Satisfy your cold weather cravings with this delicious vegan dish. Find out just how easy it can be to get an Indian bell pepper curry on the table for your family in 30 minutes with this healthy and filling recipe.
When you are looking for vegan or vegetarian dishes that are hearty and warming, Indian is a good cuisine to turn to. A good vegetable curry can be both healthy with lots of vegetables and warming from all the rich spices. This tomato-based pepper curry perfectly fits that. It is full of bell peppers and hearty sweet potatoes, all blended with a tangy and aromatic tomato curry sauce.
This is a dish that is so satisfying you won’t even notice how healthy it is. Both tomatoes and bell peppers are full of vitamin A and C, along with smaller amounts of other nutrients. Sweet potatoes (which will get even sweeter when roasted) have vitamin B6, potassium, and lots of fiber. All of these ingredients come together to create a delicious dish that is sure to please everyone during the colder months.
And even better, it’s quick! Time everything properly (the vegetables need to roast while the curry simmers) and you can have a healthy meal on the table in just over 30 minutes. Add some rice – brown is best to get those good whole grains in your diet – and you are all set. It’s a meal that needs nothing more. Though personally I wouldn’t object to serving some homemade naan alongside if I had the time.
What kind of bell peppers should you use?
You can use any type of bell peppers in this curry. I used all red bell peppers, but you can certainly substitute orange or yellow peppers. Really any type of sweet pepper works. Green bell peppers will probably be a bit too sharp, but one in the mix might add some nice variation.
What is garam masala?
Garam masala is a spice blend used in a lot of Indian dishes. Usually it is made up of a mixture of coriander, cumin, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes chili or bay. This blend adds a lot of aromatic and savory flavors to the curry and gives it the distinctive flavor.
What kind of chili pepper should you use?
If you are lucky enough to be in an area where the stores sell multiple kinds of spicy chilis, you might be wondering which variety you should buy. The most common pepper to be listed as a “chili pepper” is the bird’s eye, or spicy Thai chili. These are small, typically red, and very hot – a little goes a long way. When in doubt, this is the best variety to choose.
Other common spicy peppers include jalapeños, serranos, or even cayenne if you grow your own. If you can’t find bird’s eye chilies and have to go with one of the others, you are probably going to have the best luck with a serrano pepper. The flavor and heat will be most similar.
But don’t be put off by the inclusion of a spicy chili pepper. It’s really not that much. I don’t like a lot of spicy heat in my food and this bell pepper curry is definitely within my limits. If you are still afraid of that much heat, try using just half a pepper, or remove some of the seeds before adding it to your curry. And of course, you can always manage the heat in an Indian dish by serving it with lots of basmati rice and some raita or plain yogurt.
Bell Pepper Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- 4 bell peppers
- 2 large sweet potatoes , (or 4 medium), peeled
- 6 tbsp olive oil , divided
- 4 tsp garam masala , (or curry powder), divided
- 2 tsp ground cumin , divided
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 chili pepper , minced
- 2 14.5 oz. (400ml) cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro , plus more for garnish
- 1/2 tsp salt , or more to taste
- freshly squeezed lime juice , for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop the peppers and sweet potatoes into evenly sized chunks. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons garam masala and 1 teaspoon cumin. Toss and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook over low heat until fragrant, for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons garam masala and 1 teaspoon cumin. Cook for a minute, stirring.
- Add the canned tomatoes, water, and chopped cilantro. Season with salt and cook, over medium heat, for 20 minutes more.
- Finally, add the roasted peppers and sweet potatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes more. If the curry isn’t thick enough to your liking, cook more. If it gets too thick, add more water.
- Drizzle with lime juice before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice.