Capsicum Masala - a vegan and glutenfree curry made with bell peppers, few basic spices and peanuts. A scrumptious and versatile curry gets ready in less than 30 minutes and makes a flavour-packed lunch or a weeknight meal with rice or roti.
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.
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.
Adjust spices as per your taste preference.
This curry tastes best with capsicum being crunchy. You may cook it all the way until soft if you prefer.
I've used only green capsicum, you may use yellow and/or red capsicum for colourful appearance.
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 strong flavour and sourness.
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.