Split pea and vegetable curry recipe

(294 ratings)

This split pea and vegetable curry is under 300 calories and is very easy to cook.

Split pea and vegetable curry
(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time1 hours
Total Time1 hours 20 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories288 Kcal14%
Sugar8 g9%
Fat18.6 g27%
Saturated Fat9.7 g49%
Salt0.11 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein12.9 g26%
Carbohydrates15.2 g6%
Salt0.11 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Our split pea and vegetable curry is cheap, healthy and easy to make. 

Packed with vegetables and spices, this is the ultimate mood-boosting dinner if you’re trying to cut down on takeaways but still want to enjoy a tasty curry. Using paneer instead of meat is also cheaper but no less satisfying. 


  • 200g (7oz) yellow split peas
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, optional
  • 400ml can light coconut milk
  • 200g (7oz) paneer (vegetarian cheese), cubed
  • 200g (7oz) sugar-snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted, optional
  • Naan bread toasted, to serve




  1. Rinse the split peas in a sieve under the cold tap, then simmer in 900ml (1½ pints) fresh water for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and slice your onion and garlic. Deseed the chilli then chop into small pieces and peel and chop the carrots. Set aside for later.
  3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and fry very gently, until softened, around 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, spices and chilli and fry about 5 mins until the onion is golden brown.
  4. Drain the split peas and add to the pan with the carrot and curry leaves, if using. Season and then simmer for 10 mins. Stir in the coconut milk and paneer, and simmer for 10 more mins.
  5. Add the sugar-snap peas and cook for 5 mins, until they’re tender and the liquid has thickened. Sprinkle with cumin seeds, if using, and serve with warm, toasted naan bread.

Top tips for making split pea and vegetable curry

Curries make great batch meals. You can portion them up and keep in the fridge for a couple of days, ready to heat up for dinner, or freeze them. Defrost thoroughly before reheating. If you want to make twice as many portions, simply double all the ingredients.

How can I make this curry vegan?

Swap the paneer for tofu if you want to make it vegan. Alternatively you could add more veggies such as mushrooms or potatoes. There are also lots of meat-alternatives you could use such as Quorn pieces. 

Are split peas just lentils?

Similar to lentils, split peas are part of the legume family. You can substitute them for lentils if you like but the flavour will be slightly different.

Why do you soak split peas before cooking?

Soaking the split peas can help reduce the cooking time. Soak in clean cold water overnight.

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“I’d recommend serving with fluffy rice and naan bread for the full feasting experience. Don’t forget the mango chutney either, it’s one of my favourite condiments!”

For this recipe there’s a little bit of veg prep. Using a sharp knife will make this task much easier and food writer Jessica Ransom recommends this 16cm chef’s knife. 

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis 

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis 

A 16cm chef’s knife is a good versatile size that will fit most cook’s needs. This knife has a comfortable handle and the blade is crafted from a single piece of stainless steel to give it maximum strength and durability. Maintain the knife by sharpening it regularly and handwashing only. 

For more veggie dinner inspiration, check out Gordon Ramsay's vegetable curry or Joe Wicks chickpea curry. You might also like Wagamama's katsu curry recipe.  

Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment. 

With contributions from