Capsicum Chutney | Bell Pepper Chutney

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Nutritious and delicious Capsicum chutney is a vibrant dip or spread made primarily from red capsicum, also known as red bell peppers. This easy vegan recipe also includes desiccated coconut, lentils, and fragrant herbs and spices. Follow my step-by-step instructions with photos to blend a batch of sweet and savory bell pepper chutney to enjoy with your favorite dishes!

capsicum chutney served in a bowl with text layovers.

About This Recipe

Traditional South Indian chutneys are thick and creamy dips made with coconut or fresh veggies. They typically are served with main meals and snacks, including breakfast dishes or simple plain steamed rice.

This capsicum chutney recipe is great for making a fresh and tasty dip that compliments everything from akki roti to idli fry and rava dosa. Tangy red peppers are sauteed and blended with lentils and dried coconut. Then combined with a tempering of mustard seed and curry leaves for a chutney layered with intense flavors.

You can make the chutney with green or yellow bell peppers if you prefer or only have these available. The taste will be a bit different, but you’ll still create a rich, bright condiment that is delicious with any number of mains or side dishes.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make capsicum chutney

Frying lentils and sautéing capsicum

1. The first step is to sautee the lentils. For this recipe I use two different split and husked lentils, urad dal (split and husked black gram) and chana dal (split and husked bengal gram).

Set a large, deep skillet or frying pan over low heat on the stovetop. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (gingelly oil made from raw sesame seeds) or your preferred oil to the pan.

Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of the urad dal and 1 teaspoon of chana dal. You can use just one or the other type of lentil, if that’s what you have available or prefer.

lentils in oil in a pan

2. Fry the lentils over the low heat until lightly browned. Continuously stir and be careful that they do not burn.

saute lentils in oil in a pan

3. Then add 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.

sesame seeds added to mixture

4. Mix and fry for some seconds or until the sesame seeds start to crackle.

saute sesame seeds in the pan

5. Next, add 1 dried red chili, 6 to 7 curry leaves and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing).

To make a gluten version, either the source the gluten-free asafoetida or skip adding it.

adding dry red chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida to pan

6. Mix very well.

mix chutney mixture in the pan

7. Next add 1.5 cups of chopped and seeded red capsicum (bell pepper).

added red capsicum in pan

8. Mix well again.

mix chutney mixture in the pan

9. Taste, and add salt as needed.

added salt to capsicum chutney mixture

10. Mix again and continue to saute the capsicum mixture over low heat.

saute red capsicum in the pan

11. Cook for 6 or 7 minutes, until the bell peppers soften.

saute capsicum in the pan

12. Then add ¼ cup desiccated (shredded and dried) coconut and ½ teaspoon of dried tamarind. You can also add fresh coconut instead of desiccated coconut. You can swap ½ teaspoon of tamarind pulp with dried tamarind.

desiccated coconut and tamarind added to chutney mixture

13. Mix very well and turn off the stovetop heat.

mix capsicum chutney mixture in the pan

Blending Chutney

14. Let the mixture become cool a bit at room temperature. Then add it to a spice grinder jar, food processor or blender, along with ⅓ cup of water.

capsicum chutney mixture in a grinder jar

15. Grind or blend until creamy and smooth. You might need to work in batches to blend the full batch.

blended capsicum chutney in the jar

16. If the chutney seems a bit too thick, feel free to add a splash of water and blend again. But be careful to not add too much water – you want the capsicum chutney to be more like a dip than a sauce.

Transfer the chutney to a bowl, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the grinder or blender jar.

capsicum chutney removed in a bowl

Tempering chutney

17. A tempered oil is a terrific way to add deep flavor to dishes. For this recipe, first heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil (gingelly oil made from raw sesame seeds) or your preferred cooking oil in the same pan used to fry the lentils and peppers. Once hot add ½ a teaspoon of mustard seeds.

mustard seeds in oil in a bowl

18. Fry until the mustard seeds start to crackle. Then add 4 to 5 fresh curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). Combine, stir and switch off the heat.

adding curry leaves to mustard seeds in the pan

19. Pour the tempering mixture together with the oil into the chutney, and mix well.

adding tempering to capsicum chutney in the bowl

20. Serve capsicum chutney fresh with South Indian snacks like Idli, Dosa, Adai, Medu Vada, Uttapam, or Punugulu. You can also serve it with akki roti, as a side with steamed rice, or with your favorite savory dishes.

red capsicum chutney served with akki roti in a bowl


How can I make a spicy capsicum chuntey?

This recipe as-is gives you a chutney that is on the sweeter side. Increase the number of red chilies to 2 or 3 for a spicier chutney.

How do I make this chutney recipe even sweeter?

A bit of sugar or jaggery can be added to make a sweeter chutney. Add 1 teaspoon or to taste as you sautee the bell pepper.

What other ingredients can I add to this capsicum chutney recipe?

Add 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts before tempering for an even earthier chutney taste.

How long does homemade bell pepper chutney keep well?

Leftover chutney can be refrigerated in a sealed container, and will keep well for 1 to 2 days.

Other healthy chutneys you might like:

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capsicum chutney recipe

Capsicum Chutney

Capsicum chutney is a healthy chutney made with red capsicum (bell peppers), desiccated coconut, lentils herbs and spices.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine South Indian
Course Side Dish
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 5


main ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (gingelly oil)
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (split and husked bengal gram)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 175 grams red bell pepper or 1.5 cups chopped red capsicum
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon tamarind
  • cup water or add as required
  • salt as required

for tempering

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (gingelly oil)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)


Frying lentils and sesame seeds

  • Heat a pan and keep the flame to a low. Add sesame oil. When the oil becomes hot, add urad dal (split and husked black gram) and chana dal (split and husked bengal gram).
  • On a low flame stirring often fry both the lentils, till they turn golden. Make sure not to burn them.
  • Then add sesame seeds.
  • Mix and fry till the sesame seeds start crackling.
  • Then add the red chili, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). Mix very well. This is not a spicy chutney and the taste is on sweeter side. However if you want to make it spicy you then you can increase the number of red chillies now.

Sautéing capsicum

  • Next add chopped red capsicum (shimla mirch). Mix well.
  • Add salt as required. Mix again and saute capsicum on a low flame.
  • Saute capsicum till they soften for about 6 to 7 minutes on a low flame.
  • Then add desiccated coconut and dried tamarind. You can also add fresh coconut instead of desiccated coconut. A bit of sugar or jaggery can also be added. You can also add roasted peanuts to make it more healthy and filling.
  • Mix very well and switch off the flame.

Blending chutney

  • Let the mixture become warm or cool down at room temperature. Then add it in a blender or food processor or grinder jar along with water.
  • Blend till smooth.
  • Remove the chutney in a bowl. Scrape of the sides and bottom of the blender or grinder jar and add the remaining chutney in the same bowl. 
  • If you want, you can even add some water and then swirl the jar. This way the chutney at the bottom and sides of the jar gets mixed with the water. But do note that not to add too much water as then the chutney will become thin.

Tempering capsicum chutney

  • Heat sesame oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). Mix and stir.
  • Pour all of the tempering in the chutney. Mix well.
  • Serve capsicum chutney with idli, dosa, adai or vada or steamed rice. You can also serve it with akki roti. Leftover chutney can be refrigerated and it stays good for 1 to 2 days.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Capsicum Chutney
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 237mg10%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 1199IU24%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 23mg115%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 85mg103%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 3µg3%
Calcium 34mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 254µg64%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 16mg4%
Phosphorus 32mg3%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This capsicum chutney recipe post from the archives (April 2017) has been republished and updated on 2 June 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Hi Dassana,

    Had some green capsicum lying for a long time. Since nobody is too fond of capsicum, I was looking for a ‘hatke’ recipe to make it appealing.
    I was so glad to find this. It’s unbelievably delicious both as a side dish and by itself! Now I’m going to get capsicum only to make this again and again.

    1. hi hamsa, this capsicum chutney is definitely a hatke recipe. you have named it so well ????. thanks for this lovely feedback. happy cooking.

  2. Hi Dassana tried making capsicum chutney. It was really good. We liked it .Thank you.
    Can we try this chutney with green capsicum?5 stars

    1. thanks josline for this positive feedback on capsicum chutney recipe. you can make with green capsicum also, but the taste will be different.

  3. Hey dassana , you mentioned akki roti in this recipe , but I could not find akki roti recipe on your website.

    1. preethi, i plan to add akki roti recipe soon. not yet shared the recipe.