Capsicum Curry | Hyderabadi 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 Chapati, 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 stirring often 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

Make 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

Cook 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

Make 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.


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 | Hyderabadi 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.
4.86 from 34 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Cuisine Hyderabadi, South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 5


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
  • 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


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.


  • 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 | Hyderabadi 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 updated and republished on April 2023.

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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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  1. Made this multiple times and each time it has been super successful. Very different and flavourful! Thank you for this recipe..5 stars

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. It was delicious
    Instead of Tamarin in France I used something bought in an organic market really closed taste : Rapunzel, pâte à tartiner, pur fruit, poir’ et pomme, Same taste, I know because I ate tamarin when traveling in Myanmar
    Your website is marvelous5 stars

    1. Thanks Hélène Lenoble for sharing this info and your positive feedback. Glad to know that you like the website.

    1. both give a nice taste in the masala gravy. some taste will change if you skip them. though if you want you can skip.

  6. Hi. The recipe was awesome. I didnt know we could cook capsicum in indian curry style cause all this while i was just doing mix vegetable saute follow the chinese style.
    This has changed my whole perspective on capsicum actually ????????4 stars

    1. Thanks Gayathri. Nice to know that you liked the capsicum curry recipe.

  7. Hii Dassana mam,
    Thank you so much for explaining all your recepies with details n pics making it easier for us to copy it in our kitchen. Today m making Capsicum masala. Tysm tc5 stars

    1. tamarind gives the typical sour taste of its own. another alternative is to use lemon juice. but with lemon juice the taste of the curry will be slightly different. also add lemon juice once the gravy is done. you can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon or more or less as per the amount of sour taste you want in the curry.

  8. Hi.. My gravy turned out a bit dark in colour.. What could be the reason.. Taste and everything was good and I followed the measurement. Pl advice.. And u are a master blaster chef.. Thanks u r out life saver both fr everyday cooking and fr party’s menu planning. Love ya loads..

    1. thanks a lot nidhi for this comment 🙂

      dark could be as the masala could have been roasted too much. even browning onions too much will give the gravy a dark color.

  9. Hi
    This curry/sabzi turned out to be a winner,as usual nothing NEW, as all ur recipes r awsome, as i am writing this my son is licking his plate nd giving a thumbs up.what veggies can be substituted in place of capscium as d gravy was tooo gud.
    Thanx once again for this recipe
    God bless U

    1. thats nice to know jaya and thanks for sharing. you can use brinjals to make this curry. even just with potatoes the curry will taste good. another option is to use bhindi. but saute the bhindi first and then add once the gravy is done.

  10. Yummy,i have made this for the first time and now its my husband’s favourite ! Each time i try out your recipies it comes out to be perfect.I really appreciate your effort on the way how you describe each and every recipie.Thanks a lot,its perfect for beginers like me.☺5 stars

    1. pleased to know this thankyou for your kind and positive words gayathri 🙂 and you are welcome.

  11. Hello!

    I compared this with the Paneer Capsicum recipe, since I have fresh paneer left over. However, I am much more interested in trying this recipe since I have recently stocked my kitchen with the South Indian/ Hyderabadi spices/ingredients. Have you tried adding paneer to this? Would you recommend it?

  12. i made this today and it is just totally gobsmakingly delish., well done and thanks for all your superb breakdowns and photos of recipes….this is a veg site i come to first….

    1. very pleased to know this iain 🙂 glad you liked our veg recipes on blog thankyou for your positive and kind words.

  13. Your all recipes are yummy. M fan of you. Really to good. I tried many of them. Thnx a lot 4 sharng.

  14. Awesome receipe… I have tried it today in lunch….really yummy…I tried ur so many recipes n every’s fabulous… Thanks a lot…

    1. thanks a lot nidhi for this positive feedback on capsicum masala as well as other recipes. happy cooking 🙂

    1. no. seedless tamarind is tamarind without the seeds. but you can add tamarind paste instead. just add a around 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of tamarind paste.

  15. Hi Dassana,
    I tried this recipe. It turned out very tasty and different. Thanks for the recipe.

    Charitha5 stars

  16. Can you make an app ? That will be very very helpful.

    Suggestion, just try reverse search… example,
    I input what all veggies I have at home and the app comes up with the closest recipe…. :p That will really help bachelors. 😀

    1. thanks rahul for this suggestion on reverse search. i am looking into making an app and checking the programs available.

  17. Thank you Dassana! I used cashews instead of peanuts and skipped the sesame seeds (because of allergy) . Otherwise I followed the recipe and it was soooo good! Everybody loved it.5 stars

    1. thanks for the feedback. in this recipe the peanuts and sesame seeds give their own taste and its one of the most important element in this recipe. even cashews work. with cashews you will get a different taste and flavor. still glad to know that you and everybody else liked the recipe.

  18. Thanks for this yum recipie. Just a doubt.. Peanuts can be used in this recipie along with its brown Skin?

    1. thanks nisha. yes peanuts can be used with their skins. if you want you can also remove the skins.

  19. What a recipe you tell us ya. You are just great. You can’t imagine how much my family members enjoyed.

    Can we have the same taste without peanuts and coconut please becoz my dad has allery to this. Please do reply.

    1. Thank you much punam. You can add a few almonds or melon seeds instead of coconut and peanuts. But the taste will change.

  20. Thanku ,its really help full in trying new tastes ,this is da firstime I tryed from internet search.

  21. I tried capsicum masala curry. It is super recipe. Very good in taste. we ate with capathi its really good. My daugher also likes this. And i also tried ivy gourd pulav. It is also good. Thanks u very much for maintaining this site.

  22. Hi dassana. I m big fan of yours. Just loved ur recipes. I am newly wedded and tries ur dishes to impress my husband. Tried ur many recipes and all turned out to be wow5 stars

    1. thats good to know teena. thanks a lot and wish you all the best for your future.

  23. Tried capsicum masala recipe it turned out to be superrrr tasty. Now i m preparing this atleast thrice a week….my family loves this new recipe … Hungry for more …..Thank you5 stars

  24. While searching on net I found ur website and I start checking each one of the recipes… its mind blowing…
    even though m married I dnt cook ad was not interested also but after seeing all these I ve started cooking ad m enjoying it … a big big thanks to u… ill try each ad every recipe ad plz plz dnt stop posting… u ve helped big tym.once again thank u.
    God bless u 🙂

    1. welcome bharathi. glad to know that blog is helping you in cooking. thanks for sharing this encouraging feedback and for your prayers.

  25. Hi I do not have dessicated coconut – I have grated coconut – can I use that instead?

      1. Thanks ! Should I grind it and then use ? Also I know I’ve heard this a million times but your recipes are the best! Pls don’t stop sharing.

        1. yes. you will have to roast the grated coconut with the rest of the ingredients till golden and then grind. follow the same steps as mentioned for desiccated coconut. thank you very much jyo 🙂

  26. Hi Dasanna. The recipe was a superhit. I made it for dinner and my in laws just loved it. My father in law is from the hotel industry and usually he gives critical comments about food. But he was praising this curry. Thank you so much.
    I also enjoyed making your Kerala biriyani and corn patties. I couldn’t leave a comment as the box was not available.
    I would like to share the good news that we have been blessed with a baby boy 3 months back. He will be tasting your recipes soon;)5 stars

    1. thanks dhanya. the reaction from your father in law was too good 🙂 we are really short of time hence closed the comments on older recipes. congratulations and god bless.

  27. Thanks dassana..i made it for my mom’s birthday party..and i became the star..all becz of ur step by step description

        1. thanks for this recipie…i skipped sesame n poppy seeds because of nonavailability ..still it came out well…4 stars

        2. my gravy came out very bitter did excatly the way u hv showed so can u pls tell me the reason.Thank u5 stars

        3. either it can be due to the sesame seeds becoming rancid or the peanuts. both have to be fresh. whens sesame seeds start looking pale yellowish or dark creamish, it means they have got spoiled. when a rancid nut or seed is added to any recipe, it will spoil the taste of the dish. whenever you use any dry fruits or seeds in any recipe, always taste them before you add. if you get a slight bitter or an off taste, then that means the nuts or seeds are on the verge of getting spoiled or already spoiled.