deseed it. Chop it into the desired form if required or use it as whole. Immerse the capsicum to cook slightly to preserve colour and flavor in boiling water for 20 seconds and then plunge into cold water. Remove and use as per the dish.
Capsicum cubes
Cut pepper 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.
Capsicum juliennes
Clean the capsicum. Cut the capsicum into 2 halves and remove and discard the seeds and white pith with help of a sharp knife. Place one half on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, slice one half of the capsicum into approximately 1/8 inch thick slices. Stack the 1/8 inch slices and again, cut lengthwise at approximately 1/8-inch to form the julienne capsicum strips. Repeat the same with another half part. Use as required.
Capsicum rings
Begin by cutting a circle around the stem of the pepper. Carefully pull out the stem and ribs. Remove the remaining ribs by scraping with a spoon. Wash the pepper in cold running water to remove any remaining seeds. Cut it into thin or thick rings with a sharp knife. The pepper rings is a good decorative garnish.
Capsicum strips
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.
Capsicum wedges
Cut the capsicum into half. Remove the seeds properly. Cut it into wedges, thick or thin as desired. They may be seasoned with salt, pepper and spices prior to frying, to give a crispy 'skin'. Capsicum Potato wedges are popular snack foods typically served with condiments such as sour cream, sweet chilli sauce, brown sauce and tomato sauce.
Chopped and blanched capsicum
To chop the capsicum, place a capsicum on a chopping board. Cut the capsicum into half and remove the white pith and seeds using a sharp knife and discard them. Chop each half into small or big pieces as required. Now place the chopped capsicum in sauce pan containing boiling water. Allow to boil for 2 minutes. Once done, remove and transfer the capsicum into a deep pan containing cold water. This will refresh the capsicum and help it maintain its colour and will not get overcooked.
Chopped capsicum
To create minced or chopped peppers, chop Julienne strips to desired size. You can chop all three coloured capsicums.
Diagonally cut 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 capsicum
The capsicum is cut into wedges and then grilled. The skin of the capsicum has to turn slightly blackish. They can be used in salads.

Sliced capsicum
Cut pepper 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. You can slice all the three coloured capsicums .i.e. Red coloured capsicum, Yelllow coloured capsicum and Green coloured capsicum, you can use them individually or all together, as per recipe requirement.

How to Select
Choose peppers that have deep vivid colors, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Peppers 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 including injuries to the skin or water-soaked areas.

Culinary Uses
" Hot and spicy, cayenne pepper adds zest to flavorful dishes around the world and health to those brave enough to risk its fiery heat
" 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 pepper can be grilled along with other 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 coloring of paprika not only enhances the visual appeal of foods, but it can also be used as a major flavoring.

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

Health benefits
1. Rich in vitamins, bell pepper helps in the formation of collagen and improves skin health.
2. It increases your metabolic rate, i.e., helps to burn calories. This aids in weight loss.
3. Capsaicin, an ingredient found in capsicum is beneficial in treating arthritis. It works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body.
4. Capsaicin also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the cells of the body from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals.
5. Capsaicin is beneficial in Arthritis - it works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body.
6. This wonderful ingredient also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages..
7. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages.
8. Bell peppers, especially the yellow and red ones, are rich in carotenoids. This is why bell peppers always feature on lists of foods with vitamin A.
9. Capsicum is loaded with B-vitamins like B2, B3 and B6. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the health of your nervous system and renewal of cells.
10. Bell peppers are high on Vitamin E, keeping your hair and skin glowing.
11. It has a good amount of potassium, a mineral that is necessary for heart functioning.
12. A good amount of magnesium helps in muscle development. It also maintains steady heart beat and nerve functioning, and helps build bones by helping in the metabolism of calcium.
13. Capsicum has a rich mix of phytonutrients, which makes it a good source of antioxidants. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that protect them from bugs. When we consume foods rich in phytonutrients, they fight for our health too!
14. Colourful capsicums are not only visually appealing but good for your eyes too, as they contain antioxidant Lutin, which protects the eye from cataracts and degeneration of the eye.
15. Bell peppers are low in calories and good for weight-watchers. You can freely toss them into your salads.
16. With a glycemic index of 40, they are a healthy and crunchy addition to a diabetic meal too.
17. It has a good dose of vitamin C, which will boost your immunity and also protect and maintain the lining of the heart.

Glycemic Index of Capsicum, Peppers

Capsicum has a Glycemic Index of 40 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Capsicum have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and diabetics.

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