This green peas curry from Kerala is a mildly spiced curry made with dried mature green peas. It is made with very little spices, and creates a buttery and lightly fragrant dish especially when lightened with coconut milk. Vegan
- Choosing Peas
- Cooking Dried Peas
- Spices Used in This Curry
- How To Make Home Style Peas Curry
Green peas curry is popular all over south India. There are many versions of green peas curry – peas curry, peas masala, or dhaba style peas curry. The amount of spices used in each of these vary. This version is mild and inspired by the peas curry served for breakfast in Kerala homes.
Green Peas curry was a favorite among the children and adults alike as long as I can remember – okra, squash and bitter melon were all polarizing vegetables but not peas! Of late my family has jumped on this bandwagon as well. Appam and peas curry has become the new favorite, surpassing appam and ishtu ! Green peas is a nutritious legume, so who am I to complain?
Green Peas can not be grow well in most parts of South India. So fresh peas were rare while dried peas were available year around. Dried green peas have a hardier flavor compared to fresh peas. Fresh peas will be sweeter and easier to cook, but may not be the best choice in this recipe.
Cooking Dried Peas
The dried green peas, like many other legumes, take long time to cook. Soaking the peas for 6 to 8 hours reduces the cooking time. As an added benefit all the peas get cooked evenly. Even with long soaking, a Pressure cooker or your Instant Pot is the best equipment to make this curry. In case you decide to use the stove top method, the directions are same but the amount of liquids needed and the cooking time will much more.
A programmable pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot, cuts down the hands-on cooking time to 10 minutes or less – what is not to like about that?
Spices Used in This Curry
- This curry does not use many spices. Onions, and tomatoes makes the curry base. The standard curry spices like coriander, turmeric, and a dash of garam masala are here as well, but in moderation.
- Black pepper goes best in this dish compared to chili powder. A little goes a long way. Another advantage is unlike red chili powder black pepper does not change the color of the dish.
- Green chilies are in this dish, but you leave them whole to add flavor without increasing the heat. If you are on the adventurous side go ahead and slit the chilies.
- Fennel is the sweet spice here – the aromas and mild sweetness goes perfectly well with the flavors of peas.
How To Make Home Style Peas Curry
- Heat the oil. Add fennel, mustard seeds, and curry leaves to the hot oil.
- Sauté the chopped onions, ginger and garlic along with green chilies if using.
- Add spices.
- Cook a little and the chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.
- Add peas, water, a little salt and cook till done (Refer recipe).
What to Serve With Peas Curry serve
Almost all types of flat breads are great with Peas curry and peas masala. This curry is the perfect consistency to be scooped by chapathi or poori, served over the fresh rice noodles called idiyappam or serve with a richer bread like parotta. Here are a few recipes to try.
- Ari Pathiri – Flat Bread Made With Rice Flour (Gluten Free)
- Jowar Roti – Shorgum Flat Bread (Gluten Free)
Waking up to Appam, Peas Curry and Mug of Black Coffee. Yes life is simple sometimes!
Green Peas Curry
- 2 C Dried Green Peas
- 2 Large Onions or 3 C Chopped
- 2 Tomato Medium
- 1 Inch Fresh Root Ginger
- 3 – 4 Cloves Garlic
- 3- 4 Green chilies To Taste Notes
- ¼ Tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp Coriander Powder Optional
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala Notes
- ½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
- ¼ Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Stalk Curry leaves
- 1 Tsp Salt To Taste
- ¾ C Water
- 4 Tbsp Oil Notes
- ½ C Coconut Milk Optional
- Soak the dried green peas in plenty of water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Rinse and set aside.
- Chop the onions fine, finely mince or grate the ginger and garlic. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
Instant Pot or Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Set the instant pot to sauté mode.
- When hot add the oil. After 30 seconds add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and curry leaves. Let it cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mustard seeds pop and the fennel becomes fragrant.
- Add the chopped onions. Sweat the onions cook for 1 minute and add the ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute and add the spice powders. Cook for 30 seconds or until the spices are heated through. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes turn soft.
- Add the drained peas and water along with 1 tsp salt.
- Close the instant pot. Cancel the sauté program. Set the vent to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once the cooking is complete let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid, stir and check salt. Adjust salt if needed.
- If using coconut milk, stir it in. Taste and add a pinch more of garam masala, pepper and salt as needed. Bring back to simmer and Serve!
Stove Top Pressure Cooker
- Follows the same steps as instant pot up to adding peas. In pressure cooker add about 1 C water and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions for dried beans.
- Follow the steps up to adding beans. Add the beans to the pan and with 2 c water, cover and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Check the water about 20 minutes int cooking and add more if necessary.
- Use Thai, Serrano, Jalapeno, or Cayenne chilies in this recipe. The chilies are used for flavoring only, so leave them whole if using. If a spicier version is preferred increase the pepper.
- Use your favorite brand of garam masala or make your own. Here is my recipe.
- Traditionally this curry is made with coconut oil, use any neutral flavored oils.
- For more gravy add coconut milk after the peas has finished cooking. If doing so increase the amount of garam masala and pepper by ¼ to ½ tsp to counteract the sweetness from the coconut milk.
Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.
Try these other instant pot recipes.