Red bell pepper chicken gravy, with its intoxicating spices and complex flavours, is one of the most celebrated Indian gravies around the world. In this chicken recipe, boneless chicken is cooked with red bell pepper paste and other spices and then served with naan bread, roti or rice. Red bell peppers are easy to find throughout India regardless of the seasons, and while red and yellow bell peppers can be on the pricier end of the consumption basket, green peppers are a cheaper alternative. But please note that for this recipe, one must use red bell peppers only.

India was introduced to bell peppers by the Portuguese in 1510 when they annexed Goa. Indians more popularly know this vegetable by the name of Capsicum. Today, bell peppers are primarily sourced from Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,  Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and the South and Central part of India. 

Over time, red bell peppers have gained enormous popularity among people in India. The chicken dish, flavoured with red bell pepper paste and various spices, is a beloved lunchtime menu item in north indian kitchens. One can enjoy this scrumptious gravy with naan, rice or roti. The preparation method for the dish might seem daunting at first, especially to beginner cooks, but despite the time-consuming process, it is one of the easiest recipes you can cook from the Indian gravies.

Here’s the recipe for Red Bell Pepper Chicken Gravy.

Ingredients:

For the chicken dish:

  • 500 gms chicken (curry-cut pieces with bones) 
  • 150 gms onions (sliced)
  • 3-4 green chillies (slit)
  • 3 tbsps oil 
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 2-3 tsps coriander leaves (chopped)

For tempering:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

For bell pepper paste:

  • 125 gms red pepper/capsicum (cut in cubes)
  • 6 green cardamoms  
  • 2 tbsp whisked curd or yoghurt

For spice powder:

  • 1½ tsp of red chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder

Method:

For the bell pepper paste:

  • Take the chopped red peppers and green cardamoms, and blend them in a grinder or blender. 
  • Grind it once and then add the whisked curd/yoghurt. 
  • Then, blend the mixture till it becomes a smooth paste and set it aside.

For the chicken dish:

  • Take a heated pan and pour 3 tbsps oil into it.
  • Add the cumin seeds and stir. 
  • Saute the finely sliced onions on medium heat for 4 mins. 
  • Add the slit green chillies, mix and fry on medium heat for another 3 to 4 mins until the onions are light brown in colour. 
  • Next, add the chicken cubes, and sear them on a high flame for 2 mins. 
  • Remove cover and fry on medium heat  for another 2 mins, until the chicken pieces are browned.
  • Once the chicken changes colour, add red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt
  • Then, mix all the ingredients on a medium flame for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 3 to 4 mins till the chicken pieces are brown in colour. 
  • Next, add in the red bell pepper paste, and stir the dish for 2 mins on low heat. 
  • Cover the top with a lid and let it cook for 5 mins till the oil starts separating. 
  • Then, add 150 ml water, mix and cover and cook for another 5 mins.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter and give it a mix. 
  • Add the finely chopped coriander leaves, give a mix and simmer for 1-2 mins.