Capsicum Masala – a vegan and glutenfree curry made with bell peppers, few basic spices, sesame seeds, coconut and peanuts. A simple yet flavourful and versatile curry gets ready in less than 30 minutes and makes a flavour-packed lunch or a quick weeknight meal with rice or roti.
I’ve prepared this capsicum masala curry in Andhra style with a masala spice blend made with peanuts, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut and few basic whole spices. This typical south Indian style capsicum curry has a unique flavour profile, with a sour taste from tamarind, nuttiness from peanuts, a hint of sweetness from onion and capsicum. Sesame seeds and coconut makes the gravy thick.
This simple bell pepper curry makes an ideal accompaniment for Jeera Rice, Coconut Rice, chapathi or naan. Pair this curry with plain steamed rice, Eggplant Chutney (vankaya pachadi) or Mango Thokku, Rasam and papad to make comfort and complete meal.
Capsicum Masala recipe variations
You may add lemon juice if you don’t have tamarind. Although it may not taste the same, it will at least save time and avoid you to make a trip to shop on days when you are in a hurry to make quick meals.
To make north Indian style Shimla Mirch masala, swap peanuts and sesame with cashews, chopped tomatoes with tomato puree.
You could add a spoon of garam masala for an extra flavour.
Watch how to make simple capsicum masala
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For masala blend: Peanuts, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut, cassia, cloves and cardamom are used. These ingredients are dry roasted, blended and used in gravy preparation.
Dry and whole spices: This recipe needs basic spices that are necessary to make any Indian curry such as turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, mustard and cumin.
Vegetables: Capsicum (bell pepper), onion, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, coriander are required in this recipe.
Liquids: Tamarind pulp, oil and water.
Dry roast whole spices, peanuts, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut and grind to a powder.
Saute onion, ginger garlic paste in oil along with cumin and mustard.
Saute tomatoes and capsicum with cooked onions.
Mix in chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder and ground peanut-spice blend.
Add tamarind pulp, water and salt. Cook until capsicum turns tender yet crunchy.
Add coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
Enjoy Hyderabadi style capsicum curry with steamed rice or chapati.
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Tips & Tricks to make perfect Capsicum Masala
Having a batch of ground peanut-spice mix saves time, you don’t need to roast and grind the ingredients every time you plan to make this curry. Ensure to make a small batch as the spice mix doesn’t last long due to the addition of coconut. Alternatively, omit the coconut and grind the rest of the spices for longer shelf life. Add coconut powder separately while making curry.
If you feel the gravy is too sour, add a pinch of grated jaggery to reduce the sourness.
Adjust spices as per your taste preference.
This curry tastes best with capsicum being little crunchy yet cooked.
I’ve used only green capsicum, you may use yellow and/or red capsicum for colourful appearance.
Fresh curry leaves are an essential herb in South Indian cuisine that imparts a nice aroma to the dish. I didn’t have fresh leaves at the time I shoot the video of this recipe. To avoid any confusion I didn’t mention it in the recipe. Kindly make a note to add curry leaves before onions.
I’ve used tamarind pulp extracted at home. If you use store-bought tamarind paste, you may have to use less than the quantity mentioned in this recipe. Generally, store-bought paste tends to have a strong flavour and sourness so use it accordingly.
1 cup = 250ml; 1 tbsp =15ml
- 3 medium (378 gms or 2 cups) Capsicum (bell pepper) deseeded and diced
- 1 medium (90 gms or 1/2 cup tightly packed) Onion chopped
- 2 medium (173 gms or 1 cup) Tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- Salt as required
- 2 tbsp Tamarind extract
- 1 cup (250ml) Water
- Coriander handful, copped
For peanut masala blend
- 1 tbsp (14 gms) Peanuts
- 3 tsp (10 gms) Sesame seeds
- 3 tsp (7 gms) Desiccated coconut
- 1/2 inch Cassia (dalchini)
- 3 Cloves
- 1 Cardamom
- Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut, cassia, cloves and cardamom for a couple of minutes on low flame until fragrant.
- Allow the toasted ingredients to cool down to room temperature and then grind them into a powder and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or pan on medium-low heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard, cumin and let them sizzle.
- Now add onions, ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute or until raw aroma vanishes and onions turn soft and translucent.
- All capsicum, tomatoes and saute well.
- Add turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, ground peanut and spice blend, mix until well combined.
- Close the lid and cook for 3-5 minutes or just until the raw aroma of spices vanishes. At this point ensure heat is at the lowest setting to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan.
- Open the lid, add tamarind extract, salt, water, mix until well combined.
- Now increase the heat to medium-high and close the lid. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until gravy thickens and reaches your desired consistency. Ensure capsicum is cooked yet crunchy.
- Take the lid off the pan, check for consistency and check and add more salt if required. Turn off the heat. Oil specks formed on the top layer of curry is the indication that curry is done.
- Mix in coriander and enjoy a delicious curry with hot steamed rice or roti.
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KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this simple capsicum curry. I love to get feedback from readers.