Capsicum rice is an easy, quick and delicious one-pot meal rice made with green bell pepper or capsicum, basmati rice, aromatics and herbs. Call it bell pepper rice or capsicum pulao, the recipe comes together quickly under 40 minutes and is gluten-free and vegan.
About Capsicum Rice
For those who like Capsicum or Bell Pepper, here’s an aromatic and flavorful pulao made with green bell peppers, spices and rice. This is a mildly spiced and light pulao and thus goes well with kids or folks who do not prefer spicy food. It can also be packed in the tiffin box with a side of dal or a gravy dish or chutney.
There are not many ingredients used in the recipe and thus this capsicum rice pairs nicely with a side of a vegetable or paneer curry, lentils or even a simple onion-tomato raita. If you like you can make this capsicum spicy by adding ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and red chilli powder.
Apart from green bell peppers, you can use red or yellow bell peppers or even a mix of all three.
The recipe is versatile enough for you to include more veggies like carrot, green peas, cauliflower or potatoes. More veggies will not only add more flavor but will also increase the nutritional content in the dish. But keep in mind that this will be more like a veg pulao but will taste good and be healthy.
How to make Capsicum Rice
1. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice very well in water. Then soak rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Later drain all the water and keep the rice aside.
2. Meanwhile when the rice is soaking, slice 1 medium onion thinly (about ½ cup thinly sliced onions).
Also slice 2 medium-sized capsicums or green bell peppers (about ¾ to 1 cup sliced capsicum). Set the sliced veggies aside.
Sauté Aromatics and Capsicum
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 2 litre pressure cooker. Add the whole spices listed below:
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 small tej patta (or 1 medium to large tej patta)
- 2 single strands of mace
Fry on low heat for some seconds till the spices crackle and become fragrant.
4. Then add the thinly sliced onions.
5. Mix very well.
6. Sauté stirring often on medium-low heat till the onions become golden or caramelize. Take care not to burn them.
Onions take more time to caramelize. To make them cook faster add a pinch of salt while caramelizing them.
7. Lower the heat and add the sliced capsicum.
8. Add 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
9. Stir and mix to combine with the caramelized onions.
10. Sauté on a low to medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
11. Add the soaked rice and salt as required.
12. Mix the rice grains gently with the rest of the ingredients. Sauté rice for a minute.
Make Capsicum Rice
13. Pour 1.75 cups water. Also, squeeze in 4 to 5 drops of lemon juice. Stir again.
Depending on the quality and age of rice, you can add less or more water. 1.75 cups rice works perfect for me for the aged basmati rice I use. But some varieties of basmati rice may need less water. Thus add 1.5 cups to 1.75 cups or 2 cups water as needed.
14. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and pressure cook capsicum rice on a medium to medium-high heat for 2 to 3 whistles.
When the pressure falls on its own naturally in the cooker, open the lid and gently fluff the capsicum rice.
I pressure cooked rice for 3 whistles. Depending on the type of rice, you can add 1.75 to 2 cups water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.
You can also make the pulao in a pan on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot or an electric cooker. Add water accordingly if making the capsicum pulao in a pan or the Instant Pot.
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Capsicum Rice | Bell Pepper Rice | Capsicum Pulao
This Capsicum Rice or Bell Pepper Rice is an easy and delicious one pot dish made with green bell pepper or capsicum, basmati rice, aromatics and herbs. The recipe comes together quickly under 40 minutes and is gluten-free and vegan.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Rinse basmati rice very well in water for 3 to 4 times.
Then soak rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes. Later drain the water and set the rice aside.
Meanwhile when the rice is soaking, slice the onions thinly. Also slice the capsicum.
Making capsicum rice
Heat in a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Add the whole spices – cumin seeds, green cardamoms, cloves, inch cinnamon, tejpatta, strands of mace.
Fry for a few seconds till the spices crackle and become fragrant.
Then add the sliced onions.
Stir very well and sauté stirring often on medium-low heat till the onions become golden.
Lower the heat and add the sliced capsicum and chopped coriander leaves.
Mix very well and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on low to medium-low heat.
Add the soaked rice. Gently stir to combine and sauté rice for a minute.
Pour water and season with salt. Also add 3 to 4 drops of lemon juice. Mix again.
Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and pressure cook capsicum rice on a medium to medium-high heat for 2 to 3 whistles.
When the pressure falls down on its own naturally in the cooker, open the lid and gently fluff the capsicum rice.
Serve capsicum rice hot with some curry or a dal (lentil based dish) or raita.
- Preferable use good quality and aged basmati rice.
- Feel free to other varieties of bell pepper like red, green and yellow bell pepper. You can mix and match the various bell peppers for a colorful capsicum rice.
- To make the dish more spiced or spicy, add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, green chillies or red chilli powder.
- You can easily make this bell pepper rice in a pan on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot adding water as needed.
- This capsicum rice recipe can be scaled up to make more servings.
Capsicum Rice | Bell Pepper Rice | Capsicum Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 506 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Vitamin A 277IU6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 8µg8%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 22µg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This capsicum rice recipe from the blog archives first published in June 2015 has been republished and updated on 10 January 2022.