Split Green Gram Curry with Coconut and Fennel seeds | Cherupayar Curry

This is Umma's recipe of "Cherupayar" or split-green-gram or chilka moong dal (mung, moong bean) curry. I had personally sat with her and made notes about this recipe before I came to this land of deserts in 2014. I had set the expectation with her and F that I would not thrive to recreate the same taste and that the son has to get used to my way of cooking! :-P I agree this was just to be on the safer side if they don't turn out as good as hers! In these two years, I have to confess that I have been secretly thriving to get her the same taste! That is how much I love her food. 
Split Green Gram Curry with Coconut and Fennel seeds | Cherupayar Curry

This version of cherupayar curry uses split green gram and has coconut and fennel seeds as supporting stars. In our home, this is served with flatbreads like fennel seeds spiced rice crapes or rice crapes using basmati rice or rice crapes with coconut and chapati for breakfast or dinner. 

Apart from the taste, the next best reason I tend to make this often is - no soaking required. :-P which helps me to go for it on days I can't make up my mind on what to cook. Apparently, that is the case most of the days but I would be in a worse dilemma when I run out of veggies and meat as then it would be the endless staring at the lentils and legumes. :-D 

Whole green gram aka moong dal or mung bean is another very versatile lentil that produces some of the best Indian sweets, curries, stir fry (thoran), salads, etc. For today, let us have this Kerala style Umma's cherupayar curry that is tastier when you crush fresh green chilli or bird's eye chilli on your plate and then pour a ladle of curry! The HOT green chilli enhances the green gram coconut curry to another level. 

In the absence of a split green gram, Umma roasts the whole mung beans and gives it a pulse in the mixie for a few seconds to break it down. She does this in batches; each time she adds back the whole ones and pulses it until all of the whole ones are split.

Updated with a new image on 7th July 2019
Split Green Gram Curry with Coconut and Fennel seeds | Cherupayar Curry

Split Green Gram Curry with Coconut and Fennel seeds 


Pressure Cook
  • 3/4 to 1 cup split green gram dal (split mung bean /moong bean), washed and drained
  • 2 to 3 cups of water
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced finely
  • 2 to 3 green chillies, slit
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, quartered
  • Salt to taste
Grind to Paste
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut or 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2 pinches of turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilli
  • a few curry leaves
before serving
  • Fresh green chillies slit or a couple of Bird's eye chilli (Kandari mulagu) 


  1. Add the split mung beans, onion, green chillies, spice powders, tomato and salt along with enough water into a pressure cooker and cook for 2 to 3 whistles and switch off. 
    1. Let the pressure cool off on its own. 
  2. Grind to paste the coconut, turmeric and fennel seeds with just enough water into a smooth paste. 
  3. Open the pressure cooker and keep it on a low flame. Stir in the coconut paste, and salt and more water if it is too thick.
  4. Let it boil for 3 to 4 mins. Here you can decide the consistency you want the curry to be - if you need it thick, then let it simmer for a while. You will have to stir once in a while to prevent the dal from bubbling and splashing out. Switch off when it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. In another small pan, heat coconut oil, add mustard seeds and let it crackle, then add the dried red chilli and curry leaves. Pour this into the curry and give it a good stir. Close it with a lid for a couple of minutes for the flavour to get incorporated.
  6. Serve hot with freshly crushed green chillies with the rice crepes shown in the images that we call ari doshas, or chapatis or plain white rice. 
Split Green Gram Curry with Coconut and Fennel seeds | Cherupayar Curry

The men at the in-laws follow a tradition when it is Cherupyre curry day. They want Umma to do it and not anyone else. The chapatis are torn roughly into small pieces and ladles of cherupayar curry that just got treated with Hot green chilli (or bird's eye chilli) is poured and the whole thing is mixed with hand and then served. Food from a mother's hand gets tastier I guess! :-P 

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe, share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchai so that I can see your creations!