Capsicum rice recipe or bell pepper rice – A spicy capsicum pulao that can be made under 30 minutes. It goes good in lunch box or for a quick dinner and is kids’ friendly. It tastes very flavorful and delicious so does not need any side but to make a complete meal, it can be served with plain curd or yogurt or with a simple raita and papad.
If making for kids reduce the amount of masala and red chilli powder. I usually set aside a small quantity of cooked white rice and then towards the end i add it to the kids’ portion of pulao to make it less spicy, add a bit more of salt if needed. I have used green peas, you can substitute with potato and can be garnished with cashew nuts.
Easy capsicum rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for capsicum rice
- 2 cups rice uncooked
- 2 tablespoons oil or as needed
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 green chili slit
- ¾ to 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup green peas or potato (optional)
- 1½ to 2 cups capsicums or bell pepper chopped
- handful mint or pudina and coriander leaves
- salt as needed
- 2 tablespoons water
- lemon juice as needed (optional)
Spices for capsicum rice
- 1 sprig curry leaves or biryani leaf or bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon cumin or jeera or shahi jeera
- 1½ teaspoons garam masala or bisi bele bath or biryani masala (adjust as needed)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (skip if included in masala)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
Optional spices for capsicum rice
- 4 green cardamoms or elaichi
- 1 star anise or biryani flower (optional)
- 1 inch cinnamon or dalchini
- 6 cloves or laung
- 1 strand mace or javitri
How to make the recipe
Preparation for capsicum rice
- Wash rice and cook to slightly grainy. Do not make the rice mushy.
- I cooked 2 cups basmati rice with 3½ cups water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle on a medium high flame.
- Released the pressure manually using a spoon. Fluff up with a fork and cool completely.
- While the rice cooks, make the capsicum masala ready.
How to make capsicum rice
- Heat oil in a pan. Fry cumin & bay leaf or curry leaves till it turns aromatic.
- You can also add star anise, cardamoms, cloves, mace and cinnamon for a more flavorful rice.
- Add onions and chili fry until the onions turn slightly pink.
- Then add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away.
- Transfer capsicum and green peas. Fry for 3 minutes.
- Add mint, coriander, chilli powder, garam masala and salt.
- Fry for about 2 minutes till the mixture turns aromatic.
- Add the 2 tbsp water and cook on a low flame till the water evaporates.
- Then add cooled rice to the capsicum mixture along with lemon and salt.
- Mix well. Serve capsicum rice warm with a raita.
How to make capsicum rice recipe
1. Wash and soak rice for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cook to grainy but cooked completely. Soaking helps to keep the rice soft for long hours.
2. While the rice cooks, add oil to a pan. Saute jeera and then the curry leaves or bay leaf until crisp. If using optional dry spices then add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and mace. Saute till they sizzle.
3. Transfer onions, chili and fry until the onions turn transparent. For kids skip green chilli.
4. Add ginger garlic paste.
5. Fry until the raw smell is gone.
6. Add capsicum, peas or potato. If using potatoes, chop them small else they don’t cook quickly. Fry for about 3 minutes.
Spice powders for capsicum rice recipe
7. Sprinkle salt, turmeric, chili powder, masala powder, chopped pudina and coriander.
8. Stir and fry for about 2 minutes.
9. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. Water and cook on a low flame for the aroma of capsicum and masala to come out. Evaporate the water completely but do not dry up otherwise the pulao will be very dry. The mixture must be moist. If using potatoes you may need to add more water to cook.
10. Add rice and sprinkle salt. Do not add very hot rice, if it is slightly hot its fine.
11. Mix well and add lemon juice.
After 45 minutes to 1 hour, the rice gets a deeper color due to the spice powders, lemon juice and red pepper. Serve capsicum rice with papad or curd.
If making capsicum rice in less quantity than what is mentioned below, reduce the amount of spices proportionately.