Bell Pepper Pilaf – Eating a Rainbow

Bell Pepper Pilaf – Eating a Rainbow

Bell Pepper Pilaf:

Capsicum Pilaf. Kudai Milagai Pulav. Simla Mirchi Pulav.

Hot peppers, Chili peppers, Jalapenos, Habanero and Bell peppers (except that of black pepper) all the chili varieties comes under Solanacea family. They belong to the genus Capsicum. Though the term ‘Capsicum’ is meant for only ‘Bell Peppers’(heat-less species) in British English, all the chili peppers do have an active compound ‘capsaicin’ (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonemamide). Well, this compound gives that slight irritation to our palate (the heat)to us (humans) and other mammals (herbivores). This is actually located in the veins of the peppers (inner core). Yes, heat doesn’t not come from the seeds or flesh (like many think)!

Capsaicinoids – the secondary compound that are present in hot peppers (quite irritant) are not so harmful to birds! And why is not so irritant to birds? Hmmm, natural selection!!! As the brightly colored vegetables and fruits themselves are a part of natural selection…to attract birds and insects…to feed on them, in order to spread their seeds! On the other hand…the secretions of capsaicin is a defence mechanism of plants from being devoured by us (mammals and other herbivores)!! Then are we stealing? (maybe not…as long as we also cultivate, he he…not guilty)!!

Wait…I have seen people advocating on eating raw vegetables a lot these days. These active components are both liphiphilic (‘oil lovers’ means simply fat soluble vitamins)and hydrophobic (‘fear of water’ means active molecules will repel from water). Best way to consume them is mild cooking with little fat:)

The phrase ‘Eating a Rainbow’ means including various colored vegetables and fruits in the diet. Many are aware that, eating 5 servings of colored vegetables and fruits supply us enough essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Probably the colors themselves leave us some clue to identify what kind of vitamins they really posses. For example the different colors of bell peppers may contain following vitamins and nutrients.

Yellow & Orange: Rich in Beta-carotene, flavonoids, Zeaxanthin, lycopene, potassium and vitamin C.

Red: Rich in lycopene, quercetin, hesperidin and ellagic acid.

Green: Rich in chlorophyll, fibre, lutein, calcium, folate acid and vitamin C.


Basmati rice 1 cup
Bell peppers 4 (one from each color)
Onion 1 large sliced
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Mint leaves few, I used dried ones:(
Cloves 3
Cinnamon 1 stick
Bay leaves 2
Coconut milk 1 cup (thin)
Ghee/clarified butter 1/4 cup.


In a wide, heavy bottomed vessel…heat ghee. Add spices and fllowed by ginger-garlic paste, mint and onions.

Fry real good, add salt and rice…stir-fry for couple of minutes. Add coconut milk and continue cooking over low flame/heat.

Once 3/4th of rice is done…add the peppers. Cover and cook. Once the rice is well done and the peppers are cooked but still intact, remove from heat. Fluff them a little before serving.

Do you really want something to go with it?! Kidding, serve warm with spicy curry on the side.


45 Responses so far.

  1. Sarah Naveen says:

    oh wow!!! that looks sooo gorgeous..
    True..its like eating a rainbow..[:)]..Great job deary!!!
    Really inviting

  2. Palidor says:

    That is a very lovely dish. So colorful and good for you.

  3. What lovely color like the rainbow as u have mentioned…so so tempting..

  4. Anupama says:

    Absolutely colorful & I like the idea of cutting the peppers into strips instead of chopping them. It gives the dish a grand look :-)

  5. Padma says:

    Colorful and very flavorful rice :)

  6. Tina says:

    Wow colourful and tempting .

  7. Nandini says:

    Very useful & interesting information about capsicum errr.. bell pepper. I have read somewhere that some people cultivate purple and white bell pepper. Comparing to green, other colors are costly in most of the places. Why?

    Would love to grab that plate! Very colorful and healthy Bell pepper Pilaf! ‘Pilaf’ attractive name! Loved this phrase ‘eat a rainbow’! :D

  8. Gita says:

    Very interesting story about capsaicinoids and birds Malar….I too make a similar kind of rice with green bell peppers…the colored one do look pretty in the rice…like you said…eating a rainbow :)

  9. Malar Gandhi says:


    Colored bell peppers(yellow, orange and red) are cultivar ones thats why they are costly.

  10. chakhlere says:

    Nice and healthy pilaf. Loved the long strips in it!!

  11. Kumudha says:

    Pilaf looks divine!

  12. Pam says:

    Colorful, beautiful and delicious.

  13. PJ says:

    Wow, very informative post, Malar! I have also heard that Capsaicin has good metabolism effects so having a breakfast with Capsaicin actually helps your daily metabolism go the extra mile in the day!

  14. priya says:

    THis looks so colorful and nice, malar!!..must have tasted very good!!..tempting pics!

  15. so colourful and very nice one malar…looks very delicious

  16. DEESHA says:

    I had once made a more south Indian version with colored bell peppers. Pilaf is a good idea

  17. Priya says:

    Such a colourful pilaf, looks beautiful and eyecatching..

  18. Rohini says:

    Wud love to eat the rainbow on the plate right away!! Perfect crowd pleaser too..
    Nice idea of adding the peppers when rice is 3/4th cooked..keeps them firm! :)

  19. Oraphan says:

    Oh! This rice dish looks fantastic and it sounds so healthy and tasty. I’ll add your recipe to my rice collection too.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such kind words, I really appreciate your time:)

  20. Dhanggit says:

    this is so healthy and yummy!! love it!

  21. Dear Malar
    Very nice recipe. The photos are superb. Hope to try it some day.
    Have a nice day

  22. sowmya.s says:

    looks so colourful…am sure must have tasted so good..

  23. prasu says:

    wow……….so color ful dear………..lovely click and post….

  24. Latha says:

    Colorful and yummy….

  25. Happy cook says:

    Love the colours and looks delish.

  26. aquadaze says:

    i love bell pepper! Pilaf looks so appealing with all those colours.

  27. SE(Denufood) says:

    hey I love the bell peppers..the dish looks very colorful.. I have a similar post with maggi noodles..

  28. Rina says:

    Wow !!! gr8 looking rainbow rice Malar..

  29. Very useful and interesting anecdote dear. Pilaf with this wonderful color combo looks vibrant. Bet it could have tasted wonderful.

  30. Muneeba says:

    Love bell peppers, always have! The fact that they’re so good for you is just a bonus for me :)

  31. Hey nice pulav, i liked its colour…idea of having rainbow dish is realy good…it vl taste awesome

  32. San!!! says:

    Pilaf is incredible malar.Wanna have them right away.

  33. farida says:

    I would like to eat a plate of that rainbow:) Interesting recipe, very colorful indeed.

  34. Shri says:

    It sure looks like eating a rainbow..Tempting and inviting!

  35. amazing wud want to eat it just by looking at the colour

  36. kothiyavunu says:

    sorry i am late…rainbows looks gorgeous and very inviting malar..nice click dear!!
    Wish u & ur family happy Thanks giving..:)

  37. Valarmathi says:

    Colorful and yummy pilaf, looks delicious.

  38. my kitchen says:

    Looks colorful,want to try

  39. Spice says:

    Love those colors….yummmm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: