End of chilli plant season so we tried cooking them and it taste like spinach
It's the end of the chilli plant season. As many of you may well know, at My Blue Tea we love getting curious and ingredients and cooking. So of course, we tried cooking them! And guess what, it tastes like spinach!
Before you start harvesting, please take note which chilli plants are edible! Make sure you can identify which ones are safe to eat.
Pepper Leaves Safe To Eat
All leaves of the Capsicum pepper family (below) are safe to eat if boiled or cooked.
Capsicum Frutescens - this includes the African Bird’s Eye pepper, Kambuzi pepper, Tabasco pepper, Malagueta pepper. The plants may also contain flowers which are NOT edible.
Capsicum Annum - this includes the banana pepper, cayenne pepper, and serrano chili peppers.
Pepper Leaves NOT Safe to Eat - Most leaves that come from the Solanaceous crops like bell peppers and also eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes.
How to use Pepper Leaves
The leaves are used in a variety of cuisines, including Thai, Chinese, Korean and Indian. Chili leaves have a pungent, spicy flavour that can add heat to a dish. When used fresh, they are often used as a garnish or added to a stir-fry.
The leaves from sweet pepper and hot pepper plants (Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens) are edible and they are absolutely delicious. They have a milder pepper flavour than the peppers themselves, and taste a little like white pepper - delicate and fragrant. Pepper Leaves are also very nutritious and contain high levels of Vitamin A and C. The leaves are also rich in antioxidants that can prevent damage to cells.
Note : Always consult an expert if you are unsure whether a leaf is safe to eat.
Recipe for Pepper Leaves Omelette with Sambal Tumis
4 Whole Eggs
300grams chilli or pepper leaves, chopped
Optional - any of the spinach leaves from our blog on sweet potato leaves
6 Spring shallots , chopped
1/2 to 1 tspn @my.blue.tea Spargo Sambal Tumis Powder
Quick stir fry the pepper leaves or skip this and add it straight into the beaten eggs (below).
Next, break the eggs one by one into a mixing bowl. Using a fork, beat them nicely until fluffy.
Add Sambal Tumis powder to the fluffy eggs and whisk once again.
Next, add the chopped spring onion greens, and the chilli leaves and mix again.
Lastly, add the milk and salt, whisk lightly until everything is combined.
Place a pan on the heat and spread the olive oil on it. Once warm, pour the beaten egg mixture into the pan and swirl the pan gently so the mixture spreads across the surface evenly.
Using a spatula or spoon, evenly spread the Chilli leaves and spring onion greens all around the omelette.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook the omelette on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Check to make sure the omelette isn’t burnt, now and then.
After approximately 10 minutes, flip the omelette over to cook the other side, which will take about 5 more minutes.
Once done and the omelette is cooked firm, turn off the heat and then transfer it onto a plate.
Serve the pepper leaves omelette with toasted bread of as a sandwich for lunch. It's also a delight to have it with a bowl of warm rice for dinner.
Stay tuned as our team are still testing and creating new dishes with edible chilli or pepper leaves!
Plant a Seed Day 2023 is in May but every day is a good day to start planting a seed. Why not experiment with some chilli planting?
Steps to Chilli Planting Success
(1) Choose a warm, sunny spot. Spring and summer are the best times to plant chillies.
(2) Prepare your soil with organic matter like compost and sheep pellets.
(3) Add a layer of vegetable mix to plant into.
(4) Feed your chillies regularly and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
(5) Stake taller plants and those grown in wind-prone areas.
(6) Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential and last longer.
Some chilli plants on our farm. The yellow chilli is quite prolific - it was gifted by Evelyn and there are about 5-6 plants either self seeded or with the help of the birds.
*Avoid the Chili Leaf Curl Virus
Class: Viruses Common Name: Chilli leaf curl virus Potential Host: Peppers (mainly chili) Who Am I: Chilli leaf curl virus is transmitted by whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) and is a serious threat to chilli fields. Symptoms include the upward curling of leaves, plant stunting, and yield reductions. Control Measures: There are no treatments for viruses. Infected pepper plants cannot be cured; therefore, the focus should be on prevention. If just a few plants show symptoms, remove them from the field.
Try to avoid frequent use of organophosphate, carbamates, or pyrethroids insecticides; they will eliminate natural whitefly enemies and pollinators.
Have a go, and share with us how your chillies grow! Get into the #PlantaSeedDay2023 with your chilli plants!