Capsicum Rice Recipe

Updated: May 14, 2024, By Swasthi

Capsicum rice recipe with stovetop & instant pot instructions. Rice dishes never get old. Definitely not given the sheer number of variations available. This hot bell pepper rice is one such alternate way to enjoy a bowl of mouthwatering and aromatic rice. Filled with the goodness of capsicum aka bell peppers and peas and the lingering taste of warm spices, this is a flavorsome and vibrant rice dish. An ideal lunch box option, it makes a great dinner for busy days.

capsicum rice served in a bowl

Recipe Comments

The crunch, taste and texture of one-pot capsicum pulao make it a delicious addition to potluck and party menus. Before you learn how to make the best capsicum rice, let’s find out what goes into this quick and easy dish.

About Capsicum Rice

A delectable dish is made with rice, assorted bell peppers, peas that have been infused with aromatics like onions and garlic. The warm ground spices and herbs imbibe their flavors into the vegetables and the cooked rice. The beauty of this dish is that it requires minimal ingredients and provides maximum flavor. The pungent garam masala and zesty mint-coriander combine with hot and sweet tones of bell peppers to create a distinct and unmistakable savor.

Like most vegetable rice recipes, this dish is forgiving and adaptable. You can add other vegetables to increase the nutrient value or adjust the spice levels to match yours. All this without losing out on taste or mouthfeel. Masala bell pepper rice is a complete meal and doesn’t need accompaniments. Add a simple raita, papads, kachumber and curd rice to your menu if you like an elaborate spread.

My recipe

My capsicum rice (pulao) comes together in 15 minutes or less with precooked or leftover rice. This easy to cook meal takes 30-35 minutes when you’re cooking everything from scratch. Save time when you’re cooking this for dinner by batch cooking rice and prepping veggies in advance. All that’s left is to make the bell pepper masala which takes about 10 minutes.

My recipe is vegan and gluten-free and uses onions, mixed bell peppers and peas. Want to make this more wholesome and healthier? Add another nutrient-rich vegetables like carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash, eggplant, green beans or cauliflower, and even a bit of chopped greens like spinach.

I’ve used mint and coriander leaves in this recipes as I love the flavor and aroma of fresh herbs in my dishes. Add more or less of herbs and other spices in the recipe according to your preference.

For more Rice recipes, check
Veg tehri
Kuska rice
Veg pulao
Ghee rice

Photo Guide

How to make Capsicum Rice (Stepwise photos)

I made 2x of the recipe so you will find double the ingredients in the recipe.

1. Wash and soak 1 cup rice for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cook the rice without making it mushy. You can cook in a pot or pressure cooker. Fluff up and cool the rice. You may skip this step if you have 2.5 to 3 cups of precooked rice.

cooking rice in cooker for capsicum rice recipe

2. While the rice cooks, add 1 tablespoon oil to a pan. Add

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 strand of mace, 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaves

If you don’t have the whole spices you may omit them.

fry dry pulav spices in oil for capsicum rice recipe

3. When the spices sizzle, add 1 medium sliced onion and 1 slit green chili. Fry until the onions turn transparent. Skip green chilli if you are making for kids.

fry onions in oil

4. Add half tablespoon ginger garlic paste.

frying ginger garlic paste

5. Fry until the ginger garlic smells aromatic.

frying mixture to remove raw smell in capsicum rice recipe

6. Add 1 cup chopped capsicum and ¼ cup peas. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes until aromatic & the bell peppers turn slightly tender but not too soft. If you want you can also add diced boiled potato (cooked to fork tender and not over cooked)

addition of green peas in capsicum rice recipe

7. Sprinkle

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon masala powder
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves.
addition of salt chilli powder in capsicum rice recipe

8. Stir fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.

frying masala to make capsicum pulao

9. Optionally if the veggies are too dry, sprinkle 2 tbsp. water and cook on a low to medium flame. This also brings out the aroma of capsicum and spices. Evaporate the water completely. Turn off the heat.

addition of water to cook veggies for capsicum pulao

10. Take off the stove and place the pan on the counter. Add cooled rice. Do not add very hot rice, if it is slightly hot its fine.

addition of cooked rice to pan to make capsicum pulao

11. Mix well. Taste test and adjust salt if needed. Add lemon juice and mix well.

addition of fresh lemon juice for capsicum pulao recipe

Serve capsicum rice with papad, curd, raita or chaas. The flavors enhance after a brief resting period (around an hour).

More capsicum recipes
capsicum masala curry
Simple capsicum fry
capsicum chutney

Expert Tips

How to get the perfect texture, pepperiness and tang? I’ve a few suggestions to make the perfect capsicum rice.

  • Cook the rice the way you make pulao or biryani (with less water). This lets the rice grains stand out and provides the chewy texture.
  • Let the rice cool down and lose a little moisture before you add it to the vegetable masala.
  • Don’t overcook the bell peppers, rather stir fry them on medium heat. You want these beauties to be tender yet retain some crunch.
  • Use homemade garam masala to get that flavor kick. Need a good garam masala recipe? This one has never failed me.
  • For extra crunch, add roasted peanuts or sesame seeds. This again is completely optional.

Kids friendly version

Also reduce the amount of red chili when serving this to kids. Here is a tip you’ll find useful to make it less spicy.

Reserve some cooked rice and mix it with your children’s meal portions. This automatically lowers the heat levels of the dish. Make the recipe more interesting by adding some tartness in the form of lemon juice. This also helps cut down the heat from green capsicum and red chili powder.

Can’t do without tomatoes in your sides and rice meals?

Add 1-2 chopped tomatoes while cooking the onions. The dish takes longer to cook (7-8 minutes more), as you’ve to sauté the tomatoes until the raw smell fades away. You can also try my popular tomato rice to whet your appetite for tomatoes!

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

capsicum rice recipe made with bell peppers

Capsicum Rice | Bell Pepper Rice

5 from 61 votes
Simple capsicum rice made with cooked rice, bell peppers, spices and herbs. Serve this with yogurt, raita or a simple salad.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup uncooked rice or 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons oil or as needed
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili slit (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or chopped)
  • ¼ cup green peas (optional)
  • 1 to 1¼ cup capsicums (bell pepper chopped )
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons mint leaves (pudina) chopped
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or as needed (optional)


  • 1 sprig curry leaves or bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (jeera or shahi jeera)
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala or bisi bele bath or biryani masala (adjust as needed)
  • ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon red chili powder (skip if included in masala)
  • teaspoon turmeric or haldi
  • whole spices (optional – 2 cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 star anise,1 inch cinnamon)


  • Optional – Wash rice and soak for 20 mins. Cook just until done without making it mushy. Fluff it up and cool completely.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and all the whole spices if using. Also add bay leaf or curry leaves.
  • Once the spices begin to splutter add onions and green chili. Fry until the onions turn slightly pink.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste and saute until it begins to smell aromatic. Add capsicum and green peas. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes until tender yet crunchy and not mushy.
  • Add mint, coriander, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes till the mixture turns aromatic.
  • Optional – If the mixture is too dry, sprinkle 2 tbsp water and cook until the water evaporates.
  • Then add cooled rice to the capsicum mixture. Mix well and taste test. Add more salt if required and pour the lemon juice. Mix well. Serve capsicum rice with a raita.

Instant pot capsicum rice

  • Press SAUTE button on the Instant pot and pour oil to the inner steel insert.
  • Add cumin. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, green chilli and onions. Saute until the onions turn golden.
  • Next add ginger garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add in the capsicum and peas.
  • Saute for 2 to 3 mins until the capsicum is done to your liking. Then add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala and mint leaves.
  • Give a good stir and pour 2 tbsps of water. Press CANCEL button.
  • Deglaze the pot and mix everything well. The heat in the pot will cook the masala and evaporate the water completely. Remove this to a plate and set aside.
  • Add soaked rice and pour water. For 1 cup basmati rice, you will need 1¼ cups water. For 1 cup sona masuri rice, you will need 2 cups water.
  • Give a good stir to ensure there are no food particles stuck at the bottom. Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release handle to sealing.
  • Press PRESSURE COOK button and set the timer to 5 to 6 mins for basmati rice or 10 mins for sona masuri rice.
  • For basmati rice, release the pressure manually after 5 mins. Remove the pot and cool the rice a bit.
  • Then add the coriander leaves, capsicum masala and lemon juice to the pot. Give a good mix. Adjust salt if needed.Serve capsicum rice with yogurt or curd.


Using 1 star anise, 4 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 1 strand mace and 2 inches piece of cinnamon to the tempering makes the rice more flavorful.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Capsicum Rice | Bell Pepper Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 519 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 686mg30%
Potassium 518mg15%
Carbohydrates 91g30%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 3470IU69%
Vitamin C 166mg201%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Capsicum Rice first published in June 2015. Updated and republished in August 2021.

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About Swasthi

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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5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
This is amazing! I could happily eat just the rice dish on its own. The combination of Mint, coriander and Lemon really lift the dish.
Guess what it accompanied…your superb Nihari, which if it’s at all possible tastes even better the next day!
My confidence with rice cooking is growing, believe me. It needs to.
Thank you again


5 stars
Thank you. Your recipes are amazing. Made this capsicum rice and couldn’t believe it tasted so good.

5 stars
Simple and very tasty…
Thanks for sharing!

5 stars
Whenever I prepared this beautiful n delicious rice it turned out simply tasty.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
This recipe turned out very yummy – it had the right amounts of tanginess, spice and crunch of the veggies. My hubby loved it too !!!!
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

5 stars
How are you Swasthi? I made your capsicum rice today with tri color peppers and guess what? It came out yummy like always.

Can we add tomatoes to the capsicum rice?

5 stars
Good recipe explained step by step with photos. Thank you Swasthi.

Super recipe thank you ?

5 stars
mam ur recipes are soooo sooo ammazzzzinggghh nd i m just loving it…… nd i am beginner nd m finding easy nd interesting aftr going recipes.. aftr going through ur recipes i got my confidence dat i can cook…. thank you so much ma’m

5 stars
This recipe sounds good n looks delicious 🙂 but i have one doubt you said use masala powder so it means garam masala powder?? If it is garam masala powder so which garam masala you recommended me to use..or can i use maggy garam masala ??please suggest me

Maggy massa is a Maggi masala- a-magic..

mam ur recipes are soooo sooo ammazzzzinggghh nd i m just loving it…… nd i am beginner nd m finding easy nd interesting aftr going recipes.. aftr going through ur recipes i got my confidence dat i can cook…. thank you so much ma’m

5 stars
this recipe is so so so so so so delicious.
my daughter cooked this so well .
.But some credit goes to u too
.. thanks for this

5 stars
Thank you for the recipe.
The rice came out very well .

5 stars
This recipe is super fantastic…. There is so much scope for manipulation.
Next time I would definitely add some fried potatoes.. I am sure it will enhance the biryani. This is my first time at making biryani and boy I am so excited!!!!
Thank you so much..

5 stars
Once again I am here to thank you.
It’ turned out very delicious,,
I am from Gujarat and so I want to praise you in Gujarati language…”Aa to super hit chhe.”?

Is it necessary to use green peas and potato or can be kept optional?

5 stars
Thnq so much….
Really I loved ur site….its comes awesome recipes…really my hubby likes my cook on ur way…
Thank you….

5 stars
Excellent!! Thanks for the wonderful website you have created, tried the capsicum rice and came out well.
Waiting for the missus to pass the judgement??

5 stars
I tried the recipe it it was so yummy .I just loved it .one change instead of peas I added double beans it came well .tx for the tasty recipe.
looking forward for more recipes ……

5 stars
Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. Kids too loved this I reduced chilli powder. Perfect for school box. Yummy

Hi ur recipes is good pls post first ingredient’s and also next methods