capsicum and pickled lime Sri Lankan curryThis is one of the recipes that Fahim’s mom taught me. I loved it so much that, when my sister and her family were visiting, I made it for them. My sister fell in love with it, too. 🙂

It’s not your usual North American fare, but it’s so delightful it’s worth giving it a try. 🙂 It’s a quick dish to cook, so make sure you have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking – you don’t want to scramble once this starts. 🙂

Capsicum and Pickled Lime by Mama Farook


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 12 capsicum, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons salted lime, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Maldive fish flakes
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup OR
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped PLUS
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar at end


  1. Add oil to a hot pan. Add curry leaves and capsicum. Stir frequently and fry 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add onions, garlic, salt, turmeric, and red chilli pepper powder and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add limes, Maldive fish flakes, and ketchup or tomatoes. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. If using tomatoes, add sugar about 30 seconds from the end and stir.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

capsicum and pickled lime Sri Lankan currycapsicum and pickled lime Sri Lankan currycapsicum and pickled lime Sri Lankan curry

Virgin coconut oil is the oil of choice. It gives the curry a subtle coconut flavour that is the trademark of Sri Lankan curries. If you don’t have it, use a non-flavoured oil. 🙂

If you don’t have curry leaves, omit. There is no substitute.

Your closest substitute to red chilli pepper powder would most likely be cayenne. Alternately, you can use paprika or black pepper in a pinch. 🙂

What we call capsicum are probably closest to banana peppers, at least in shape. We tend to use less-mature capsicum, so they tend to not be spicy. The more mature they are, the hotter they get.

Locally, salted limes are called pickled lime. We can buy them either in a bag or a jar. Try Asian or African stores. Alternately, you can make your own. I’ll provide a recipe for that in the near future…

When you give these a try, please tell me what you think of them. 🙂

Tags: , capsicum, , Sri Lankan cuisine, , pickled lime, salted lime,

One thought on “Capsicum and Pickled Lime by Mama Farook”

  1. This not only sounds tasty, it also sounds healthy. My mother in law uses capsicum to help people with heart problems. Apparently, some under the tongue stops heart attacks.

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