January 18, 2013

Capsicum Coconut Curry | Spicy side dish for Roti & Chapati

As soon as I read about this dish in a Kannada magazine I knew I had to make it for the capsicum (bell-pepper) lover in me. Whether it is Vangibhath, Pav Bhaji, Capsicum dry curry or even in fried rice, I love this pepper to bits.. So much so that early in our marriage, when S used to go shopping, he used to bring atleast 1/4 kilo of this pepper to ensure domestic bliss :-) :-) 

This gravy is from the upper Malnad region of Karnataka, made generally by the Havyaka brahmins (a sub sect of Hindus) who use coconut extensively in their cooking. I guess local produce always influences traditional cooking, and this dish is no exception. The only additions I made to this dish is to add onions & garam masala to give it a north Indian twist, and we all loved it a lot... For all those bell pepper lovers out there, this is a very spicy dish that's sure to tickle your palate. I served it with Wholewheat Paneer Kalonji Naan (recipe soon !) and salad n raitha.. Do check out the recipe

Prep time - 10 mins | Cook time - 20 mins | Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Medium
Spice level - hot 
(P.S :its really spicy - so adjust spice according to your palate- Refer Notes below)
Serving suggestions - Any Indian Bread / Naan / Butter Kulcha or even plain steamed rice

Capsicum - 300 gms (or 2 large ones)
Onions - 1 medium finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1 large or 2 medium
Peas - 2 handfuls
Salt - to taste
Garam Masala - 1 TBSP
Red chilli powder (Kashmiri Variety) - 1/2 TBSP
Coriander and lime juice - to garnish

For the gravy masala:
Coconut - 1/2 cup (freshly grated)
Cloves - 2 
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Red chillies - 2 
Kashmiri Chillies - 3
Coriander seeds - 2 TBSP
Jeera - 1/2 tsp

Stage 1 : Dry roast all the 'to grind' ingredient except coconut one by one on a low flame. Cool and grind with coconut to a smooth paste

Stage 2 : Chop onions, capsicum ; blanch peas in slightly salted water for 10 mins. Drain and keep aside. Saute capsicum in a separate pan in 1 - 2 tsp of oil and keep aside (ensure the bell pepper retains the crunch)

Stage 3 : In a non stick pan, heat oil. Splutter cumin seeds. Add onions and fry for about 4 to 6 mins till they turn pinkish brown, Add salt and the ground masala paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.Now add finely chopped tomatoes and fry further on a low flame for 2 - 3 mins till the tomatoes turn mushy.

Stage 4 : Add the blanched peas, dry masala powders (cumin + garam masala + red chilly). Checkfor salt. Add 1 tsp sugar or jaggery (the original recipe had jaggery too which I used). Once the oil leaves the sides, add the sauteed bell pepper and half the coirander leaves. Simmer on low flame for 2 -3 mins. 
Switch off, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with remaining coriander and lemon juice and serve warm with rotis or any indian bread.

(a) As the gravy is very spicy (with the above measurements), you may add a dash of cream to tone it down.  But make sure to add in the cream instead of the the lemon juice as it might curdle.
(b) You may use lesser quantity of red chillies and increase the kashmiri chilly count for a richer vibrant coloured gravy. In that case skip the red chilly powder too.

This goes to Blogging Marathon # 24 under "Gravies from different states" and also to:
Vardhini's New "U" 2013


  1. That's a total restaurant meal! Looks great!

  2. looks so professional and picture perfect!! love the naan next to it!!!
    Ongoing Event - Breakfast
    Ongoing Event - Tried and Tasted - Raks Kitchen

  3. Love this curry! Thnx for sharing it kalyani

  4. very fragrant and rich currry

  5. thank you linking to my event , just read the rules again

  6. Long time since I have had this.

  7. looks so good - especially with the naan - will be looking out for that recipe

  8. The naan in the click looks perfect and the gravy is sounds different and yum!

  9. Mouth watering... Great side dish for our Indian flat breads....

  10. Looks yummy and the nan looks tempting too.

    Event: Sweet Luv - 2013

  11. Made this for dinner tonite. Used green and red peppers. Turned out amazing. Thank you for wonderful recipes


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