Bejeweled Capsicum

One of our favourite vegetables in Indian as well as in European cooking is Capsicum/Bell pepper/Sweet pepper – green, yellow and red – it really does not matter – we just love this vegetable!

Even though China is the world’s largest producer of capsicum, followed by Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia and the United States – this vegetable is now grown in most countries (I even managed to grow some of our green capsicum and chilli peppers needed for our weekly cooking in our garden in England).

Did you know that this vegetable is a rich source of Vitamin C (and some other vitamins) and contains a staggering 94 % water – good to include in food as part of a calorie controlled diet.

When I go shopping to my local Hypermarket to buy vegetables and fruits (especially items which I cannot find in my local markets) I always seem to linger longer at the beautifully displayed Capsicum section. The vibrant colours of my “bejeweled capsicum” reminds me of a child’s coloured crayons. They are so shiny and plump – but can anybody shed light on the phenomenon why the green ones are always the cheapest with the red ones costing double or even triple???? After all, we do know that the green capsicum, although mature, has been picked rather than being left to ripen on the bush, has a slightly sharper, more savoury, flavour than the red one – which is fully ripe with a sweet-tasting flesh.

Did you also know that it was dear old Christopher Columbus who, when he returned to his Spanish patrons in 1492, brought back evidence of the rich plant life he had discovered, amongst which were members of the capsicum family – sweet peppers and their kinsmen, chilli pepper.

The following recipe is one which we love very much and therefor I like to share it with you, dear friends.

Ingredients

1 x tsp Fennel Seeds
2 x Tbsp Peanuts
1 x Tbsp Cashew Nuts
2 x medium to large potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 x Capsicum (green, yellow and red – if possible) deseeded and cut into small squares
3 x small onions, chopped
3 x tomatoes, chopped (do not remove skin or seeds)

4 x green chillies, chopped
¼ cup of fresh coriander, chopped
1 x Tbsp Vegetable oil
1 x tsp Mustard seeds
1 x Tbsp Urad Dhal
A few curry leaves
1 x tsp Garlic and ginger paste (if possible, homemade)
1 x tsp turmeric
2 x Tbsp Chilli powder (or less)
2 x tsp Garam Masala
1 x Tbsp of Lingham’s Chilli Sauce (for ‘kick’)
1 x cup of water
Salt, to taste

Method

In a wok, dry fry fennel seeds for a couple of seconds only, keep aside.
Now again dry fry peanuts and cashew nuts for seconds only.
Grind those 2 items in your ‘Mixy’ to a fine powder.
Add oil to the wok and when hot add the mustard seeds and urad dhal as well as a few curry leaves. Stir.
Add onions and some salt and green chillies and stir for 5 minutes.
Add raw potatoes. Stir and covered with a lid, cook for a couple of minutes.
Add ginger and garlic paste, stir.
Add coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and stir again.
Add tomatoes and some water, cover wok again and cook until potatoes are nearly ready.
Add above mentioned ‘Mixy’ powder, all the capsicum, and maybe a little bit more water if needed and cook a further 5 minutes with the lid on.
Taste, and when potatoes are completely cooked add some garam masala, stir and sprinkle with finely chopped coriander leaves before serving.
Ideally, both potatoes and capsicum should retain just a little bit of ‘crunch’.

Serve with rice or any kind of roti (Chapatti, Naan etc.)

That’s it – enjoy
Namaskaram
Carina

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16 thoughts on “Bejeweled Capsicum

      • I hadn’t thought about it much beforehand, but the most popular peppers are not bell peppers, but a more pointy variety which are grown quite large and long – I believe they are called lamuyo. These are about twice the size of a bell pepper – the red ones go for about €3.40 a kilo and the green ones €2 per kilo. There are red bell peppers on sale for about €2.50 per kilo. The above are the best quality ones in the market and Carrefour, no doubt they sell the less good looking ones at half the price.

  1. Canada is experiencing an increase in plant-based dinners. Your recipe is a celebration of colour, deliciousness and confirmation that increasing our vegetable intake is a very good thing.

      • I was a strict vegetarian for three years until I developed an allergy to cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, Brussels spouts, etc. Of course, I was disappointed, but I realized that I must listen to my body and recognize that moving forward and keeping healthy was my first priority. So I have corn, carrots, peas and beans. I enjoy following your blog – you continue to inspire me.

  2. Back on a misbehaving computer after nine frustrating days in hospital, am glad you posted on one of my favourite vegetables also. No problems getting these on my on-line food shopping! Quite expensive here and oft bought in a tube of one each of the three colours mine oft end in my large variety of stirfries . . . this ‘stew’ will be fun to copy . . .

    • First of all, I am so glad you are back home again and hopefully getting better.
      Like you, I am so used to the ‘pack of 3’ from England, but here I love the look of small mountains of each colour in my Hypermarket. I find them a very versatile vegetable – and I have so many recipes to share.

  3. This does look tasty! I am pretty sure they cost more just because it takes longer for them to mature and they have to be watched and sorted because they don’t all mature and become the same color at the same time. We, gardeners, are used to picking partially red and partially green or yellow peppers but that wouldn’t go over in most of the produce sections.

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