Beerakaya Pappu | Ridge Gourd Dal

Updated: July 21, 2022, By Swasthi

Beerakaya pappu is a Andhra style dal recipe made with ridge gourd, tomatoes, toor dal & spices. Beerakaya translates to ridge gourd and pappu to dal or lentils. So beerakaya pappu is nothing but ridge gourd cooked with dal. Most andhra restaurants serve a variety of lentil dishes in the vegetarian meal like this beerakaya pappu. These dal dishes would be cooked with a vegetable, chilies and tangy tomatoes. Thus the dal tastes tangy, hot and tasty.

beerakaya pappu

Recipe Comments

Most telugu speaking house holds prepare a lentil dish cooked with some veggies for their lunch everyday. This beerakaya pappu is one such dish that is made often.

These lentil dishes are super quick to make as it just needs dumping all the ingredients in a pressure cooker & cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Then a seasoning or tempering is done.

I have always seen my mom preparing all the lentil dishes in a pot in pot method where rice is cooked in one bowl and pappu in another bowl in the same pressure cooker.

For some reason I always make all my lentil dishes directly in a pressure cooker which saves a lot of time. However you can also make this beerakaya pappu following a pot in pot method and cook the rice in one pot & pappu in another.

For more beerakaya recipes, check
Beerakaya curry
Easy beerakaya pachadi

Beerakaya fry

For more pappu recipes, you may check
Tomato pappu
Palakura pesara pappu
Gummadikaya pappu
Sorakaya senagapappu kura

How to Make this in a pot without cooker

  • Rinse half cup toor dal (or a mix of toor and moong) in a pot and drain the water. Add 1½ cups peeled and fine chopped gourd, 1 to 2 green chilies (optional) and ¼ cup white or yellow onion fine chopped. Pour 1½ to 2 cups water.
  • Bring to a rolling boil and cook on a medium heat until the lentils are almost tender but still have a slight bite to them. Add more water as you cook if required.
  • Stir in ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes and cook further until they break down. We usually mash this with a masher or the back of a ladle to get a uniform smooth consistency.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon tamarind (optional) and salt to taste.
  • Heat 1 to 2 tablespoon ghee/oil in a pan to temper the lentils. Add 1 dried broken red chili, ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add 2 to 3 small crushed garlic cloves and 1 sprig curry leaves.
  • Fry till the curry leaves turn crisp. Turn off the stove. Add a pinch of hing, little turmeric & ½ teaspoon red chilli powder.
  • Quickly mix & pour this over the dal. Off the heat and mix well. Serve beerakaya pappu with rice ghee and pickle.
beerakaya pappu

Pro Tips

1.Always use tender, young & fresh ridge gourd that has no seeds. This kind of gourd is sweeter and less fibrous so it tastes very delicious.

2. Experiment with different kinds of dal. Most andhra pappu recipes are made using only toor dal or kandi pappu. But I always love using little moong dal in all pappu dishes as it yields a thicker texture & is lighter on the tummy.

3.Andhra dishes are extremely spicy , garlicky and hot. But we do not eat very hot foods so I have used a moderate amount of all these. Feel free to add more chilies, garlic, red chili powder & tamarind.

4. I usually avoid green chilies & tamarind in most of my lentil dishes as these ingredients make the dal dishes very acidic.

So if you love simple dishes like me then skip both the ingredients and squeeze in little lemon juice before serving.

Serving suggestions

Traditionally most andhra pappu dishes are served with hot rice, ghee, pickle & vadiyalu (andhra style fryums).

Beerakaya pappu goes well with rice, chapathi or phulka too.

beerakaya pappu recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

beerakaya pappu recipe

Beerakaya Pappu

5 from 16 votes
Beerakaya pappu is a basic Andhra style lentil dish made with lentils, ridge gourd, tomatoes & spices. Serve with rice or roti.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ¼ cup Toor dal or kandhi pappu
  • ¼ cup Moong dal or Pesara pappu (or toor dal)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies
  • ¼ cup onion fine chopped
  • ½ cup tomatoes fine chopped
  • 1 tsp Tamarind or as needed
  • cups ridge gourd or beerakaya chopped, tender, pieces
  • ½ to 1 tsp ginger garlic paste (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Talimpu (To Temper)

  • 1 to 2 tbsp Oil or ghee
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves fresh
  • 2 to 3 small garlic cloves gently crushed
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
  • 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 dried red chilies broken
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (optional)


How to Make Beerakaya Pappu

  • Wash the ridge gourd well and peel the skin. Cube it to 1 inch pieces. 
  • Add dal to a pot or pressure cooker. Rinse it well a few times and drain the water.  Pour 1½ cups water. 
  • Then add ridge gourd, onions, green chilies, tamarind, tomatoes & ginger garlic paste. Cover with a lid.
  • Pressure cook for 3 whistles if cooking in a pot in pot method. I usually cook directly in the cooker for 2 whistles.
  • Once the pressure reduces. open the lid & mash the dal to smooth. Add turmeric and salt.
  • Adjust the consistency by adding water if desired. Bring it to a boil if you add more water.


  • Heat oil in a pan for tadka. Add red chilies, mustard, and cumin when they begin to splutter, add garlic and curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves turn crisp. Turn off the stove. Add hing, turmeric & red chilli powder. 
  • Quickly mix & pour this over the dal. Off the heat and mix well. Serve beerakaya pappu with rice ghee and pickle.


To make restaurant style beerakaya pappu use a mix of toor dal, moong dal & masoor dal.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Beerakaya Pappu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
% Daily Value*
Sodium 170mg7%
Potassium 537mg15%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 420IU8%
Vitamin C 78.2mg95%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi Swasthi,
Do you have a stovetop version of this recipe as I don’t own either a pressure cooker or an instant pot?


5 stars
Tried today, we all loved this. Best version of ridge gourd dal I have made. Lemon juice as you suggested made it taste so fresh.

5 stars
Hi swasthi,

How long should I cook the dal in instant pot under high pressure and how long after the gourd has been added? Thanks so much.

5 stars
I don’t see the step by step instructions above the recipe card.

We put in raw tamarind/ tamarind water in the cooker? Thanks

5 stars
Hi I’m Rashmi,
I prepared this recipe today it was totally good and awesome with my biryani..thx keep sharing good recipes

5 stars
Thanks for your recipe. Today I prepared this , it turned out so good.. keep up your good work…

5 stars
Super!!!! Chalanai baga undai.. Yummy.. Love you sis

very cosy dish…love it all the time!!

very comforting dhal curry

wow a very quick and delicious dal looks so yummy and tangy dear 🙂

Very inviting and tempting dish…yummilicious!

Very healthy and comforting dal. Love to have it with plain rice..

Wow, lovely.. I love this curry anytime.. Pair it up with rasam I am a happy lady !

Its a must try recipe because we are getting bored with the usual dal curry I have been making continuously. The combo of different types of dhal is awesome and love the thick yummy gravy.

a healthy dal curry.. wish to have some with naan..

interesting dal curry…