Jalapeno is an origanicly grown, medium hot pepper. It originates from Mexico and is named after the Mexican city Xalapa (Jalapa). It ripens from green to bright red. The Jalapeno is the only pepper that's eaten unripe to. The flavour of the unripe peppers (green) is very mild and the flavour of the ripe peppers (red) is medium hot. They are often preserved in oil or vinegar with herbs.
Chilli peppers are the fruits of the pepper plant. They are related to the pepper. Pepper originates from Central America and South America. It was spread all over the world by the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. They grow best under sufficient heat. In the living room or in an unheated greenhouse in our climate (the Netherlands). Another name for chilli pepper is hot pepper, red pepper, Spanish pepper and Lombok. Chillies come in many different sizes and colours. For example big, small, red, yellow, white, purple, brown, orange and green. Chillies can be eaten fresh, dried, in powder or as flakes. You can dry chillies yourself by hanging them upside down in a dry, warm and well ventilated room or by drying them in a very lukewarm oven (70 °C) and in a special drying cabinet. Pepper powder is also called cayenne powder and chilli powder. Chillies contain many healthy nutrients such as capsicum, capsaicin, bioflavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Capsicum is also used in medicines to treat, for example, a runny nose and colds. Capsaicin is the substance in peppers that makes them so pungent. Pepper also helps to prevent diseases such as colds, arteriosclerosis, heart disease and inflammation. Pepper also has an analgesic effect, gives a feeling of happiness, helps against sinusitis, colds, inflammations, cardiovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis and against cold feet in the winter.
Pepper is very healthy and versatile. It contains, among others, the vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E and K. And the minerals: phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper, manganese and magnesium. It also contains many antioxidants such as: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthins, lutein and zeaxanthin. You can boil, steam, stew, grill, bake, use in oven dishes, in stews, add finely chopped to salads and raw vegetables, barbeque, wok and add to Indonesian, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Moroccan and other dishes. You can also make sambal, chilli jam and chilli sauce from chillies. You can also add chillies to sauces, soups and other dishes which can use some spice. Chillies also contain carbohydrates, protein, fibre and few calories. Chillies are delicious in combination with: minced meat, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, chocolate, cocoa, rice, noodles, pasta, olive oil, ginger, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, chives, basil, thyme, rosemary, paprika, butter, apple, curry, parsley, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, cheese, Parmesan cheese, mustard, coconut milk, milk, tomato puree, oregano, red wine, cinnamon sticks, gingerbread, apple syrup, lemon and lime. And with vegetables such as: leeks, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spring onions, shallots, lentils, chickpeas, green beans, snow peas, red cabbage, cucumber, mushrooms, pointed cabbage, white cabbage, kidney beans, brown beans, bean sprouts and lettuce. Be careful not to eat too many hot peppers. It can cause stomach problems such as heartburn. Also, after cleaning and cutting hot peppers, do not touch your eyes with your hands. Chili peppers can also help you lose weight. Hot food is more likely to make you feel full. And chilli gives your metabolism a boost. Hot food makes you feel hot and this speeds up your metabolism. As a result, you burn more calories. Fresh red peppers can be kept in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for 5-7 days. You can also keep peppers in a glass jar filled with olive oil. In this way, the peppers can be kept for months (5 - 6). You can also freeze them. Cut the stalks from the chillies. Wash them well and freeze them whole, in this way you can keep them for about 12 months. Not hardy perennial. Scoville units: 2.500-5.000.
Hot Pepper seeds
Days till harvest
Soak : 12 hours
Indoor sowing: January - March
Outdoor sowing: May (Capsicum annuum)
Germination: 10 - 21 days
Germination temp.: 25 - 30°C
Sowing depth: shallow - max. ½ cm deep
Transplant: after the second pair of true leaves
Plantdistance: 60 cm
Plant position: hothouse or greenhouse
Days till harvest: 90 - 120
Sow indoors from January on. Sow in trays or individual pots filled with moist potting soil. Cover the trays with a lid and the pots with clingfilm. Sow the seeds shallow - max. ½ cm deep and cover them lightly with some soil. Sow the seeds shallow - max. ½ cm deep in good sowing soil and cover them lightly. Use a spray bottle to water the seeds, so you don't disturb them. Keep the soil moist but don't let it get to wet. When you can pinch water out of the soil, then it's too wet. Keep moist, but not wet to prevent the seeds from molding. Keep the temperature as even as possible and don't let the temperature drop during the night. Soak the seeds in tepid water approx. 12 hours prior to sowing. This softens the seeds and let them germinate better.
As soon as the seedlings emerge remove the lid or clingfilm. Transplant the seedlings to individuals pots about a couple of weeks after germination. Put them in very deep pots to give the roots enough space. The root system of hot peppers is very delicate, so you must be very carefull with it. Put the seedlings in a warm, sunny and sheltered spot. Preferably in a greenhouse or a hothouse.
Outdoor sowing is possible from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of frosts. Sow on a very sunny plot with freedraining soil. Thin the seedlings, when they're large enough to handle, to 60 cm apart.
Hot pepper varieties crossbreed easily. So when you want to harvest the seeds, it's important to keep them apart from each other. Give the plants some liquid fertilizer when the fruits start to develop. Use the liquid fertilizer each week. You can harvest you hot peppers by cutting the fruits of the plants with a pair of scissors.
Make your own simple sambal
Ingredients: large amount of red chillies to taste, garlic to taste, onions to taste, sunflower oil, small piece of Trassi, sugar to taste. Cut the stalks from the chillies. Roughly chop the onions, garlic and chillies and put them in a food processor or grind them with a hand blender. Heat a dash of sunflower oil in a wok. Turn the heat down low. When the oil is hot, add a small piece of Trassi to the pan, then spoon the onion, pepper and garlic mixture into the pan. Stir the mixture carefully. Watch the colour of your sambal: dark red means that the sambal is good. If the colour is orange, there is still too much moisture in your sambal. In that case, fry the sambal some more. Taste your sambal and add some sugar to taste. This is a basic sambal also called sambal oelek.
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