Also Known as Red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch
What is red capsicum, red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch?
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
To chop the red capsicum, place a red capsicum on a chopping board. Cut the capsicum into half and remove the stem, white pith and seeds using a sharp knife and discard them. Using a sharp knife chop each halve into more long vertical thin or thick strips as per the recipe requirement. Chop each strip horizontally into small or big pieces as required.
Diagonally cut red capsicum
Clean and place the red capsicum on a chopping board. Cut the red 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
For cutting the red capsicum into cubes, first cut the capsicum lengthwise into 4 wedges, remove the stem, ribs and seeds and then with the help of a utility knife, remove any remaining rib. To create squares, slice each of the four sections in half vertically. Cut horizontally across each section to cut big or small cubes of 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 stem, 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 into 2 halves vertically and remove the stem, seeds and the white pith of the capsicum. Make long vertical cuts using a sharp knife and you will get thin or thick slices as per the recipe requirement.
How to Select red capsicum, red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch 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.
9 Uses of red capsicum, red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch 1. Red capsicum, due to its vibrant color, is used in many dips, sauces and accompaniments. It provides a mild sweetness and freshness to these dips, which can be had with chips and bread. These dips can either be chunky dips like Broccoli and Red Capsicum Dip or a smooth one like a Roasted Bell Pepper Dip or even incorporated in pastas.
2. It can be used raw in different types of salads with other vegetables or even legumes like in the Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Sprouted moong salad.
3. Chunks of capsicum can be marinated and barbequed along with paneer and other vegetables, tossed into pasta or put on pizza as a topping.
4. They are frequently used in stir-fries or other mixed vegetable dishes. Here they can be sliced into strips, fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and sautéed.
5. 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.
6. Because of the hollow shape, they can be stuffed with rice, quinoa or even paneer. These make for innovative party starters.
7. The rich coloring of red capsicum not only enhances the visual appeal of foods, but it can also be used as a major flavoring, like in soups and juices like Red Bell Pepper Soup.
8. Even though it is fairly new in India, Red capsicum has already started being used in the Indian cuisine in different subzis.
9. Bell peppers can also be used as a stuffing in parathas, quesadillas, casseroles and numerous baked dishes.
How to Store red capsicum, red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch 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 of red capsicum, red bell pepper, laal shimla mirch
• 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.