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Bell Pepper – Lentil Fritters / Capsicum Punugulu

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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:3 hrs   CookTime:20 mins   Cuisine:Indian

Being a vegetarian I always see to it that we get enough protein through the meals I cook. For which, I prefer lentils as an easy source, rich in protein.

This recipe is one such, following a traditional age old recipe of punugulu (or) fritters from Telugu Cuisine (one of South Indian cuisine). Punugulu is just made with plain lentil batter without any additions except for salt. For additional flavour I added the spices. And for kids to have more intake of veggie I added capsicum to the same batter. So, here it is the fritters/punugulu that are perfectly fried, crispy on the outside, fluffy from inside.

This, bell pepper fritters / punugulu is a Protein Rich, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Rich in Fiber recipe.

If you mind having them deep fried, just try the same in Ponganalu Pan/ Appe Pan. See my other recipe where I have recipe for fritters in Appe/Ponganalu Pan⇒  Vada Ponganalu / NonFried Lentil Fritters

Recipe for Mango Dip in the above pic is here⇒   Mango Dip (Oil free)

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned at the end.

My Appetiser recipes collection⇒  Starters / Snacks

Related Posts⇒  

  1. Red Kidney Beans Nuggets / Rajma Masala Vada / Fritters
  2. Potato-Capsicum Dry Curry / Aloo-Shimla Mirchi Sukhi Sabzi
  3. Capsicum & Tomato Chutney / Pachchadi

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  • Minappappu/ Urad Dal / Skinless Black Lentils – 1 cup
  • Capsicum (any colour) – 1 (large size)
  • Rice flour – 1 tablespoon (heaped)
  • Green Chillies – 4
  • Ginger – 1 inch size piece
  • Coriander – 10 twigs
  • Jeera / Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Ajwain / Vaamu / Carom Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves – 1 twig
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking Oil  – as required (for deep fry)

Special Ingredients:

  • Curry Leaves
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Jeera / Cumin Seeds
  • Ajwain / Carom Seeds

Step wise pics Procedure for Bell pepper fritters / punugulu:

  • First and foremost, take the urad dal/black gram/minappappu wash them well twice or thrice with cold water.
  • Add water, let it soak at room temperature for 3-4 hrs.
  • Drain the water and take the lentils/dal into a food processor/mixie.
  • Grind into smooth batter (add few tablespoons of water if needed) and transfer it into a mixing bowl.
  • Chop the onion, capsicum, coriander, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger as shown in pic below.
  • Transfer all above to the batter and add salt, rice flour, jeera/cumin seeds, carom/ ajwain seeds too.
  • Mix everything gently but thoroughly. Keep aside. 

    All spices and chopped veggies added to the batter
  • Put a frying pan with enough of cooking oil (for deep frying) on the stove top under high flame.
  • Once the oil is perfectly hot, make a small ball of batter  and drop each one gently into the oil. 

    Small ball size fritters deep fried in hot oil
  • Fry them on one side for 2-3 mins and then flip them back to the other side gently.
  • Fry on the other side also for 2-3 mins until they turn golden brown colour.
  • Take them out using the ladle onto a plate with paper towel on. Done!!

    Perfectly fried fritters (golden brown colour)


  • Soaking the dal/lentils might take approximately 2-3 hrs in summer, while it might take more time in winters.
  • If you think the dal / lentils have not soaked enough, when compared to my picture, then let it soak for more time. Don’t hesitate.
  • Don’t worry if you have soaked the dal/lentils for more time than required. That doesn’t cause any problem.
  • Do not throw away the soaked water . You can use them for mixing the flour for roti.
  • Adjust the salt & spice as per your taste.
  • The oil for deep frying must be perfectly hot, to test this just drop a small blob of batter into the oil and check .
  • If you would like to avoid deep frying you can try these in an air-fryer too.
  • You can store the batter in the refrigerator and make bell pepper fritters / punugulu when needed (no need to thaw).


  • I served these fritters with Mango Dip (Oil free)  and slices of fresh lime to squeeze upon.
  • The bell pepper fritters / punugulu are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.
  • With pieces of capsicum hitting the teeth for every bite and the flavour of coriander, curry leaves, ginger is very much evident too.

    Capsicum-Lentil Fritters/Punugulu served with Oil-Free Dip and a slice of fresh lime to squeeze upon

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