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Split Pea Curry

Split Pea Curry recipe (Instant Pot )| Paruppu Kulambu

Split Pea Curry step-by-step recipe. 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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword Lentil curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 271kcal
Author Niveditha


  • Instant Pot
  • Spatula
  • Potato Masher or a hand-held Blender


  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 handful Shallots / Pearl Onions , peeled and cleaned, (approx. 150g)
  • 5 big Garlic cloves , (35g)
  • 4 medium Green Chillies or jalapenos , (30g)
  • 1 small Tomato , (70g)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Split Peas
  • 4 cups Water


  • 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.


Sodium: 588mg | Sugar: 3.8g | Fiber: 1.8g | Potassium: 185mg | Calories: 271kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 8.1g | Protein: 12.9g | Carbohydrates: 37.9g