Capsicum belongs to the Capsicum genus. It is not as sweet as other bell peppers. Capsicum is a type of green pepper. The flavor of capsicum is mild. Capsicum contains capsaicin, an odorless, tasteless phytochemical, which produces the chili pepper heat. It is also used as a capsule for medicinal purposes. Capsicum also comes in red, orange and yellow color.
The health benefits of capsicum include relief from stomach issues, back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, skin aging, peptic ulcers, menopausal problems, lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and may also provide relief from pain related to arthritis. Capsicum also helps with fibromyalgia and psoriasis.
Capsicum contains iron which prevents from iron deficiency and treats anemia.
Improves Your Eyesight
Capsicim contains vitamin C and carotenoids which prevents cataracts, macular degeneration and and other eye problems.
Capsicum contains vitamin C and iron which promotes hair growth, regulates blood flow to the scalps, strengthens hair follicles and makes hair stronger and shinier.
Capsicum contains vitamin C, antioxidants, beta-carotenes and vitamin K which promotes WBC, removes toxins from body, protects the body from bacterial and viral infections. It also prevents intestinal diseases, boosts immune system, heals wounds faster and reduces risk of joint damage and arthritis, maximizing your bone health.
Capsicum contains phytochemicals and antioxidants which keep your skin nourished and young. It also contains iron which prevents rashes, blemishes. Reduces free radicals. Capsicum also reduces the early symptoms of ageing and keeps your skin beautiful and young.
Reduce Inflammation and Swelling
Capsicum can acts as a moisturizer which helps to treat crohn’s disease, arthritis.
Capsicum contains pectrolyte, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which reduces the risk of cancer and prevents cancer symptoms from developing.
Capsicum promotes better digestion, makes feel full for longer, avoids overeating, prevents digestive issues and has low calories thus, reducing the risk of obesity.
Capsicum contains flavonoids which prevents respiratory illness.
Capsicum contains tannins which prevents gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, and other microbial disorders. It also protect the gastric lining and prevent peptic ulcer development. Capsicum also increase the nasal drainage as it contains phytochemical capsaicin.
Improves Heart Health
Capsicum contains flavonoids which prevents coronary heart disease. It contains vasodilative properties which improves blood flow and hypotension.
The bioactive compounds found in capsicum contains antioxidants effects which protect and repair tissues and DNA damage.
Capsicum is considered as a hypoglycemic medicine which helps to treat diabetes. It improves insulin production and reduces the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Capsicum treats symptoms of fibromyalgia and has shown beneficial effects on the improvement of sleep.
Treats Diabetic Neuropathy
Capsicum treats diabetic neuropathic pain. It works to deaden cutaneous nerve endings and reduces the pain.
Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
Capsicum gives relevies in menopausal symptoms as it contains flavonoid.
Capsicum can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.
Ways to use capsicum
Capsicum can be eaten raw or cooked. It is used for stuffing and fillings like rice, meat and cheese. It is also used for preparing salads.
How to buy and store cappsicum
Buy capsicum that are thick, firm, and bright with glossy skin. Avoid capsicum that are shriveled or have soft spots. Store capsicum in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and use within 5 days.
Season in which capsicum is available
Capsicum is available all year round.
How to make capsicum masala curry
2 medium Green Capsicum (green bell peppers/shimla mirch)
2 teaspoons Coriander Seeds
1 tablespoon grated Dry Coconut
1 Dry Red Chilli
1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (jeera)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (lal mirch)
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder (haldi)
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice, optional
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
3/4 cup Water
Add coriander seeds, grated coconut, dry red chilli and sesame seeds in a pan and dry roast them over low flame until nice aroma comes for approx. 2-minutes. Transfer them to a plate and let them cool for 3-4 minutes. Grind them with roasted peanuts in a grinder and make a fine masala powder.
Heat oil in same pan or kadai over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Add chopped onion and crushed garlic, sauté until onion becomes light pink.
Add capsicum and sprinkle salt over it.
Sauté capsicum until it turns tender but still crispy for approx. 2-3 minutes.
Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder, mix and cook for a minute.
Add masala powder (prepared in step-1), lemon juice and salt (only for masala powder).
Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup water and let it boil over medium flame.
Cook until gravy becomes thick or for 3-4 minutes.
Turn off the flame and transfer curry in a serving bowl.
Tips and Variations:
You can add fresh coconut instead of dry coconut according to the availability.
Make sure, ingredients does not turn dark brown while dry roasting in step-1.
As with all other Indian curries, capsicum curry with peanut and sesame based masala gravy can be served with any of your favorite Indian flat breads.
How to make Capsicum Masala Poriyal Recipe (South Indian Style Bell Pepper Stir Fry)
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
3 Red Yellow or Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum), diced into cubes
1 Onion, diced into cubes
Curry leaves, Few
Salt, to taste
For the Masala Powder
1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts (Moongphali)
1 tablespoon Fresh coconut
4 Dry red chillies
3 Garlic, cloves, unpeeled
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
4 spring Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, chopped
- To begin making the Capsicum Masala Poriyal Recipe place a kadai on the heat. Add some oil and warm it.
- Next, add in the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Next, add the chopped onions and saute them until translucent.
- Next, toss in the capsicum, curry leaves, required salt and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime add all the ingredients under “For the Powder” in a blender and grind to a coarse powder.
- Add in the ground powder to the capsicum mixture and saute for 5 minutes until the capsicum is coated well with the spices.
- The capsicum pieces should have a slight crunch. Do not overcook them.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with coriander.
- Serve hot with Egg Masoor Dal and Chapatis.
Safety profile for using capsicum
Side effects of consuming capsicum can include skin irritation, burning, and itching. Capsicum can also be extremely irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat. Don’t use capsicum on sensitive skin or around the eyes.
Eating excess of capsicum can damage liver or kidney.
Other side effects are
Pregnancy and breastfeeding:
It is not advised to consume capsicum when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can cause skin irritation.
Damaged or broken skin: Don’t use capsicum on damaged or broken skin.
Surgery: Capsicum might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using capsicum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Fun facts about capsicum
- Capsicums are actually fruits but are mostly prepared as vegetables.
Though they belong to the same family of chilli peppers, capsicum are sweet in taste.
- A capsicum is a species of fruit that is popularly eaten as a vegetable, and is native to tropical areas of North and South America.
- ‘Capsicums’ are also known as ‘peppers’, ‘sweet peppers’, and ‘bell peppers’.
- The scientific name of a common capsicum is Capsicum annum and it is from the family Solanaceae, the family of nightshades.
- The colour of capsicums ranges greatly, though they are more commonly red, green or yellow in colour, but purple, brown, white and orange varieties are also available.
- China was the largest producer of capsicums in 2007, with a total production of 14,033,000 tonnes (15,468,700 tons) out of the world total of 26,056,900 tonnes (28,722,800 tons).
- Red capsicums, compared to green, orange and yellow ones, are the sweetest, especially if they are not picked until ripe, while the green coloured fruit are the least sweet and are often just unripened red fruit.
- It is thought that capsicums were first cultivated around 5000 BC, and the first European to discover the fruit was Christopher Columbus, when he visited the West Indies.
- Capsicums, or sweet peppers, are unusual in that they do not contain capsaicin, which gives others in the genus of the same name, including chili peppers, a hot spicy flavour.
- Capsicums are extremely high in vitamin C and high in vitamin A, and depending on the variety, they may also contain significant quantities of vitamins B6 and K, and folate, and they also contain many other vitamins and minerals.
- Capsicums are eaten both raw and cooked, often as a side vegetable, especially due to the vegetable’s crispiness.
- Bell pepper also called sweet pepper, pepper or capsicum is a pepper cultivar in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
- Botanically speaking, bell peppers are fruits; however, they are considered vegetables in culinary contexts.
- Capsicum name comes from Greek word “kapto” which means “to bite” while “pepper”come from the similarity in taste with “black pepper.”
- They are native to Central and South America.
- The oldest found capsicum was discovered in the remains of pottery from Puebla and Oaxaca, today’s Federal Districts of Mexico.
- Bell pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European and Asian countries.
- The misleading name “pepper” (pimiento in Spanish) was given by Christopher Columbus upon bringing the plant back to Europe. At that time peppercorns (black pepper, Piper nigrum) were a highly prized condiment.
- Despite their widespread acceptance today, bell peppers were initially very unpopular in Europe.
- The mild bell pepper cultivar was developed in 1920s, in Szeged, Hungary.
- Bell pepper grows on a short bush which can grow up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) and which has white flowers.
- The most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow, orange and red. More rarely, brown, white, lavender, and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety.
- Bell peppers may be eaten cooked or raw, such as in salads.
- Bell peppers are used in almost every aspect of cooking you can think of, one of the more famous dishes highlighting the bell pepper is stuffed bell peppers.
- You can also dried or pickled bell peppers.
- There are only 20 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of bell pepper.
- Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C and vitamin B6. They are a very good source of folate, molybdenum, vitamin E, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, niacin and potassium. Additionally, they are a good source of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus and magnesium.
- The health benefits of bell peppers include reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation, boosting immune system, good for nervous system and helps renew cells, keeping skin and hair looking youthful, maintaining eye health and play a protective role in certain types of cancers.
- While the bell pepper is a member of the Capsicum amus genus like the hot chili peppers, it is the only variety that doesn’t produce any capsaicin, which is the compound that is the heat in chili peppers.
- China is the world’s largest producer of bell peppers, followed by Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, and the United States.
- Packages of 3 bell peppers , green, yellow and red are sometimes sold as “Traffic Light Peppers.”
- The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety.
- Bell peppers can stay refrigerated for five days if it is placed in a plastic bag. Green peppers last longer than ripened ones. If they are frozen, they can last much longer.