Pigeon Peas and Rice

Thuvaram paruppu sadham (rice with split pigeon peas) is a traditional flavorful one-pot meal popular in Tirunelveli. I usually prepare our favorite thuvaram paruppu sadam for lunch on a lazy weekend as it does not require much of a planning. Besides I can serve this rice simply as a meal along with appalam or papadam (sun-dried lentil discs) and vengaya vadagam (sun-dried lentil and shallot balls). It is so delightful when we pour coconut oil lavishly over the rice and relish with crunchy appalam & flavorful vadagam.

img_59412 Pigeon Peas and Rice

My mother usually prepares this palatable rice on the day when we all return home after a long summer vacation as it does not require any vegetable and it can be prepared with commonly available ingredients. She simply serves this rice dish with appalam, koozh vatral and vadagam. 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_59462 Pigeon Peas and Rice

Please find below the recipe for delicious thuvaram paruppu sadham rice:

Time taken: 30 min


  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)
img_5887 Pigeon Peas and Rice

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.
img_5911 Pigeon Peas and Rice

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.

Cooking Tips:

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

15 comments on “Pigeon Peas and RiceAdd yours →

  1. 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!

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