Pappu charu is a simple basic lentil soup from andhra cuisine. It is similar to the sambar but made without sambar powder. Pappu charu is made with just the basic ingredients and most times a lot of veggies are not added to it. It is a traditional recipe & is most commonly eaten with a meal along with some rice & veggie stir fry.
Usually most homes make pappu charu with toor dal or kandi pappu. However I use a combination of toor dal and moong dal (pesar pappu) to get a thicker texture.
During summers my mom always would make pappu charu with moong dal as it is cooling to the body & helps to balance the body temperature.
At home I make regularly some kind of soupy dish for dinner like sambar, pulusu or rasam. This pappu charu is something I resort to when I run out of veggies or have no time to make sambar powder.
The basic version of pappu charu is made just with onions and tomatoes. However we also make this with lots of veggies some times. Bhindi, small onions & drumsticks go very well in this.
Serve this hot with some plain rice, ghee & papads or with veggie stir fry. I usually make a vepudu to go with the meal. Here are some you may want to try – bendakaya vepudu, andhra style raw banana fry, Dondakaya vepudu & beerakaya fry.
How to make pappu charu
1. Wash and cook 1/2 cup dal with 1 1/4 cup water till soft in a pressure cooker. Mash the dal and set aside. Soak tamarind in 1 cup water. squeeze it and set aside.
2. Pour ghee or oil to a hot pot. When the ghee turns hot add cumin, mustard and methi. When they begin to splutter add red chili, curry leaves, garlic and hing.
3. When the curry leaves turn crisp, add onions and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, green chilies, turmeric and salt. Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy.
5. Add red chili powder and fry for a minute till the raw smell goes off.
6. Filter the tamarind water and add one more cup of water.
7. When the water comes to a boil, Add mashed smooth dal. I prefer to pass it through a seive to get nice smooth pappu charu. You can skip this if your dal is smooth. Stir well. Check salt, sour and chili. Adjust what ever you like.
8. When the pappu charu comes to a boil, switch off the stove. Add coriander leaves with stalks. keep it covered.
Serve pappu charu with rice or idli.
Pappu charu recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup kandi pappu or pesara pappu (or a combination)
- 1¼ cup water or little more to pressure cook
- 1 to 2 teaspoons tamarind or lemon juice as needed
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 sprigs coriander leaves
- ¼ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 green chilli slit or chopped
talimpu / tempering pappu charu
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Pinch hing or asafoetida (optional)
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
- 1 pinch methi seeds or menthulu
- 1 red chili broken
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Pressure cook dal till smooth. I usually use 1 cup of water for ½ cup of dal and pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame. You can also cook following pot-in-pot method by placing the bowl of dal inside the cooker. In this case pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. When the pressure releases mash it well.
- Soak tamarind in little water. Set aside.
- Heat ghee in a pot. Add red chili, mustard, cumin and methi. When they begin to crackle add garlic, curry leaves & hing.
- Add onions and sauté for a min. I like them to be crunchy. If you want them to be soft, fry till they are half done.
- Add tomatoes, green chilies sprinkle salt and turmeric, fry till the tomatoes turn fully mushy. If you do not want to use tomatoes, just proceed to next step
- Add red chili powder, mix well and fry for a min. Squeeze the tamarind and filter the water to the pot. Pour 1 cup plain water, bring it to a boil.
- When the water comes to a boil, add mashed dal or filter the dal through a colander like me to remove coarse grains. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Add coriander leaves.
- Serve pappu charu with rice, ghee and papad.
The red chili powder is replaced with green chili; a small piece of ginger is crushed and added to the seasoning.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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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.
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