Split Pea & Squash Curry

Now that we seem to have caught up (vegetable-availability-wise) with everyone who was posting squash and pumpkin recipes back in the autumn, I am finally cooking lots of warming winter dishes which include this fantastic ingredient. Having said that, it´s not actually very cold here at the moment, but it is Janaury, so I feel justified in making wintery food.

Although we didn´t put on any extra kilos over Christmas, no one could ever accuse either me or Big Man of being under weight, so recipes which are healthier and packed with vegetables are perfect for us.

A mild flavoured curry was on my list – Big Man doesn´t like them hot, and I can always add a little dried chilli at the end to turn up the heat in my own portion.

Ingredients (to serve 4 as a hearty soup or more as a side dish)

  • 200g split yellow peas (the last of a stash bought over by visitors…so sad)
  • 500g squash peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 cup of tomato conserva or chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 onion peeled, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1 head of garlic (you will be roasting this and only using half)
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of your favourite curry mix (I usually make mine with ground turmeric, chilli, cumin, dried coriander, black pepper and cardamom seeds and then add a little fresh grated ginger when I cook)
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 dried chilli crumbled (optional)
  • Oil for frying

Turn the oven onto a high setting and place the squash on a tray lined with foil. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle a little oil over.  Roast for about 30 minutes until soft and brown at the edges.  Put the garlic in at the same time, wrapped loosely in foil.

Start by dry frying the mustard seeds until they pop. Remove them from the pan. Add a little oil to your pan and fry the onion and garlic until they are soft, then add your curry powder and mustard seeds and fry until the lovely aromas start to come out, then add the split peas (or you could use lentils).  Now add the tomato conserva and 2 cups of the stock or water plus the crumbled chilli if using.

Cook gently until the split peas are almost soft (you may need to add more liquid, just keep an eye on them). Remove the squash and garlic from the oven and cut the squash into smaller bite sized chunks.  Add these to the split peas.  Pop half of the garlic cloves out of their skins and add to the curry. Mash the other half and cover with a little oil, it will keep for at least a week in the fridge and can be used in other dishes or dips.

Add a drop more liquid to the vegetables if necessary, cooking the curry for about 10 more minutes until everything is soft and cooked through.  You can mash some of the squash, garlic and split peas with the back of a wooden spoon, leaving some chunky.  Add salt, you´ll probably find it can take quite a lot, but the choice is yours. Eat as a thick soup or a side dish and it´s lovely served with rice or naan bread.

Delicious with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped coriander, but I didn´t have either of them so I just used lemon juice. If you like it even milder and more creamy, stir in a couple of big spoonfuls of thick creamy yogurt.

We had some leftovers, so the next day I added some more stock, yogurt and some finely chopped chard (you could use spinach, kale, cabbage) and warmed it through to make a delicious soup – I´m not sure which version I liked best!


62 thoughts on “Split Pea & Squash Curry

  1. Unable to taste them — we really have to work on this part of blogging — I’d say that both recipes are winners. Love lentils. Love split peas. Love curry. If I had to choose between the 2 bowls, however, I think I’d go with the latter made with chard. You see, Tanya, I love chard, too. No matter, really, because each version looks & sounds delicious! I couldn’t make a choice I’d be sorry about later.

    1. Do you think WordPress could incorporate a taste and smell feature?! Wouldn’t that be great. And like you, I couldn´t decide between the two but you could do a third version which is the thicker first one WITH chard!

  2. A little sweet and hot and savory, and a big bunch of healthy! Really love the sounds of this Tanya. I think: why choose? You did the perfect thing by re-purposing (or is it recycling) last nights dish and making it even healthier tonight. Pretty brilliant I’d say! I’d also say YUM!

  3. We love curries too, john is the curry maker so i shall pass this on to him, he still has some split peas too! wonderful. love your spices! c

    1. Perfect – I do tend to always cook way too much of everything. Have now learned that this doesn´t mean I have to scoff it all in one sitting, but that I have two meals from one instead 🙂

    1. Brilliant – we´re now officially tiny if you say so!! Little Man is Alfi the Dog, so Big Man may have to be Not So Big Man….anyway, enough silliness, we´re never going to be thin so we´ll just keep on with the recipes. Glad you liked it 🙂

  4. ¡No puedo creer mi suerte!

    En Panamá las arvejas son un plato muy muy popular y aunque cuando era pequeña no era uno de mis platos favoritos, estas navidades cuando estuve allí compré una bolsa para traer a madrid porque aquí no las he visto nunca. Y te preguntarás qué tiene que ver estas arvejas con tu receta, pues que son split yellow peas!!!
    Ahora no tengo más remedio que hacer tu receta, seguro que así superaré mis malos recuerdos de la infancia y aprenderé a re-apreciar a esta pobre legumbre 🙂


    1. Pues gracias Giovana – y ahora sé que los Split yellow peas se llamen las arvejas y puedo empecer la búsqueda aquí en Andalucía a ver si les encuentro. Espero que te gusta el plato – yo he notado que mis gustas han cambiado mucho desde que era pequeña!

  5. Both of these look just wonderful, and I agree with you and John…Wordpress, we need smell-o’-blogging…or something like that. I’m afraid I might have to put all of the roasted garlic in this, I like it so much. I just love that you reinvented the first dish to make the second. What a creative and a great way to not get bored with leftovers, not that anyone would with these dishes!

  6. This sounds delicious and I have a squash in my fridge that is just about ready to give up the ghost, dinner for tonight sorted, thanks! I don’t have split peas but I bought a packet of yellow lentils form Mercadona so I’m going to give them a try, I get confused with all the different types of lentils but love them all!

    1. What a great idea – I´ve seen those yellow lentils but have never bought them. Would be interested to know how they “behave”. Blue Jelly Beans gave me the name of them in Spanish and I asked Big Man where I could buy them and looked at me and laughed and said they were for feeding birds here 😉 Will continue the search for split peas!

  7. Great looking dish – perfect meal after a day spent out in the cold. I love lentils, split peas etc – I always get mixed up between the two as well but I think they’re pretty much interchangeable in many recipes.

  8. Yum this is also right up my alley though the rest of my household have very boring tastes so when I make it it will be ALL MINE (my brain is whirling), therefore there will be enough for the soup. Wonder if it freezes?

    Either either – yum.

  9. Delicious – I cooked this last night, and my husband, who had been put off by the lentil&veg one (I loved it), was most impressed. These split peas are so much lighter (texture) than the regular brown ones. Also, I made my own curry paste for the first time, using cardamom and mustard seeds of indeterminate vintage, and it made such a difference with that gorgeous cardamom aroma. Thank you! You’re inspiring me to do more adventurous home cooking (ie not just pasta!)

    1. Oh I´m so pleased Fiona! (Sorry that today´s recipe is very meaty 😉 ) Big Man is also an “endurer” of lentils but not a lover but he really enjoys the split peas. Did you find them in Mercadona?

  10. Nom diddley om nom! Making this ASAP to serve over some scrumptious coconut rice. Putting weight on over the colder months? Who needs a waist. That’s what soft elastic is for! 😉

    1. I haven’t seen my waist for years (hurrah for the Empire Line frock for parties)! Cold weather needs fodder….well, it’s nearly always cold in England so that’s my excuse!

      1. Same here in Tassie so that Empire Line you mention appears to be my new seasons look! Now I just need to learn to sew…

      2. Because when you are only just managing to squeeze your (lack of a waist) into something resembling a “frock” (LOVE that word 😉 ) you had best make doubly sure that it is sewn together with double seams that have been super glued in between because anything less would have disastrous (and obscene) consequences 😉

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