Capsicum Fry (Bell Pepper Stir Fry)
Capsicum Fry is a simple, super quick and delicious dish of stir fried bell peppers with spices and herbs. This easy Bell Pepper Stir Fry is made in Indian style & goes well with Roti, Chapati or Rice-rasam & Rice-sambar. You may stir in some steamed rice to make a quick Bell pepper rice too. If you are left with surplus capsicum in your refrigerator and don’t know what to do, this capsicum stir fry is the way to go!
I find myself making this quiet often because it is quick, easy and also goes well in school & office boxes. You can also transform this to a stuffing inside your sandwiches or rolls. Just throw in some cheese to make a cheese bell pepper sandwich or roll.
For this recipe, I use sliced onions to impart a sweeter tone and add body to the dish. However you can also make the dish without onions. You can make this dish with capsicums of any color. I usually throw in yellow, green and red for different flavors.
Since this recipe is made in Indian style I make a fresh spice powder to sprinkle over the stir fried bell peppers. I can’t tell you how aromatic and delicious this capsicum stir fry tastes and it’s the spice powder that imparts those unique flavors.
However if you do not prefer to make the spice powder, feel free to replace it with store bought Idli podi or any gun powder. The other option is to stir fry with soya sauce and oyster sauce. If you are a vegetarian feel free to use vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce. For a change I do that and it tastes great that way too.
My spice powder uses chana dal, urad dal, sesame seeds, dried coconut, red chilies, garlic and cumin. These ingredients are dry roasted until aromatic and then the cooled ingredients are ground.
I also share plenty of variations in the variations section below.
More Capsicum recipes
How to Make Capsicum Fry (Stepwise Photos)
1. This step is optional, if you do not want to make the spice powder then you can use idli podi or sambar powder or garam masala. To make the spice powder, dry roast 1 dried red chili, 1 teaspoon urad dal, 1 teaspoon chana dal until golden & aromatic. Then add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon coconut, 1 garlic clove & ¼ tsp cumin seeds.
Fry until sesame seeds begin to splutter. Cool the roasted ingredients and make a fine powder. While these cool you can begin to make the stir fry curry.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add ½ teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon mustard. I have used yellow mustard as well.
3. When the mustard begin to splutter, add ½ to ¾ cup thinly sliced onions (1 medium).
4. Stir fry until golden.
5. Add 1½ cups capsicum, ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon salt. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Skip chili powder if making for kids.
6. Cover and cook on a low flame until the bell peppers are cooked to your liking. You can keep them half cooked or soft cooked. We prefer them slightly crunchy.
7. Add the spice powder we made in step 1 or idli podi. If using garam masala or sambar use it here.
8. Stir until you begin to smell good, just for a minute or two.
Capsicum stir fry is ready to serve with rice rasam, sambar or chapati.
- You can skip the spice powder and just sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsps of coconut towards the end.
- Add half a cup of tender peas and cook along with capsicum.
- Stir in a beaten egg towards the end and make a capsicum bhurji.
- Crumble about 2 tbsps paneer or tofu and add it towards the end.
- Coarsely crush some roasted peanuts and sprinkle it to make it interesting for kids.
- Mix some grated mozzarella cheese and stuff in a sandwich or wrap. Heat in the oven for a minute or until the cheese melts.
Capsicum Fry Recipe (Bell Pepper Stir Fry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1½ cups bell pepper (capsicum chopped)
- ½ to ¾ cup onions sliced (optional, 1 medium)
- 1 to 1½ tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder , adjust to taste
To roast & powder or use ¼ tsp garam masala or 1 tsp Idli podi
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (skinned black gram)
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional) or peanuts
- 1 teaspoon dry coconut (copra, shredded coconut)
- 1 dried red chili (or ¼ teaspoon chilli powder)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small garlic clove
To make spice powder or use garam masala
- Skip this step if using garam masala or sambar powder or idli podi. Heat a pan and dry roast sesame seeds or peanuts. If roasting sesame seeds fry them until they begin to splutter. If using peanuts roast them until they turn golden. Remove to a plate.
- Then dry roast the red chili, urad dal and chana dal until aromatic. Then add coconut, cumin and garlic. When they smell good remove and cool completely. Make a fine powder in a grinder.
How to Make Capsicum Fry
- Heat oil in a pan. When the oil turns hot, add mustard and cumin.
- When they crackle add onions and fry until golden stirring often. Then add in cubed capsicum, chili powder, turmeric and salt. Fry for 2 to 3 mins.
- Cover and cook until it is done to suit your liking. We like the bell peppers crunchy. Then add the spice powder or garam masala.
- Saute until it begins to smell good.
- Serve capsicum fry with rice-rasam, rice-sambar or chapati.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes
I followed the recipe exactly (including the masala) and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.
Hi Swasti, just wanted to know how much Garam Masala or sambar powder I should use for this recipe. Thanks
Start with 1/4 teaspoon garam masala. At the last step add more if you feel it needs
Thank you for this simple and delicious recipe. I made this for Chapati and it turned out yummy.
Glad to know Manasa
Any substitute for mustard?
Just skip it
Simply superb… i tried this today my hubby also liked, thank u soo much
Thanks for the comment
Sounds simple and delicious…I’m going to try it out today.
Just a question…can I add deseeded tomato pieces as well?
You can add tomatoes along with capsicum
Thank u for the good receipes