Curried Pigeon Peas or Dal Masala, Loaded with Cilantro, Kale and Fenugreek Greens : A protein packed, high fiber, iron rich, vitamin C infused vegan and vegetarian stoup

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Pigeon peas, commonly known as Toovar or Arhar are staple in Indian households. Toovar or Arhar is the split form of pigeon peas. They are rich in taste and cooked almost 1-2 times a week in every house. Yes, that is how much popular they are. They are rich in folic acid, good carbs and fiber. They are counted in both protein and vegetable group.

This is how they look before the split and after the split. The darker color are whole and yellow ones are split and polished. The above picture is courtesy, web.

It is my family’s favorite and comfort food to have curried split pigeon peas with hot rice. Whenever we come back from travel or vacation, this is the first meal, cooked in my kitchen :). My husband and kids would say, “please make that yellow daal and rice”… and I smile….ya ya I know..:)

This time, I made it stoup style, loaded with Kale, Fenugreeek leaves and cilantro in weak tomato base, tempered with curry spices. Remember, my post of Oven Dried Greens?. This is how I use my dried greens in my soups, stews and stoups.

It is a simple recipe. Does need few ingredients but can be substituted with the available or skipped a few…..but taste will still be good. Guaranteed! That’s the magic of this pea or daal.

I should have clicked the step by step pictures but didn’t :(. If you want to give it a try and get confused somewhere, do ask please. With the abundance of Daals and dried beans, protein is no problem for vegetarians or vegans. Believe me! These beans are full of protein and fiber, which is a plus so the digestion gets better. The dried beans are rich in minerals as well.

Now the recipe time 🙂

Ingredients :

Arhar / Toovar / Split pigeon peas dried : 1/2 cup. Wash them in running cold water.
Water : If you are boiling in sauce pan, then 3-4 cups of water is required. If you are boil ing it in pressure cooker, then 2 cups of water is required.

Dried Spices to boil the beans :

Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Ingredients for preparing the Tempering :
Oil or Ghee : 2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1/4 tsp, optional
Asafetida : a pinch, optional
Dried Red chili Whole : 1 broken into half
*Garam Masala : 1 tsp or to taste. You may use curry powder if you want.
Tomato : 1 medium chopped fine, or 1/4 cup tomato purée canned ( not paste, if you choose to use tomato paste, then use 2 tbsp)
Ginger : 1 tsp
Garlic : 1 small clove, optional
Kale : 1 tbsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh, cleaned and chopped. You may use spinach instead.
Fenugreek leaves or Methi : 1 tbsp dried or 2 tbsp cup fresh and cleaned and chopped. You can skip it if not available.
Cilantro/ coriander leaves : 2-3 tbsp fresh, cleaned and chopped.

  • Garam Masala : you may use Readymade or may use curry powder or use this recipe to keep it at home, handy and aromatic.
    Coriander seeds : 1 tbsp
    Cumin seeds : 1 tbsp
    Cinnamon stick : 1 inch piece
    Cloves : 1/2 tbsp
    Black pepper corns : 1/2 tbsp
    Dry red chili : 2
    Bay leaf dried : 1 big
    Method : dry roast all of them together on low flame till you can smell aroma, say for 2-3 minutes. They will be slightly browned. Don’t burn and blacken them. Cool them and grind them fine in a coffee grinder. Store in air tight container. Goes long way. Use as desired.

Yield : 2 cups
Serving : 4
Method for Stoup :

  1. Boil the daal or peas with turmeric and little salt in a pan or pressure cooker. If using pressure cooker, wait till 3 whistles and then turn it off and let it sit till the steam escapes. If boiling in a saucepan, bring it to a boil and then boil till the daal or peas are tender and slightly mushy. Adjust the water acoordingly for boiling. Set the boiled daal aside. The cooked Daal should be 2 cups after boiling. Adjust water accordingly.

Note : if you are using fresh kale and fenugreek leaves, then boil them with the peas or daal. Just add them to the daal when boiling.
If you are using dried greens then use them at the time of tempering.

  1. Tempering : Heat oil in pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chili. Bring the flame to low and wait till mustard and cumin start crackling.

Now add ginger, garlic and sauté for few seconds. Add chopped tomato or tomato purée or paste to the oil now along with dried greens and cilantro leaves. Sauté for few minutes till everything combines well on low flame, say for 4-5 minutes.

Add garam masala or curry powder, whatever you prefer to use. Sauté for a minute.

  1. Add the tempering to the boiled daal. Adjust the salt and garam masala if required. Boil everything together for 5 minutes and it is done :)… Simple as that.

Serve it warm with rice or roti or just drink it like a soup. If you like a little tang, add few drops of lemon juice.


Nutrition Facts
Daal Masala or Daal Tadka
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 137
Total Fat: 3.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 11.9 mg
Total Carbs: 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.5 g
Sugars: 3.4 g
Protein: 8 g

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  1. I have a big bag of lentils getting wise in the cupboard, I reckon I’ll try this recipe on them (unless you warn me that it would be a disastrous mistake…) and keep an eye out for proper pigeon peas in the meantime. Thanks!

  2. I have a big bag of lentils getting wise in the cupboard, I reckon I’ll try this recipe on them (unless you warn me that it would be a disastrous mistake…) and keep an eye out for proper pigeon peas in the meantime. Thanks!