Paprika, is a red mild ground spice use in making food and also seasoning. How paprika is made is by drying a ripe bell pepper capsicum annuum and grinding it. In other words, when you dry a ripened red bell pepper and grind it, the fine red powder formed is called paprika powder.
Furthermore, it can sometimes get darker or a bit brownish after storing it for a long time, because of degradation. In addition, this spice is a popular condiment widely used as seasoning for culinary and industrial purposes. So even though paprika is a pepper, it is not as hot as the regular chilli or cayenne.
Also, it has mild a heat, i.e it has some degrees of hotness to it as a capsicum. Also, it adds colour, taste, and aroma when use in making food.
Uses Of Paprika
Paprika is used in different cuisines such as Turkish, Indian, Spanish African and beyond. In Africa especially Nigeria, it is great for making stews, sauces, porridge, jollof rice and so on. When in application or in contact with water, it add some level of sheen to the food. Because of its nature, it really give a thickening effect like a tomato paste to stews and sauces.
Seasoning, sauces like pasta bake sauces with tomato characteristics can be enhanced with paprika to boost the redness, thickness and taste. Some other spices such as cumin, oregano, ginger, onion, turmeric, garlic etc. maybe be added to give a nice taste to seasoning and sauces blends.
However, add a little bit of ground or leafy basil and oregano to the mix of seasoning for a perfect jollof rice. The bright red colour of paprika is a magic fix for food that calls for tomato in it but require less tomato taste. This is typically the primary reason the people of Nigeria often use it in combination with tomato.
Furthermore, eat bell pepper raw in salads by using them to make salads. Also use fresh red bell pepper to add aroma, and taste to food. In addition, use it to add colour to food, these colours differs depending on how they are applied.
How Paprika Is Made
Fresh bell pepper come in varieties of colours. Use the red variant in particular to make it and not the other varieties. The colours of fresh bell pepper include, red, orange, yellow, green and so on. They have a nice flavour and aroma when used in dishes.
The following steps are how paprika powder is made
- Wash, remove the seeds of the ripe bell pepper capsicum and slice them into small sizes
- Place them on the rack of an oven like this image below
- Preheat the oven to 60 degrees Celsius
- Put in the slice capsicum pieces into the oven and dry it till it is dried and crispy
- Leave the oven while drying it because paprika needs the air for effective drying
- Pour the dried pepper into a food blender or spice blender and grind it into powder
Can relief pain: It possesses capsaicine being the active chemical in pepper which gives them the signature heat or spiciness. Capsaicine can help to relief pain and relax blood vessels.
Paprika may help promote eyes health: Researchers have found four carotenoid in paprika. They include beta-carotene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin. So the carotenoid which function as antioxidant can help to prevent cellular damage.
In conclusion, air dry the bell pepper if your environment is low in humility. Humid environment is by far not so good for drying and storing spices.
Store it in an air tight container, under ambient temperature. Please always keep paprika away from direct light.
Was this process helpful to you? Please drop a comment below.