This spicy Dry Green Peas Curry is made with sprouted dry green peas (a staple in Indian kitchens), coconut, tomatoes, and spices. There's no added oil in this recipe, and it's as delicious as it is healthy. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free recipe.
As the New Year rolls around, one of my hopes is to incorporate more varieties of grains and legumes in my diet.
As any Indian knows, there's way more to the mighty legume than meets the eye on the average supermarket shelf here in the United States. Being Indian-born, I was fortunate to be introduced early on to a whole host of lentils and beans that make up the average Indian diet. Most of these are easily available at Indian grocery stores here in the United States, but caught up in the rush of a busy life, I often end up using a handful of the most ubiquitous types in my day-to-day cooking, like tuvar dal, moong dal, rajma (kidney beans), and chickpeas.
But the legume world has way more to offer. For instance, the beige chickpeas we are so used to are just one type of chickpea. There are brown chickpeas and green chickpeas that you can buy in their dry forms and cook, and actually both are far more flavorful than the beige variety. There are dry green peas and dry white peas and dry black peas. There is red mung and green mung and there are little brown matki or moth beans that make the greatest little sprouts. Oh, and let's not leave out those renegade black-eyed peas.
Then there are the lentils: the green split peas and the yellow pigeon peas. The mung lentils and the brown lentils and the pink lentils and the white lentils (urad dal) and the bengal gram lentils (chana dal).
And if a bean or lentil is not already part of Indian cuisine, it's not at all hard to mix it in. Canary beans, pink beans, pinto beans, black beans, cannellini beans, navy beans, great northern beans, lima beans, fava beans, French lentils...they can all merge into Indian cuisine effortlessly, adding their own unique deliciousness and healthfulness to traditional recipes.
One of the legumes I love but don't use often enough in my kitchen is dry green vatana or dry green peas. I tend to look at green peas -- I usually use the frozen kind -- as a wonderful garnish for my recipes rather than the main attraction. But these dry green peas, with their nutty flavor, are worthy of being the centerpiece at any meal.
To add to their healthfulness, I sprouted the green peas. They sprout quite easily, taking just a day and a half to send out tiny white shoots in my winter kitchen, with outside temperatures kissing the teens. You can read more about sprouting and its benefits in this recipe post on sprouted mung bean burgers.
This Spicy Dry Green Peas Curry needs two powdered masalas to reach its maximum potential for deliciousness: garam masala, which I assume most Indian-cuisine-loving cooks already have in their pantry, and goda masala (which translates to "sweet" masala, an oxymoron if there ever was one, but the sweetness is owed to the fact that there's coconut in the masala). I have recipes for both on my DIY Spice Mixes page, or you can buy them at the Indian grocery (be careful though because coconut sitting on a shelf can sometimes mean the masala is already rancid by the time you open the packet -- it's happened to me). If you make your own goda masala, a stalwart in Maharashtrian cooking (of which this curry is an example), you can store it for several months in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You won't be sorry.
You can, of course, forego the goda masala and just use more garam masala, but why would you be that lazy?
Here's the recipe for my Spicy Dry Green Peas Vatana Curry. Scoop it up with an Indian bread like roti or naan, or mix with some brown rice and serve with poppadum on the side. Food doesn't get any better than this.
More Indian curry recipes
- Creamy Vegan Peas Potato Curry
- Easy Matki Sprouts Curry
- Curry Sprouts Bowl with Beets and Minty Rice
- Quinoa Kala Chana Biryani
Spicy Green Peas Vatana Curry
- 1 cup dry green peas (hirva vatana). Soak the dry green peas overnight, then sprout them. See recipe notes for a link to a sprouting guide. You can also make this recipe with fresh or frozen green peas.
- 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (crushed into a paste)
- 1-inch piece of ginger (crushed into a paste)
- 2 medium tomatoes (pureed)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 green chili pepper like jalapeno (optional if using cayenne)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoon goda masala
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (finely chopped)
- Place the sprouted green peas in a saucepan, cover with at least an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes or until the peas are tender. Drain the peas but reserve the cooking liquid.
- Heat one tablespoon of the coconut milk in a large saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and green chili if using. The fat in the coconut milk will help the onions and herbs cook. Season with salt. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes or until the onion turns soft.
- Add the garam masala, goda masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Stir to mix well, then add the tomato puree. Cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is a little darker.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cook for five minutes. Add water or the stock from cooking the beans if the mixture gets too dry.
- Add the cooked green peas and mix well. Add more liquid if needed. Bring to a boil and continue cooking another five minutes for the flavors to merge. Check salt and garnish with coriander.
- Serve hot with rice or any Indian flatbread.
This recipe turned out SO good. I made it once, and then wanted to make it again a month or two later but couldn't find this exact one! I spent awhile searching the internet, and finally found it and was so excited. That's how good this is. I only soaked the peas for 4 hours, but it turned out great. So comforting, healthy, filling, delicious. I made it for my partner and I and we had leftovers for days too! Thank you for sharing this Vaishali! (I saved the recipe so I won't lose it again)
Had these dried green peas sitting around in my pantry for the past year with no idea what to do with them, and found this recipe. The peas were kinda old so I wasn’t sure if they’d sprout or not, but I gave it a try anyway. For the first 2 days they didn’t change, then suddenly- sprouts!
I added in some potatoes when cooking the peas and used brown onion instead of red. Also left out the goda masala since I didn’t have any.
It turned out really great! The peas were still slightly crisp after 30 minutes, but the flavour was really nice. A simple recipe that I’ll definitely make again. Excited to try some of your other recipes too! Thanks a bunch 🙂
Hi Karla, so happy you loved this! You can cook the green peas longer than 30 minutes--make sure they are tender before you turn off the heat!
I’ve made this recipe again twice! The second time I cooked the peas much longer which made them a bit softer, and the third time I cooked them for 3 minutes in the pressure cooker, so much faster! I wouldn’t recommend longer than 3, but next time I might try 2 minutes to see if they hold their shape a bit better.
hi. is what you call dried green peas same as the vatana - the package calls it yellow peas, actually they are beige. i want to cook this and use it as a snack and can it be made without coconut milk or grated coconut? i am diabetic and want a healthy snack which could be eaten hot or cold. so could i cook it with onions then add the vatana which have been soaked overnight and boil till soft. when the vatana is soft i would add a mix of garlic chillies cumin seeds coriander seeds that has been fried in oil. would that work? thanks. could you reply to me via e mail? would appreciate it.. thanks.
Hi, vatana is available in both green and beige. I think they are harvested at different times, hence the different colors, although I am not 100 percent sure about the accuracy of that. 🙂 The flavor of the white vatana is a bit more delicate.
So, so, so hard to find whole dried green peas in Oakville, Toronto suburban area. Any help will be appreciated.
You can make it with fresh or frozen green peas. Just begin from step 2! Will be delicious. 🙂
Thank you! This is a great recipe. I have enjoyed it twice so far and it has been amazing both times.
So happy to hear!
Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I am cooking it as we speak! Very excited.
However, I struggled to find goda masala and many times after I have made spice mixtures myself, I never end up using the quantity so I didn't want to start making it.
Where can we get goda masala from, and could I just double the garam masala or add another key spice?
You can sub garam masala. It won't be quite the same because goda masala has dry coconut which has quite a different flavor, but it'll be good. You can find goda masala from an online seller like Amazon, but I really don't recommend buying it off the shelf because the coconut is usually rancid, spoiling the flavor.
Very nice with nutrition values
Inlove, love this recipe! I could not find god masala, nor the ingredients to make it myself, but even just with garam masala it turned put fonger licking good. In fact, I will make it for the second time in the course of one week! So thank you, thank you, thank you and now Inwill search your site to find some more yummy stuff.
So happy you tried it, Alex, thanks for letting me know!
Hi, can we use split green peas instead? Will it have a similar taste and texture?
Hi Lakshmi, it'll probably taste a little different and certainly the texture will be different because split peas will get more mushy when they cook.
your recipe is so good. i would like to eat it and all the reccomendations and other recipes. thanks for publishing and creating no oil recipe. it is so healthy one.
your recipe is very interesting and good. i would like to have more recipes which is cooked instantly and vegan with less ingredients and helthy. thanks