Capsicum curry is a simple dish with easy prep that is packed with a punch of flavors. Made with capsicum aka bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and a homemade nutty spice paste, this is simply a delicious curry! This is one dish you won’t forget every time you have some bell peppers in your fridge. Serve this capsicum masala gravy with chapati, or flavoured rice like jeera rice, ghee rice, pulao or biryani.
This capsicum curry is a simple one pot dish where bell peppers are simmered in a flavorsome masala gravy made with onions, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut and aromatic spices. With so many good and nutritious ingredients going into it, this capsicum curry tastes super delicious with a burst of spicy and tangy flavors.
This recipe is roughly adapted from a North Karnataka capsicum peanut stir fry and Hyderabadi mirchi ka salan which is usually made as an accompaniment to Biryani. However this recipe does not use tamarind but includes tomatoes to add that special tang.
Make this capsicum curry with any kind of bell peppers you have – green, red or yellow. I have made this several times with a mix of all 3 so I can say it tastes the best! The taste and flavor of the red, green and yellow bell peppers is so much different from the other. So if you happen to find them, do use all 3.
I first posted this recipe in 2014 and I had made it with red and green bell peppers as you see in the first image. Later I updated the post with stepwise pictures in which I have used only green capsicum.
How To Make Capsicum Curry (stepwise photos)
Roasting nuts & seeds
1. Roast 1½ tablespoons peanuts till lightly golden & aromatic. Later reduce the heat and add ¾ tablespoons sesame seeds, and 1 ½ tablespoons dry coconut or 6 cashew nuts. I did not have dry coconut so I went ahead using cashews. Keep stirring and roast until the sesame seeds begin to splutter. Be careful not to over roast the seeds as they can taste bitter. Transfer to a plate and cool down.
Prepare for Gravy
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan, add 1 cup chopped onions and fry till lightly golden. Add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste and fry till you begin to smell good. Do not burn.
3. Throw in 1 chopped tomato (about half cup). Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric and half teaspoon salt. Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy. If your pan is too dry, cover and cook.
4. Next add in ¾ teaspoon red chili powder and 1 teaspoon garam masala. Saute till you begin to smell good, for about 2 to 3 minutes or till the mixture begins to leave oil. Cool this completely.
5. Transfer the onion tomato mixture, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds and dry coconut to a blender jar. Pour ½ cup water and blend to a paste. Scrape down the sides and then add another ¼ cup water and make a smooth puree.
Tip: If you do not like smooth gravy, then I suggest blending only the peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut with very little water to a smooth paste.
6. We prefer the smooth curry so I pureed everything.
How To Make Capsicum Curry
7. Pour another tablespoon oil to the pan. Add 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaves, 2 cardamom and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter add 1 cubed onion (¾ to 1 cup layers separated) and 1 ½ cups diced capsicum. Fry on a medium high flame for 2 minutes.
8. Transfer the paste from the jar. Be little careful, it will begin to splash, so better keep ¼ cup of water ready and pour it immediately.
9. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, little more garam masala or coriander powder if required. I also add ¼ teaspoon red chili powder to give a better color. Adjust water to get the desired consistency.
10. Mix every thing well and bring it to a boil. Cook covered till the bell pepper is partially cooked yet crunchy.
Serve capsicum curry with flavored rice like Jeera rice, pulao, biryani or with chapati.
Capsicum Curry Recipe | Capsicum Masala Gravy
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for capsicum curry
- 1½ cup capsicum bell pepper cubed (any color)
- 2 tablespoons Oil (divided – 1+ 1)
- ¾ cup onions finely chopped (1 medium)
- 1 medium onion cubed and layers separated (optional)
- ½ cup tomatoes chopped
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)
- 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 green cardamoms (optional)
- 1 green chili (optional)
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt
To roast & blend
- 1½ tablespoon peanuts or poppy seeds or 6 cashews (or a mix of all)
- 1½ tablespoon desiccated coconut (or copra, optional)
- ¾ tablespoon white sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves fine chopped
- Finely chop one onion and cube the other one and separate the layers.
- Cube capsicum and set aside.
- Dry roast peanuts on a medium heat until deep golden and aromatic. Reduce the heat and then add coconut and sesame seeds. Stir and lightly roast until the seeds begin to splutter. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
- Pour 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan. Add one finely chopped onion, green chili and fry till golden.
- Then add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
- Add tomatoes and fry till they turn mushy.
- Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
- Fry till the mixture gets cooked well and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Cool completely.
- Grind the peanuts, coconut and onions tomatoes mixture, together with little water to a smooth paste. I used about ¾ cup water in 2 batches as this makes blending easy and smooth.
How to make capsicum curry
- Heat the same pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Then add cumin, cardamom and bay leaf or curry leaves.
- When the cumin begins to sizzle, add capsicum and onions (cubed and layers separated). Next fry on a high flame for 2 mins.
- Pour the ground mixture and any spice powders to adjust to your taste. Also pour water as needed to adjust the consistency.
- Bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Cover and simmer until bell peppers are tender yet crunchy.
- Sprinkle kasuri methi, stir well. Over cooking will make the capsicums soggy, so switch off in time.
- Serve capsicum curry with biryani, pulao , chapathi or any of your favorite dish.
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)
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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
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