Capsicum Curry | Capsicum Masala

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This delicious Hyderabadi-style capsicum curry is just what you need to spice up your dinner time. It is made with ground peanut paste, white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onions, ginger and garlic, desiccated coconut and spices. Serve this rich capsicum masala with biryani or pulao or any Indian flatbread like roti, paratha or naan.

capsicum curry in a dark pink rimmed white bowl topped with colorful capsicum on a red board with text layovers

About This Capsicum Curry

My Capsicum curry is inspired by gravy or Curry Recipes made in the Hyderabadi cuisine. It has delicious, complex, mouth-watering flavors. Tamarind adds a distinctive sour taste while the peanuts and sesame seeds add rich nutty flavors. The addition of capsicum and onions adds a sweetness to the gravy that balances out all the flavors in the gravy to make a delicious lip-smacking capsicum masala curry!

I use a mixture of green and red bell peppers to make this recipe. However, you can use one color or two different colored bell peppers depending on what you have. For a more colorful gravy use the entire trio of green, red and yellow bell peppers/capsicum.

The ingredients used to make this curry are sauteed first and then ground into a paste. Sauteing the spices and seeds releases the aroma in the oil and makes the curry very flavorful.

You will love this gravy recipe as it tastes so good. I have sauteed all the masala ingredients together rather than separately and I did not fry the capsicum separately either. The results are just as tasty using this method.

Capsicum curry can be served with roti, paratha, steamed rice, biryani or pulao.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Capsicum Masala

Prep Capsicum and Roast Spices

1. Rinse and slice capsicums/bell peppers. They should have a medium width. Make sure they are not too thin or thick and remove the seeds. Alternatively, you can cut the capsicums into small square pieces.

sliced capsicum

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add 2 tablespoons of peanuts, 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon of white poppy seeds (optional).

oil, peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds in a pan

3. Fry the ingredients on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes stirring regularly.

sautéed peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds

4. Add 1.5 teaspoons of chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic and sauté for one minute.

ginger, sautéed peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds

5. Then add 1.25 cups of chopped onions.

ginger, onions, peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds

6. Mix and stir very well.

Stirred ginger, onions, peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds

7. Saute the onions until they turn translucent or light brown and add a pinch of salt, to help the onions cook faster.

Stirred ginger, onions, peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, poppy seeds and salt

8. Next add 3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut. Alternatively use 6 tablespoons of fresh coconut.

capsicum masala ingredients and desiccated coconuts

9. Mix and stir again very well.

stirred capsicum masala ingredients

10. Continue to stir non-stop and saute for 7 to 8 minutes on low heat or until the coconut turns golden. The whole mixture should turn light golden or golden.

golden capsicum curry mixture

Making Masala or Curry Paste

11. Leave the roasted mixture to become cool completely. Then add the mixture to a grinder or blender jar and add 1 teaspoon of tightly packed seedless tamarind.

capsicum gravy mixture with seedless tamarind in a grinder

12. Grind or blend into a smooth paste with ½ to ⅔ cups of water. Then set the curry paste aside for later.

roasted mixture ground into masala paste

Cooking Capsicum Masala

13. Wipe the pan used to fry the nuts and seeds. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan. Lower the heat and add ½ a teaspoon of black mustard seeds.

oil and mustard seeds in pan

14. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add 7 to 8 fenugreek seeds and 7 to 8 curry leaves. Sauté for 5 to 6 seconds.

sauté curry leaves and mustard seeds

15. Add ⅓ cup of tightly packed chopped tomatoes.

tomatoes, curry leaves and mustard seeds in pan

16. Sprinkle a pinch of salt for seasoning and to help the tomatoes cook faster.

tomatoes, curry leaves, salt and mustard seeds in pan

17. Stir and saute the tomatoes until they soften and become pulpy.

soft and pulpy tomatoes for capsicum gravy

18. Next add the sliced capsicum/green bell pepper.

sliced capsicum and tomatoes in a pan

19. Stir and sauté bell peppers for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.

Sautéed bell peppers for capsicum masala

20. Lower the heat and add the ground curry paste that you set aside previously.

ground nut paste and capsicum peppers

21. Add ⅛ teaspoon of turmeric powder (about 2 to 3 pinches) and 1 teaspoon red chili powder.

TIP: For a spicier taste add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of red chili powder instead.

haldi for capsicum masala recipe

22. Mix very well.

stirred capsicums, ground nut paste and spices

23. Sauté for about 2 minutes on low heat. Stir continuously to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan.

stirred capsicum masala paste

Making Capsicum Curry

24. Next add 1 to 1.25 cups of water.

water and capsicum masala paste

25. Combine very well.

stirred capsicum masala curry

26. Add 1 teaspoon of powdered jaggery and salt to taste. Swap ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar with jaggery if you are out of jaggery.

jaggery and salt in capsicum masala curry

27. Add ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder.

garam masala in capsicum masala gravy

28. Stir and simmer the capsicum curry on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the capsicum slices are cooked.

TIP: If you prefer the capsicums slightly crunchy then do not cook the curry for too long.

simmering capsicum masala gravy

29. Stir from time to time while the gravy simmers. Once you see oil floating on top of the gravy it is done. Finally, check the taste and add more salt or powdered jaggery if necessary.

simmering capsicum masala gravy with oil at the top

30. Serve capsicum masala hot or warm with roti, paratha, naan, pulao, biryani or simple steamed rice. You can also garnish the curry with fresh coriander leaves for more flavor.

capsicum masala gravy with sliced of red and green capsicum in a dark pink rimmed bowl on a red wooden board

Expert Tips

  • Capsicum peppers: Use fresh capsicum peppers for this recipe. I added green and yellow capsicum peppers but feel free to use one, two or three different colored capsicums. Slice capsicum peppers into medium sizes or dice them. You also have the option to cook the bell peppers for a long or short amount of time depending on whether you prefer soft or crunchy peppers.
  • Paste: After adding all of the roasted ingredients to a grinder make sure the paste has a smooth fine texture. This will ensure that the capicum gravy has the perfect texture.
  • Gravy: Make sure you taste the gravy as you go along and adjust the seasoning to your taste. While simmering the gravy mixture, stir at regular intervals to make sure that it does not burn. The consistency of the curry is medium, however you can make it slightly thin or thick by adjusting the amount of water.
  • Veggies: In place of capsicum, you can make this dish with vegetables like eggplants (brinjals), cauliflower, potatoes and okra. For okra sauté them first and then add towards the end once the gravy is cooked through and you see oil floating on top of it. To make the dish more filling you can also add some potatoes with the capsicum.

FAQs

Can we skip both tamarind and jaggery in this recipe?

Tamarind and jaggery give this masala gravy recipe a delicious taste. Leaving tamarind and jaggery out of this recipe will change the flavor but feel free to skip them if you want.

Can I use something else instead of the tamarind?

Tamarind gives this dish a distinctive sour taste. If you don’t want to use tamarind you can use lemon juice instead but be aware that lemon juice will add a different taste to the curry. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice when the curry is done. The more lemon you add the sourer the curry will taste.

Why did my gravy turn out a bit darker in color?

The gravy may be dark because the masala was roasted for too long. Also, browning onions for too long can result in a darker-colored gravy.

What veggies can be substituted in place of capsicum?

You can use brinjals to make this curry or even potatoes. I have tried both and the curry tastes just as good! Another option is to use okra but saute the okra first and then add once the gravy is done.

What is the difference between capsicum and bell pepper?

Both these words capsicum and bell pepper are meant for the same vegetable. In America and Canada, capsicum is called as bell pepper.

More Delicious Capsicum Recipes

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capsicum curry

Capsicum Curry | Capsicum Masala

This capsicum curry is a delicious Hyderabadi style masala curry made with capsicum or bell peppers. Serve this rich gravy with roti, naan, paratha or biryani or pulao.
4.84 from 30 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Cuisine Hyderabadi, South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 5
Units

Ingredients

For curry paste

  • 1.25 cups chopped onions – 175 to 200 grams or 2 medium to large
  • 1.5 to 2 teaspoon chopped ginger or 1.5 inches
  • 1 to 1.5 teaspoon chopped garlic or 4 to 5 medium-sized
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut – can swap with 6 tablespoons fresh coconut
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus) – optional
  • 2 tablespoons oil – neutral flavored oil or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind – tightly packed and seedless
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water for making curry paste

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 7 to 8 fenugreek seeds
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves
  • chopped tomatoes – tightly packed or 1 small to medium tomato
  • 2 cups sliced capsicum – green or red or yellow bell pepper, 200 to 250 or 4 to 5 medium sized
  • teaspoon turmeric powder or 2 to 3 pinches
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 to 1.25 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon jaggery powder or add as per taste
  • salt as required
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves – for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

Prepping veggies

  • Rinse and slice the capsicums. Make medium width slices. Not too thin or thick. Remove the seeds also. You can even cut the capsicum in small squares.
  • Chop the onions, ginger and garlic and tomatoes.

Preparing curry paste

  • In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the peanuts, white sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds (optional).
  • On a low heat fry these nuts and seeds for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then add the chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté for a minute.
  • Next add the chopped onions. Mix and stir very well.
  • Saute the onions till they turn translucent or a light brown. Add a pinch of salt, so that the onions cook faster.
  • Next add the desiccated coconut. Mix again very well.
  • On a low heat, continue to stir non-stop and roast for 7 to 8 minutes, till the coconut turns golden. The whole mixture should turn light golden or golden.
  • Let this roasted mixture become warm or cool completely. Then add the mixture in a grinder or blender jar. Also add the tightly packed seedless tamarind.
  • Grind or blend to a smooth fine paste adding water. Keep this masala paste aside.

Making capsicum curry

  • Wipe the pan in which we sautéed the nuts and seeds and add 2 tablespoon oil. Heat the oil. Lower the heat and then add mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds crackle, add fenugreek seeds, 7 to 8 curry leaves. Sauté for 5 to 6 seconds.
  • Then add tightly packed chopped tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt for the tomatoes to cook faster.
  • Stir and saute the tomatoes till they soften and become pulpy.
  • Now add the sliced capsicums or bell peppers.
  • On a medium heat, stir and sauté the bell peppers for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Lower the heat and add the ground nuts and seeds paste.
  • Add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix very well.
  • Sauté for about 2 minutes on a low heat. Do stir often as the paste can stick to the pan.

Cooking capsicum curry

  • Add 1 to 1.25 cups water. Combine and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the powdered jaggery and salt as per taste. Then add garam masala powder. Swap raw sugar or brown sugar with jaggery if you do not have jaggery.
  • Stir and simmer the curry on a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes or till the capsicum slices are cooked. You can keep the capsicum slightly crunchy if you want.
  • When you see oil specks on top, the capsicum gravy is done. Do stir at intervals when the gravy is getting simmered.
  • Serve capsicum masala curry hot with paratha, roti, naan, rice, pulao or biryani. If you prefer you can garnish the capsicum curry with some coriander leaves.

Notes

  • You can use any capsicum or bell pepper- green, orange, yellow or red. Or use two colored or all three together. Including three to four varieties of capsicum make the curry more flavorful and colorful. 
  • The consistency of the gravy is medium, but as you prefer make it slightly thin or thick by adjusting the amount of water. 
  • If you do not have tamarind, use lemon juice. Add ½ teaspoon lemon juice or as needed once the curry is cooked. If you have tamarind paste, add ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of it. 
  • In place of capsicum, you can make this curry with eggplants, potatoes, cauliflower and okra. For okra sauté them first and then add towards the end once the curry is cooked through and you see oil floating on top of it. 
  • Omit poppy seeds if you do not have them. 
  • This recipe cannot be scaled due to its complexity. If you want to make a larger or a smaller batch, try eyeballing the ingredients as you go on working on the recipe. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Capsicum Curry | Capsicum Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Sodium 251mg11%
Potassium 317mg9%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2114IU42%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 18mg90%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 109mg132%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 5µg5%
Calcium 64mg6%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 213µg53%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 43mg11%
Phosphorus 86mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Capsicum Masala post from the blog archives first published in May 2015 has been republished and updated on 12 August 2021.

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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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95 Comments

  1. I made this curry three times. This was amazingly delicious. My husband and I loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe!5 stars

    1. Thank you Chella for the super feedback on the capsicum masala. Glad to know. Most welcome and thanks for the rating too.

  2. I tried out this recipe and it came out really well . It was so tasty ..everyone liked it . Thank you for posting .

    1. thanks uma for sharing this lovely feedback. glad to know. happy cooking.

  3. Madam ur every recepie is so tasty and I never failed , absolutely tasty recipes , madam I love d way u describe the recipe,hats off to u madam , u say all d recipes commonly available at home ,keep posting madam ,and lots of thanks and thankus

    1. welcome vinutha. thanks for your kind words and positive feedback. glad to know that you like the recipes presentation.

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