This week's veggie is the lovely bell-shaped capsicum! Capsicums come in a variety of colours, the most common ones being red, yellow, or green. However, you can also find varieties that are brown, purple, white, and orange. They are well-known for their crispness and sweetness, which has made them a favourite afternoon snack or ingredient in salads.
Capsicums, or as they are called botanically, Capsicum annuum, are fruits that belong to the nightshade family, along with eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. Like their close relatives, chili peppers, capsicums are sometimes dried and powdered. If so, they are referred to as paprika. Like other fruits and vegetables, they have a variety of health benefits, such as improved eye health and reduced risk of anemia.
Capsicums are delicious raw, but they are also a treat when cooked. Here is one of my favourite recipes with these beautiful veggies!
- 2 green bell peppers (capsicum)
- 1 cup potato (aloo), cooked and mashed
- 3 tablespoons green peas (matar), steamed
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- 1-inch ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 4 sprigs coriander (dhania) leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Salt, to taste
- To begin making the stuffed capsicum recipe, first preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment paper.
- Heat oil in a pan; add the cumin seeds, onions, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions become tender.
- Add the boiled potatoes, chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Sauté until all the ingredients are well combined. Turn off the heat. Add the coriander leaves and stir well.
- With a sharp knife, gently cut the stem and remove the seeds of the bell pepper. Tap gently so all the seeds fall off. You can either use a whole capsicum or slice the capsicum in half, as shown in the video.
- Stuff the potato mixture into the capsicum and arrange them vertically on the baking sheet (if whole). Add half a teaspoon of butter on each stuffed bell pepper.
- Bake the capsicum in the oven for about 30 minutes or until you notice the shell of the bell pepper has started shrinking and the top has browned. Once you notice the capsicum getting brown and the skin is wrinkling, you know it is ready. Remove from the oven and arrange them on a platter.
- Serve vegetarian stuffed capsicum with spiced potatoes along with whole wheat lachha paratha and boondi raita for a weekday meal.