Introduced in India by the Portuguese towards the end of the 15th century, chilli peppers have become one of the key ingredients in the traditional Indian cooking and is an indispensable ingredient in the Indian medicine due to its said health benefits.
Prior to Green Chillies introduction to India, Indians have been consuming the much blander black pepper and other regional ingredients to spice up the food.
Known as Hari Mirch in Hindi, forms an essential ingredient of most Indian recipes. Green chili is a spice without which Indian cuisine is considered to be incomplete. Green chilies are large, long that tapers at the end. Internally green chilli contains numerous tiny white seeds. The entire chili is edible except the stalk. Hari Mirch is known for the heat it produces. To reduce the heat produced by green chilli, the seeds and the inner membranes can be removed.
Nutritional Facts of Green Chilli
Green chili is rich in several minerals and vitamins. It also contains a phytonutrient known as capsaicin. They contain zero cholesterol and calories.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of green chili weighing approximately 139 gm contains 29 kcal, 1 gm of proteins, 0.38 gm of fat, 2.4 gm of fiber, 6.39 gm of carbohydrates, 1.85 mg of iron, 50 mg of calcium, 6 mg of magnesium, 15 mg of phosphorus, 157 mg of potassium,552 mg of sodium, 0.8 mg of niacin, and 75 μg of folate.
Potential Health Benefits of Green Chili ‘Hari Mirch’
1/5. Improves digestive health
1. Green chilli is a rich source of dietary fiber that smooth the bowel movement thus, enhancing digestive health.
2. Fibre cleanses the colon, supports healthy bowel movements, and prevents constipation.
3. On chewing chili, saliva is released which helps in proper digestion of food thus, aids in digestion.
4. Eating green chilies helps in preventing peptic ulcers.
2/5. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
1. Green chilly maintains the sugar level in diabetic people. It acts on the metabolism which enhances sugar absorption in the body.
2. Green chilies reduce the increased sugar levels in the body.
3/5. Aids in weight loss
1. As green chili aids in burning the excess fats of the body due to its thermogenic properties, hence it helps in weight loss.
2. The antioxidant, capsaicin present in green chilly increases the warmth in the body and enhances the metabolic rate.
4/5. Keeps the skin radiant and young
1. Vitamin C, an antioxidant present in green chilly helps in facilitating the formation of collagen which maintains the firmness and health of the skin. Collagen acts as a barrier to the skin and prevents damage.
2. The presence of vitamin C offers a glow to the skin.
3. The Vitamin E present in green chilly forms natural oils which is beneficial for the skin.
4. The phytonutrients present in hari mirch helps treat acne, pimples, rashes, blemishes, and wrinkles.
5. Green chilies are rich with anti-bacterial properties thus, treating skin infections and acne.
5/5. Other possible benefits
Hari Mirch produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces a few more such as combats mood swings, prevents osteoporosis, prevents cancer, reduces cholesterol levels, cures common cold, promotes hair health, reduces inflammation, soothes respiratory system, prevents infections, enhances immunity,keeps the bones and teeth healthy, improves vision, improves mood, and lowers body temperature.
A recent research has pointed towards the amazing health benefits of consuming raw chilli, along with the food. The research suggests having 4 chilli a week can help cut various fatal illnesses by up to 25% percentage.
How to use Green Chilli?
Green chili has abundant culinary use. They can be used in fresh, dried, or powdered form. They can be used as a whole, chopped, with seeds, or deseeded. It can be used in the following ways…
- As pickles.
- Used as a garnish.
- In dals and appetisers.
- Used for tempering or tadka.
- In sauces, chutney, and spicy snacks.
- As a topping for fries and egg dishes.
- In bread, stir fries, curries, and meat dishes.
How to prepare Hari mirch ka achar or green chilli pickle?
Take 10 green chilis and remove the head/ stalk of chilis and cut them into small pieces.
In a pan, dry roast 1 tsp jeera, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp mustard seeds, ¼ tsp methi, ½ tsp ajwain, and 1 tsp saunf. Dry roast it on a low flame for a minute.
Let it cool completely, and blend it into a slightly coarse powder.
Transfer the masala powder over the chilis.
Add in 1 tsp turmeric, 1 lemon, and salt to taste.
Mix thoroughly, ensuring that everything is combined well.
Heat ¼ cup of mustard oil. Add a pinch of hing when the oil turns hot.
Let the oil cool completely then, pour it over the chilis.
Mix thoroughly, to combine all the ingredients well.
Add 2 tbsp vinegar, as a preservative.
Mix well and keep it under the sun for 2 days. Serve the instant green chilli pickle with rice or roti.