a spice made from the grinding of dried sweet red bell peppers. The word comes
from a Serbian word meaning “pepper”. Paprika is widely used in
different cuisines, such as Indian, Spanish, Turkish and Moroccan. However,
Hungary stands out among all these cuisines – in fact, their very own Hungarian
paprika is believed to be one of the finest quality spices today.Peppers are
highly appreciated in many cuisines for their many benefits and uses. They’re
one of the most common cooking ingredients used around the world, mainly
because of the flavor they add to dishes.paprika is not as spicy as cayenne or
jalapeno powder.Paprika also come in various colors, ranging from bright red to
brown. Surprisingly, red paprika is said to be the mildest, while those that
are tan or yellow are often the spiciest. These spices can be used fresh or
dried, and come in powdered form – one example of which is paprika.
Whether it’s for seasoning or garnishing, paprika has cemented itself as one of today’s most well-loved spices.
Paprika actually loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, carotenoids and antioxidants that can deliver many benefits to your body.
- It may help maintain eye health. There are four carotenoids in
paprika, namely lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene. All
these function as antioxidants that may help prevent cellular damage.
Lutein and zeaxanthin in particular are essential for preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Meanwhile, beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene are converted into vitamin A that is used in the eyes to turn light into vision and is a necessary component to produce the protein that makes skin.
• Paprika helps promote blood formation and healthy circulation. The copper and iron in paprika are essential for the formation of new blood cells. This spice may also act as a vasodilator because of its high potassium levels, and may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
• You may improve your sleep with paprika. The vitamin B6 in paprika may have efficient psychological and neurological effects. It also promotes melatonin production and enhances your levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, hormones that are linked to mood and happiness.
• This spice may even help heal wounds. The vitamin E in paprika may aid in red blood cell production and even in forming clots to promote faster healing of cuts, scrapes and wounds.
• May help relieve pain. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers that gives them their spiciness, can relax blood vessels and relieve pain. It’s even used in topical cream.
- Lightens Complexion:
Paprika is packed with vitamins, iron, and beta-carotene, which prevent the occurrence of freckles and age spots. They improve your complexion by restricting the production of melanin, which is responsible for making your skin darker.
- Anti-ageing Benefits:. Paprika is rich in beta-carotene, which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in the maintenance of healthy skin. It prevents the occurrence of wrinkles and promotes a bright complexion.
- Treatment of Spider Veins:
Paprika has been found to be useful in the prevention and treatment of spider veins because it possesses certain properties that strengthen the veins and blood within the body. If you have spider veins in your legs, you can use this spice regularly in your diet to diminish these veins and prevent the formation of new ones.
- Prevents Hair Loss:
Paprika is a rich source of vitamin B6, which helps in preventing hair loss. Paprika also contains substantial amount of iron, which facilitates the transfer of oxygen to the hair follicles. It stimulates hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties:
Paprika possesses great anti-inflammatory properties and is particularly beneficial for people suffering from autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. It is helpful in relieving swelling caused by arthritis as well as other aches and pains in the body.
- Lowers Blood Pressure:
This quality can be attributed to the presence of capsaicin in paprika, though it is lower in comparison to other peppers. Capsaicin aids in lowering blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
- Provides Energy:
Paprika is an important source of vitamin B6, which is a coenzyme. In other words, it is vital to enable 100 other enzymes to perform their function perfectly. They initiate biochemical reactions in the body that create energy, providing glucose while producing neurotransmitters and haemoglobin. This spice also contains iron, which carries oxygen throughout the body and is a component of many proteins. These proteins are responsible for energy creation. Paprika is an awesome stimulant and energizer, which can be used to treat conditions like tiredness, lethargy, and depression.
- Assists Digestion:
Paprika aids in digestion by normalizing acid in the stomach. It is a great stimulant, which facilitates digestion by boosting saliva and stomach acids. It can be used to treat indigestion.
- Prevents Scurvy:
Scurvy is a rare disease characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, weak teeth, swollen bones, rapid breathing, jaundice, diarrhoea, depression etc. The major cause of scurvy is deficiency of vitamin C. Paprika is a powerhouse of vitamin C. This vitamin is considered a miracle worker and should be ingested daily to prevent the onset of many diseases, including scurvy. Include paprika in your diet to boost your vitamin C intake.
- Prevents Anemia:
Paprika contains iron, which is involved in the formation of red blood cells. Besides, the abundant amount of vitamin C in this spice enables the body to absorb iron. In this way, inclusion of paprika in your diet can help prevent anemia.
- Wound Healing:
Paprika is a good source of vitamin E, which helps in producing red blood cells. It also helps in forming clots in case of cuts and wounds, facilitating quick wound healing.
Drinking hot water with lemon and paprika in the early morning will benefit your health. Paprika pairs well with beef, veal, cheese, potatoes, chicken, vegetables, pork, onion, olive oil, sour cream, yoghurt and rice and can marry with allspice, caraway, cardamom, garlic, rosemary, saffron, turmeric and parsley.
Ways to use paprika
- Paprika is usually used to add colour to different kind of food like chicken, fish, etc.
- It is often mixed with red pepper and is sprinkled over popcorn to give it a delicious taste.
- Mix into a meat rub
Marinate chicken, beef, or pork in olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and salt for at least an hour or overnight, then grill over moderate heat until cooked through.
- Sprinkle over popcorn
Make the best movie night snack by sprinkling paprika onto homemade popcorn. It’s so much tastier than the microwave version!
- Season corn on the cob
After grilling corn, slather it in butter and sprinkle with paprika and cotija cheese. Corn on the cob never tasted so good.
- Garnish deviled eggs
Just before serving, garnish deviled eggs with paprika. It not only looks restaurant-worthy; paprika also adds a touch of spice that’s perfect with the creamy filling inside the eggs.
- Toss with potatoes
Quarter red and gold potatoes, toss with olive oil, paprika, and salt, and roast at 425°F until golden and crisp.
- Flavor meatballs
Add spice and flavor to meatballs by mixing and egg, chopped parsley and mint, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon into a pound of ground beef, then cook over moderate heat.
- Add into hummus
Add color and flavor to plain hummus with a sprinkle of paprika. Be sure to distribute it evenly so every bite is just as delicious as the next.
- Toss with mixed nuts
Toss mixed of nuts with olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and salt and roast at 400°F until fragrant.
- Make a chicken brine
Whisk paprika into buttermilk, add chicken wings and drumsticks, and refrigerate for 8 hours before frying until crisp.
How to buy and store paprika
- Use paprika within six months to maximize its taste and aroma.
- Place the spice in an airtight container, in a cool or dark place. Instead of a clear glass container, place the spice in a dark tin container that will keep it away from direct light.
Uses of Paprika
- Paprika for Glowing Skin:
You can prepare a facial mask by combining a tablespoon of paprika with two tablespoons of honey. Apply it all over your face in an even layer and leave for 20 minutes. This will even out your skin tone as well as reduce fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, and dullness. It can also treat blemishes and blackheads, making your skin soft and glowing. However, it is advisable to do a patch test before using it topically to ensure that you do not develop allergic reactions.
Season in which paprika is available
Paprika is available all year-round.
How to make Paneer Paprika:
400 gms paneer cubes
1 green bell pepper slices
1/2 yellow bell pepper slices
1/2 red bell pepper slices
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 cup cabbage shredded
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp paprika sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper powder
2 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a wok, add chopped garlic. Saute until garlic is cooked well.
Add bell peppers and shredded cabbage. Adjust with the salt.
Cook for about 2 minutes by stirring constantly.
Now add all three sauces and pepper powder.
Mix well and add 1/2 cup of water.
Cook until oil start touching the sides of the pan.
Add paneer and vinegar. Mix well.
Check the seasoning and adjust the salt and spices as per your taste.
Cook for 2 more minutes and serve hot.
If you like more spices then you may add slices of green chillies as well.
Paprika sauce is easily available in the market, test it before using, because it has content of salt and spices.
How to make pepper garlic rasam recipe
1 tbsp tamarind
10 black pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
pinch hing / asafoetida
5-10 curry leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
firstly, soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 4-5 minutes. after soaking extract all the tamarind juice.
further in deep pan, add 3 tsp of oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. after mustard seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves.
also add chopped garlic and saute for few seconds. keep an eye on garlic, as it shouldn’t burn.
now add extracted tamarind juice and chopped tomato.
furthermore, add turmeric powder and than let it boil for 10 – 12 minutes in a low flame. make sure you stir it occasionally.
also add crushed pepper.
now add 2 cups of water, coriander leaves and salt. give a mix and give 1 – 2 boil in a medium flame.
finally, pepper garlic rasam is now ready. serve with hot and steamed rice.
- Regular exposure to paprika may cause certain pain neurons to become insensitive to further pain.
- Eating excess of paprika can cause intestinal distress in some people.
- Paprika causes a burning sensation, which is unpleasant for many people, especially those who are not used to eating paprika.
- Paprika may also cause digestive distress, and some studies have associated chili consumption with cancer, although the evidence for this is very limited.
Fun Facts about paprika
- Paprika is so much more than a coloring agent!
- The peppers used to make paprika made their way to Hungary after Christopher Columbus brought them to Europe.
- Paprika is one of the world’s most popular spices.
- The pepper plants were first used as decorative houseplants.
- The plant used to make the Hungarian version of the spice was grown in 1529 by the Turks at Buda.
- The first recorded use of the word “paprika” in English is from 1896.
- Paprika was not used in the west until sometime during the mid-1900s.
- After World War II, paprika production in Hungary was nationalized by the communist government. Local growers were prohibited from milling their own paprika powder and had to hand over all their peppers to state-owned mills.
- Hungary there are six classes or types of paprika ranging from delicate to hot.
- Paprika is used as an ingredient in numerous dishes throughout the world.
- Paprika is considered the national spice of Hungary and it appears in the country’s most celebrated dish, goulash.
- In the United States, paprika is frequently sprinkled raw on foods as a garnish, but the flavor is more effectively brought out by heating it in oil.
- Paprika has some sugar content, varying with the variety, and is richer in vitamin C than the citrus fruits.
- Today, Hungary, Spain, South America, the Mediterranean, India, and California are all major producers of paprika.
- The most common pepper to make Paprika is the sweet red pepper
- The villages become a vibrant red color at harvesting time when the peppers are hung with string outside and along fences
- It is made by grinding the pods of the pepper plant capsicum annuum