Growing up, we ate a lot of mouthwatering curries with rice and Indian breads, rotis. Maybe that defines why a plate of rice with a well made curry is comfort food for me. Add a bowl of yogurt to this and I’m one happy soul.
This stuffed capsicum curry stands out in my mother’s repertoire of recipes. It is one of her dishes that I enjoy the most. Stuffed with a tomato, peanut and coconut masala, it is simply delicious! And it has my grandmothers masala powder. It has a bit of both the special women in my life.
Bell peppers are widely known as capsicum in India. The big sized bell peppers (genetically engineered!) are commonly available these days and indigenous varieties are hard to find. It is important to use small sized capsicums for this preparation and I had to coax my vegetable vendor, who normally carries large bell peppers, to bring them for me. He even charged me a few extra bucks saying he had to walk extra miles to secure them! Considering the fact that I was able to create this dish with its authenticity intact, it was quite worth it.
Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Curry with Tomato Peanut Masala Recipe
It is important to use small sized capsicum as their size is just right to hold the spicy masala stuffing. You could consider using the base masala with other vegetables like cauliflower or cabbage without stuffing them.
400 gm, about 8 to10 small sized capsicum or bell peppers
400 gm, about 4 to 5 tomatoes
75 gm (1/2 cup) grated coconut
75 gm (1/2 cup) peanuts without skins, roasted
2 tbsp goda masala or grandmother’s masala or 1 tbsp coriander powder +1 tsp cumin powder + 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp salt
250 ml (1 cup) water
3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8 to 10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp asafetida
In a blender or food processor puree the tomatoes, coconut and peanuts to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the goda masala (or or grandmother’s masala or 1 tbsp coriander powder +1 tsp cumin powder + 1 1/2 tsp garam masala ) turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Keep aside.
Wash and clean the capsicums or bell pepper. Carefully cut the tops of the capsicum and deseed them. Stuff with the tomato peanut masala mixture by placing about 2 tea spoons of the masala inside the capsicum.
Mix 1 cup (250 ml) water into the masala to make a gravy.
In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil over a medium flame. Put in the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the curry leaves and asafetida. Lower the flame and carefully place the stuffed capsicum pieces. Increase the heat to medium low and cook covered until white spots appear on the surface of the capsicum, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining masala mixture, increase the heat to medium and bring the gravy to a boil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and switch off the flame.
Serve hot with the rice or bread of your choice.
Serves 6 to 8
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