Capsicum Masala Gravy | Maharashtrian style Capsicum curry
Capsicum Masala Gravy is a much-loved veg delicacy from Western India. This Maharashtrian-style capsicum curry made with a special masala paste and powdered spices is what you need to spice up your meal. Capsicum masala curry tastes great whether served as a side dish with rice or any Indian flatbread.
This flavorful vegetable is loved across the world in many different types of dishes – pizzas, tikkas, sandwiches, or curries along with paneer or chicken.
A few lines for those who are not familiar with Maharashtra cuisine. It has a lot to offer to vegetarians, red meat/lamb, white meat/chicken, and seafood lovers. It also includes an enormous variety of vegetables in the day-to-day meals. Dry/fresh coconut, peanuts, and sesame seeds are widely used as base in curries. Garlic, coriander leaves, and chilies are liberally used in many of the dishes which give a characteristic aroma, flavor, and spicy taste to the food.
Within the state, every region and household has its own version with a difference in ingredients proportion.
Growing up in Mumbai, I had exposure to different cuisines – Maharashtrian, Gujarathi, Parsi, Christian, etc. If you ask me which food appeals to me the most, I will not be able to answer. Food items of different cuisine tickle my taste buds.
I spent 3 magical years in Pune. During my college days, I joined different messes for lunch and dinner. I was introduced to many different legumes, beans, vegetables, leafy vegetables, and grains. The recipe I’m sharing today comes from my memories of eating the curry at numerous messes.
After relocating to Hyderabad, I was left with an everlasting love for Maharashtrian food. The only option I had was to cook on my own. I do not have Goda Masala, so I make a freshly ground paste to substitute it. So, here is my version of Maharashtrian Capsicum curry.
About Capsicum Masala Gravy recipe
Capsicum Masala Gravy recipe is Maharashtrian style green capsicum curry where the main flavor comes from the gravy. The recipe starts by making a coarsely ground spice blend made with dry roasted peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds, and a few whole spices. This spice blend is then added to the capsicum that has been cooked with onions, tomatoes, and powdered spices.
This capsicum curry is slightly spicy and rich in texture. The gravy has a grainy texture and nutty flavor because of the coarse powder of nuts – peanuts, coconut, and sesame seeds. The coarse paste also makes the gravy thick.
What makes this capsicum curry more interesting is the freshly ground powder. The crunchy capsicum is naturally loaded with flavor, cooking in Maharashtrian style adds in extra flavors.
This authentic Maharashtrian style capsicum curry has a unique flavor profile – sour taste from tomato, nuttiness from peanuts and sesame seeds, and a hint of sweetness from coconut, onion, and capsicum.
Try this recipe once to experience the intoxicating aromas and flavors from the fresh blend of spices. I guarantee you will fall in love with this capsicum curry recipe.
Reasons to make
One Pot dish.
The freshly ground special masala adds a good depth of flavor.
The masala gravy will amaze you with its bursting flavors.
Serve this as a side dish with rice and it’s a satisfying meal in itself.
The curry gets ready in less than 30 minutes.
Apt to pack for lunchbox.
Capsicum has amazing health benefits – rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Select fresh and thin capsicum for any curry. Can add whole, cut them into medium-sized cubes, or can finely chop them and mix them into the curry.
This Maharashtrian version tastes great when prepared spicy. However, you can customize the spices as per your taste buds.
Dry roast the ingredients over low flame. Do not rush and roast over high flame, they will burn and you will have to start again.
For a smooth gravy, grind the dry roasted ingredients to a fine paste instead of a coarse paste.
Use fresh and tender curry leaves as they impart a nice aroma to the dish.
Shimla mirch cook fast. So, the simmering time will depend on the capsicum texture you prefer. For crunchy peppers, cook them until 80-90% and for soft texture cook them all the way through.
Do not overcook the capsicum. They get mushy and lose their flavors.
Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper): Also called Shimla Mirch in the Hindi language is the key ingredient in this recipe.
Onion, tomato & ginger-garlic paste: Essential ingredients in Indian cooking to create the masala base.
For masala blend: Peanuts, dry coconut, sesame seeds, and whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, stone flower, and coriander seeds). I’ve dry roasted these ingredients and blended them into a coarse paste.
Powdered spices: goda masala or koora karam, red chili powder, and turmeric powder.
Tempering: oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
Seasoning & Herbs: Salt and coriander leaves.
How to make Maharashtrian Capsicum curry
Dry roast whole spices, peanuts, sesame seeds, and dry coconut over low flame until aromatic and coconut color changes to light golden color. Let it cool down.
In a grinder jar, add the roasted ingredients, goda masala or koora karam, turmeric powder, green chilies, and coriander leaves.
Without adding water, blend to a coarse powder. Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves. Let the seeds crackle and leaves turn crisp.
Add finely chopped onions and saute until they change color to a light golden color.
Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor goes away.
Add chopped capsicum and saute for a minute.
Add chopped tomato and salt. Saute until they turn soft and mushy.
Next, add the coarse paste. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add 1 cup of water and give a good mix. Check for seasoning (salt and spice) and add if needed.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on low flame for 10 minutes or until the vegetable is cooked.
Remove the lid and check the consistency. If it is thin, cook uncovered until the gravy thickens.
Note: If you do not have goda masala or koora karam, add 1/2 tsp of garam masala at this stage.
Lastly, add coriander leaves and mix.
Capsicum Masala gravy is ready to relish. Serve hot with rice or rotis.
This Capsicum Masala Gravy makes an ideal accompaniment for Indian flatbreads – roti, chapati, plain parathas, jowar bhakri, rice flour bhakri, etc.
It is best to relish this curry when hot.
You can refrigerate the leftover and consume them within 1-2 days. Before serving, reheat the curry in a microwave or in a pan on the stovetop.
The gravy will thicken as it cools, you may need to add water to bring it to the desired consistency.
As a variation to Capsicum Masala gravy, you can replace capsicum with vegetables like potato, brinjal, ridge gourd, ivy gourd, cauliflower, and okra (bhindi), or mixed veggies (potato, green beans, carrot, peas, cauliflower).
For okra, cut them into medium sizes and saute them first. Make the curry and then add towards the end and simmer until you see oil floating on top.
Use dried beans: chickpeas (chole), black-eyed peas (lobia), chana (brown chickpeas), moth beans (mung bean), and green or yellow dried peas (vatana). Soak them for 8-10 hours, boil them, and simmer them in the gravy or pressure cook them along with the gravy.
More Maharashtrian curry recipes to try
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Capsicum Masala Gravy | Maharashtrian style Capsicum curry
For the Masala Paste
- 3 tbsp Peanuts
- 3 tbsp Dry Coconut
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 2-3 numbers Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 1 small piece Stone flower (dagad phool)
- 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Goda masala or Koora karam
- 1 tbsp Red chili powder
- 1-2 numbers Green chilies
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
For the Gravy
- 4-5 tbsp Oil
- 250 grams Capsicum (shimla mirch)
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
- 5-6 numbers Curry leaves
- 1 large Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 large Tomato (finely chopped or puree)
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves
To make the masala paste
- Dry roast whole spices, peanuts, sesame seeds, and dry coconut over low flame until aromatic and coconut color changes to light golden color. Let it cool down.
- In a grinder jar, add the roasted ingredients, goda masala or koora karam, turmeric powder, green chilies, and coriander leaves.
- Without adding water, blend to a coarse powder. Keep it aside.
To make the Capsicum Masala Gravy
- Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves. Let the seeds crackle and leaves turn crisp.
- Add finely chopped onions and saute until they change color to a light golden color.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor goes away.
- Add chopped capsicum and saute for a minute.
- Add chopped tomato and salt. Saute until they turn soft and mushy.
- Next, add the coarse paste. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add 1 cup of water and give a good mix. Check for seasoning (salt and spice) and add if needed.
- Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on low flame for 10 minutes or until the vegetable is cooked.
- Remove the lid and check the consistency. If it is thin, cook uncovered until the gravy thickens.
- Lastly, add coriander leaves and mix.
- Capsicum Masala gravy is ready to relish. Serve hot with rice or rotis.