Split pea and vegetable curry recipe

(281 ratings)

Instead of an Indian takeaway, why not cook this delicious, mildly hot vegetarian curry. It is easy to cook and will appeal to the whole family. Delicious served with naan bread or boiled rice

Split pea and vegetable curry
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time45 mins including 30 mins soaking of split peas
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time1 hours 15 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

This split pea and vegetable curry is a real mood-boosting dish because it's packed with bright vegetables, earthy split peas, and creamy paneer, all laced with a delicate balance of slightly hot Indian spices.

An easy, spicy vegetable curry, a perfect healthy alternative to an Indian takeaway. In short, it's the ultimate suppertime to pick me up. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese, with a mild taste and a lovely springy texture. And it works really well in this dish. Search out fresh curry leaves if you can. Lots of supermarkets sell them nowadays and they add a fresh authenticity to the dish. This is one of our favourite low calorie meals (opens in new tab).


  • 200g (7oz) yellow split peas
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 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 mins.
  2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and fry very gently, until softened. Stir in the garlic, spices and chilli and fry about 5 mins until the onion is golden brown.
  3. Add the split peas, 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.
  4. 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 and many portions, double all the ingredients except the herbs and spices, which you can keep at the same level.

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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.