Whole Yellow Peas Curry


I have been making my way through my stash of dried legumes and arrived at whole yellow peas, which are used in Indian dishes by my family in North and South India.  In the North, they’re called ‘matar’ in Hindi and in the South, they’re called ‘batani’ in Kannada. I don’t hear about these peas that often though here in Brooklyn and am surprised because they’re not only tasty but super good for you.  They’re rich in protein and fiber and good for lowering cholesterol.  I think their relative, the split yellow pea has taken the spotlight but I have to say I prefer the texture of the whole yellow pea better. When cooked, they still kind of keep their shape, as opposed to the split yellow pea that totally disintegrates.  They have an earthy, creamy taste to them too.


I cooked these whole yellow peas in a North Indian style to make a curry with ginger, garlic, garam masala and a few other spices and finished it off with some lemon, cilantro and yogurt. This curry makes for a super hearty dinner and goes really well on rice or with a roti. You can also add more water to the recipe and turn it into a soup.

One tip if you want to cook your whole yellow peas faster is to soak them in water the night before.  They will only take about 10 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker and I have given detailed instructions below on how to use a pressure cooker.  If you are using a pot on the stove top, the peas will take about 60-90 minutes to cook.  If that is your option, this recipe could be done in parts where you cook the peas on a weekend or a week night and finish the dish on another night.

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  • Soph2

    Basically good recipe. The whole yellow peas take at least 4 hours or more to cook. I soaked for 18 hours before cooking and it still took a while.