It appears that people either love or hate capsicum / bell peppers. Me – I love it in all forms. I enjoy it’s raw crunch in salads, add it lovingly to sambar to perk it up, toss it with paneer for a smart bhurjee,…
…Or I make this stir fry. Capsicum is the star in this dish, it does not play the role of accompanying artist. Rather, the spices and seasonings added, only serve to add to the punch of this amazing vegetable.
What’s good about Capsicum?
- The best contribution from Capsicum to a meal would be it’s high Vitamin C, B and carotene (Vitamin A) content. While Vitamin C and B reduces with heat and cooking, stir frying can ensure minimal losses.
- Capsicum has virtually no Sodium, so it is a great addition to salads for a person with high blood pressure.
- The coloured peppers such as red, yellow, purple have a higher sugar content than the green coloured one. So it is recommended that diabetics use more of green pepper and lesser of the other coloured ones.
- Capsicum also is a low calorie, no - fat vegetable. People keen on weight maintenance / weight loss can include this wonder veggie freely in their diets.
- A note about the compound Capsaicin – this compound is isolated from other chillies of the capsicum family and used in several topical medications to relieve pain. This compound does not exist in sufficient quantities in Capsicum to have any pain relieving effects.
Without further delay. here is the recipe.
- Green Capsicum – 5-6 medium sized
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Fresh Coconut – grated, 2 tbsp
- Chutney Dal – 2 tbsp
- Green chilli – 3
- Saunf – 3/4 tsp
- Garlic – 2 pods, washed and peeled
- Vegetable Oil – 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Wash, deseed and cut capsicum into thin slices.
- Powder all ingredients from 3 to 7 into a coarse powder.
- You could warm the chutney dal and saunf together before powdering. This step is optional – it helps to release the aroma and powder better.
- Heat oil in a wok / pan, add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard crackles, tip in the sliced capsicum and stir rapidly.
- Keep the heat at medium high, add salt and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. Adding salt may release water from the vegetable. If it releases too much water, make a well in the centre of the pan and let the water sizzle out quickly. The veggies should retain the green colour and just turn soft but not soggy.
- Add the powdered mixture and toss to coat all slices.
- Remove from heat and serve warm with dal and rice.
- I served it with ‘basale soppu dal’ and steamed rice.
- You could choose to include all coloured peppers such as red, yellow along with green pepper. If so, include in equal proportion, tip in the green pepper first and add the others halfway through.
- Slice up a red onion and stir fry that first before adding the capsicum.
- Add chopped coriander as a final garnish.
- The key to successful stir frying, is to chop / slice vegetables to similar size, so they fry evenly.
- Use a much larger wok / pan than needed to fit in the vegetables. This way, they swish around well and fry happily!
- Heat minimum oil to a good heat, just below it’s smoking point. Stir fry in this hot oil at medium high to high heat. This retains crispness, colour and flavour of the vegetables.
- Do not dump in all vegetables together. Add the ones that need more cooking first and so on till you add the quickest cooking vegetable last.
- The best stir fry is one that takes only a few minutes on high heat.