Coconut Curry Split Pea Stew

This vibrant Indian dish is rich, creamy, and satisfying, with delightful bursts of sweetness. Ladle it atop rice for a full meal, or dole out a cup for a hearty lunch or starter.

I have many fond memories of enjoying this dish over a night of nerdy banter with our close friends in San Francisco, who introduced it to us a decade ago. We used the original recipe many times, and shared it with others friends who enjoyed it around our dinnertable. I recently created this pea-centric version for no good reason other than the fact I was craving a stew but wasn’t in the mood for lentils two nights in a row 😉

It’s a deceptively rich dish so don’t be surprised if a small cup is all you (or your kids) need to feel full. For a lighter version, try light coconut milk and/or reduce the oil.


  • 2 cups / 400g yellow split peas (dry)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (sub: olive oil or margerine)
  • 8 green onions or scallions
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml tomato paste
  • 1 regular can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • one small handful cilantro
  • Salt to taste


  • Clean the split peas. Place in colander and rinse until water runs clear
  • Chop carrot into small pieces (bitesize)
  • Peel and finely mince ginger


  1. Place split peas in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
  2. In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is fragrant. Be careful though, you don’t want to burn it! Set aside. Place the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.
  3. Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and a pinch or two of salt (to taste). Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The stew will thicken considerably. Add water if you prefer thinner.


  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and green onion. Add a dollop of coconut yogourt or other plain yogourt if desired.
  • Season with more salt & pepper if desired
  • Serve over a grain (rice) or enjoy straight up


Per ~ 1 cup serving

The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA. They often do not apply to children.

Recipe credit: Adapted from Coconut Red Lentil Curry: Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. *the original rocks too!