Split Pea Curry step-by-step recipe, also known as Paruppu Kulambu is made with just a few ingredients it is almost unbelievable it can be this flavorful! This vegan soup is both curry and soup, and it is such a comfort food when had with rice or just on its own.Jump to Recipe
We went for a picnic last weekend, to a forest, a tiger reserve actually. It is called Top Slip, a small hill connecting to mountains; it makes for a perfect day trip with humble safaris and all that for those interested. We do this from time to time when we are super bored, considering the fact that there aren’t any decent zoos in a 100-mile radius, little A gets to look at animals.
We had planned to just drive through, spot some animals if we’re lucky, have lunch when we get to the top and return home. Although we didn’t spot any tiger in the tiger reserve, my daughter spotted deers a couple of times and she also saw elephants and a boar for the first time, which amazed her for some reason. And the look on her face when she started to realize that the animals were nothing like that those in her cartoon was priceless, LOL. Overall, it was a nice and quiet picnic.
The following day, I wanted something wholesome but easy because I was tired; and I made this Split Pea curry or Thuvaram Paruppu Kulambu as it called in Tamil Nadu. This is a wonderful protein-rich soup/curry for when you want a simple but healthy meal.
Split Pea Curry:
I love lentils, do you love lentils? I love it to the point that I can eat it for lunch every other day. Unless of course, someone makes me a generous serving of spaghetti with chicken meatballs, I’m always in the mood for lentils. I like ’em plain or with spinach or made into lentil ball and simmered. Almost as if like I was born in the right place just to eat lentils, ok that is too much lol.
So soups are what comes to your mind when you think of lentils right? But trust me, there are a lot of ways people use lentils in South Indian Cuisine. Those recipes are made really simple when made in an Instant Pot. One of those recipes is this Split Pea Curry recipe; this is also a soup but the thing is, it is also a curry. It is versatile and makes for an extremely easy, wholesome meal.
Serve it alongside perfectly cooked white or brown rice. Drizzle a tablespoon of fresh ghee for an added flavor. You can also make this soup thin and serve it like soup with toasted bread.
Is Split Pea Soup good for you?
This split pea soup is of course very healthy, it has a considerably good amount of protein per serving. And the carbs in itself are comparatively good than processed carbs since the lentils provide a good dose of Complex Carbohydrates are also rich in other vital minerals. According to this, Lentils in general fall under a Glycemic Index (GI) of about 55, which makes it an excellent split pea soup for weight loss!
Storing this curry:
Storing and packing this split pea soup/curry depends on the climate you live in. If you live in a cold climate, you can leave it on the counter or pack it for lunch. BUT, always make it a habit to check before you eat. And, if you live in a tropical climate or during summers, it is best to eat it right out of the Instant Pot.
This soup can be frozen for up to a week. Top it off with water before you microwave it. Not a great soup for Meal Preps in my opinion.
Alternative and special diets:
This split pea soup or paruppu kulambu doesn’t have any milk products, gluten. Which makes this curry completely vegan, nut-free and gluten-free. Also, IBS friendly i.e low fodmap soup.
Don’t have an Instant Pot? Here are the alternate methods:
No worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot. You can use your regular pressure cooker. You will have to cook the lentils in the pressure cooker first and then cook it in a saucepan. Essentially, you’re pre-cooking the lentils so that it is soft enough.
If you don’t have any kinda pressure cooker, follow the steps but use a heavy saucepan. You might want to use at least 6-8 cups of water and cook it covered until the lentils are soft. Once the lentils are mashable, simmer uncovered until the desired consistency is reached.
How to make this curry/soup:
This split pea soup is very easy to make even on a stovetop, but with Instant Pot it is even more simplified. Sauté and add ingredients to pressure cook, that’s it! Let’s see the step with pictures here below.
- Place the Instant Pot Bowl inside the Instant Pot. Ensure that the inner bowl is mostly dry. Switch on and set it to SAUTE mode for 10 minutes. Now, add 2 tablespoons of oil and let it get hot.
- Once the oil is hot enough, add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 2 sprigs curry leaves and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds. The mustard seeds will begin to splutter.
- Chop a handful of pearl onions/ shallots and add it to the instant pot. Sauté until it begins to brown, this would the only step that takes a bit of your time.
- Chop 5 garlic cloves and 4 chilies; add these to the sauteed onions. Sauté for a minute.
- Also, chop 1 medium tomato and add it to the Instant Pot along with 1 teaspoon rock salt. Cook it until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Next, add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 cup split peas/ lentils and 4 cups of water. You can use anywhere between 4 and 6 cups of water; 4 cups for curry-like consistency and 5/6 cups for soupy consistency.
- Top the Instant Pot with the lid and seal the vent. Set it in PRESSURE COOK mode for 20 minutes, then Quick Release the pressure.
- Using a potato masher, gently and very carefully mash the garlic bits and lentils to a coarse texture. You can also use an immersion blender.
- Serve it hot as is for soup or with hot rice for a curry!
Recipe source: this is a family recipe.
- Consistency: There is no ideal consistency for this gravy/ soup. If you like it really runny, add one cup more water. You can also add vegetable stock in place of water.
- Traditionally, we use a special tool to mash this down, (see the post above). Mash down the lentils partially. But if you would rather see the lentils are such, skip the mashing.
- Mashing: If you don’t have or find it difficult to use a potato masher, you can use a hand-held blender and just pulse it through the lentils a couple of times.
- Shallots: You can use as many shallots as you like ranging from 100-150g. It really adds a great flavor.
- Turmeric: Turmeric powder adds bright yellow color and it certainly adds a subtle flavor, only those are not accustomed to cooking with turmeric. It is a bit of acquired taste but for the sake of CURCUMIN, do try.
- Garlic: You can always reduce it.
Split Pea Curry recipe (Instant Pot )| Paruppu Kulambu
- Instant Pot
- Potato Masher or a hand-held Blender
- Place the bowl inside of the INSTANT POT. Set it in SAUTE mode for 10 minutes.
- Pour the oil in and let it get begin to smoke.
- Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cumin seeds. The seeds should begin to splutter in a few seconds.
- Tip in the chopped shallots and sauté until it begins to brown around the edges.
- Then add the garlic cloves and chillies. Sauté for a minute.
- Drop the chopped tomato in along with salt. Sauté until it begins mushy.
- Add the turmeric powder. Mix it with a spatula.
- Finally, add the lentils and water. Close the INSTANT POT Lid and SEAL it. Set it in PRESSURE COOK mode for 20 minutes.
- Quick Release after 20 minutes and open the lid carefully. Using a potato masher, gently (and carefully) mash the cooked lentils down. *
- Serve it hot with rice!
- Consistency: There is no ideal consistency for this gravy/ soup. If you like it really runny, add one cup more water.
- Traditionally, we use a special tool to mash this down, (see the post above). The lentils hsould be half mashed down. But if you would rather see the lentils are such, skip the mashing.
- Mashing: If you dont have or find it difficult to use a potato masher, you can use a hand-held blender and just pulse it through the lentils a couple of times.
- Shallots: You can use as much shallots as you like ranging from 100-150g. It really adds a great flavor.
- Turmeric: Turmeric powder adds a bright yellow color and it certainly add a subtle flavor, only those are not accustomed to cooking with turmeric. It is a bit of acquired taste but for the sake of CURCUMIN, do try.
Made this? Got doubts? Let me know what you think in the comments below!