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:(
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.