Pigeon Peas and Rice

Thuvaram paruppu sadham (rice with split pigeon peas) is a traditional one-pot meal popular in Tirunelveli. This flavorful rice is an easy-to-prepare meal itself and hence can be packed for children’s lunch box. This is one of our favorite lunch meals on a lazy weekend. It is so delightful when we pour coconut oil lavishly over the rice and relish with crunchy appalam or papadam (sun-dried lentil discs) & vengaya vadagam (sun-dried lentil with shallot balls).

IMG_5934-thuvarMy mother used to prepare this palatable rice on the day when we all return home after a long summer vacation; it is mainly because it can be prepared with commonly available ingredients and does not require any vegetable. But on other days she used to serve this rice with cluster bean stir-fry (kothavarai poriyal) or okra stir-fry (vendaikai poriyal) and coriander seeds chutney.

IMG_5940 (2)

Please check below the recipe for this delicious rice:


  1. Boiled Rice (puzhungal arisi) – 1 cup (200 g)
  2. Red gram or split pigeon peas (thuvaram paruppu) – 1/3 cup (app. 65 g)
  3. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  4. Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch
  5. Salt – 1 tsp
  6. Water – 3 cups (600 ml)


For Grinding:

  1. Red chillies – 8 Nos
  2. Coconut pieces – 5 Nos (each 1 inch)
  3. Tamarind – gooseberry sized
  4. Cumins – 1 tsp
  5. Shallots – 10 Nos
  6. Garlic – 4 pods

For Tempering:

  1. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  3. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  4. Vengaya Vadagam – 4 Nos.


Mise en Place:

  • Soak tamarind in water and keep aside.
  • Wash rice & lentils and keep aside.
  • First grind red chillies & cumins into a coarse powder.
  • Add coconut, shallots & garlic and grind for 30 sec.
  • Add tamarind (after removing fibers or seeds, if any) along with soaking water and grind into a smooth paste.

Cooking Method:

  • Add rice, red gram and water into a pressure cooker and bring them to a boil in medium flame.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, ground paste, asafoetida, mix them well and bring to a boil.
  • Close the pressure cooker and simmer for 10 min.
  • Meanwhile heat a small pan with oil (1 tsp) in medium flame.
  • Add mustard seeds, when spluttered add curry leaves and saute for 30 sec.
  • Transfer the spluttered mustard & curry leaves to a bowl and keep aside.
  • Now add remaining (2 tsp) oil into the same pan and heat the pan.
  • Add crumbled vengaya vadagam and fry in low flame.
  • Remove them from pan before getting burnt.
  • When the pressure releases from cooker add tempering into the rice.
  • Mix them gently and serve hot with crunchy papads.

Please Note:

  • If you do not have vengaya vadagam, you can add sauteed chopped shallots along with curry leaves to enhance the flavor.
  • I have used rice & lentil in the ratio of 3:1, if you like you can also try at 2:1 also.
  • You can also add a handful of moringa (drumstick) leaves before adding salt.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Delicious recipe along with your pictures it looks so mouth watering I am definitely going to try it. Thank you so ma’am

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aruna says:

    Simple and delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!


  3. Dahlia says:

    I am not much of a foodie but you have managed to tempt me – I am starving for a bite of this delicious looking dish. I really appreciate the pains you have taken with the photos and stuff – well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow such an interesting recipe! Got to try soon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Megala says:

    Very nice that it reminded you to prepare this dish again.


  6. Looks so good! I haven’t made this in a long time after seeing those mouthwatering pictures, I’m so tempted to make this rice today!

    Liked by 1 person

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