Have Some Bell Peppers? Know How To Use In Indian Dishes

Walking through an Indian vegetable market, the vibrant array of bell peppers catches your eye. Their bright hues of green, red, yellow, and orange are not only visually appealing but also hold a promise of rich flavours and nutritional benefits. Bell peppers, also known as capsicums, are a staple in many global cuisines. In India, they have found their way into a variety of dishes, from curries to stir-fries, and even as stuffing for snacks. Understanding the different types of bell peppers and how to best use them can elevate your culinary creations to new heights. 

The Different Bell Peppers and How to Use Them in Indian Dishes 

Green Bell Peppers 

Green bell peppers are the most commonly used in Indian cuisine. They have a slightly bitter taste and are less sweet compared to their coloured counterparts. Their firm texture makes them ideal for various Indian dishes. 

Usage in Indian Dishes: 

Stuffed Capsicum (Bharwa Shimla Mirch): Fill green bell peppers with a spiced potato or paneer mixture and cook until tender. This dish is a favourite in many Indian households. 

Capsicum Masala: Cooked with onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices, green bell peppers add a delightful crunch to this curry. 

Vegetable Pulao: Dice and add green bell peppers to your vegetable pulao for added flavour and texture. 

Red Bell Peppers 

Red bell peppers are fully ripened, giving them a sweeter and milder flavour compared to green bell peppers. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to your diet. 

Usage in Indian Dishes 

Paneer Tikka: Marinate paneer and red bell peppers in a mixture of yoghurt and spices, then grill or bake. The sweetness of the red peppers complements the smoky paneer beautifully. 

Red Pepper Chutney: Blend roasted red bell peppers with garlic, chillies, and spices to create a flavourful chutney that pairs well with dosas or idlis. 

Salads and Raitas: Add thinly sliced red bell peppers to salads or raitas for a burst of colour and a hint of sweetness. 

Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers 

Yellow and orange bell peppers fall between green and red bell peppers in terms of sweetness. They are bright and vibrant, adding visual appeal and a mild, fruity flavour to dishes. 

Usage in Indian Dishes 

Mixed Vegetable Curry: Incorporate yellow and orange bell peppers into a mixed vegetable curry. Their mild flavour blends well with other vegetables and spices. 

Bell Pepper Pakoras: Slice yellow and orange bell peppers, dip them in a spiced gram flour batter, and deep-fry until crispy. These pakoras make for a delightful snack or appetizer. 

Stir-Fries: Use a combination of yellow and orange bell peppers in quick stir-fries with your favourite spices and herbs for a nutritious and colourful dish. 

Tips for Cooking with Bell Peppers 

Chopping and Preparing: Ensure you remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the bell peppers before cooking. This part can be bitter and affects the overall taste. 

Balancing Flavours: Bell peppers can add sweetness to your dishes, so adjust the spices accordingly to maintain a balanced flavour profile. 

Cooking Time: Bell peppers cook relatively quickly. Add them towards the end of the cooking process to retain their crunch and vibrant colour.