22 March, 2012

Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry Recipe | Simple Tuvar Lilva/Fresh Pigeon Peas Curry

Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry

It is one of those days when my fingers linger over keyboard without touching it for hours! After what feels like ages, I randomly type few words only to press delete button after a while… My mind is buzzing with hurricane of thoughts, ideas and stories that I want to share with my reader friends, but words seems to have abandoned me when I try to pen them down! It happened yesterday and I was hoping that foggy thoughts will clear and the words will come flooding to me from my heart and they will flow through my finger tips! But staring at the blank screen with blinking cursor for agers, I have concluded that I am going through the phase of writer’s block! ~sigh~

Sweet, spicy and sour ~ Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry

I may not have anything to share with you, a random thought, stories or chapters from my life, but I do have a recipe to share. It is one of those simple curries you whip up without referring to any cookbooks, websites or cooking shows but that you just create by adding the ingredients which is guided by your instinct, and your taste buds. I made this Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry on a busy weekday after slaving in front of my office PC trying to debug the complex program for hours. Back home with a clingy teething baby and piles of household work to finish, I felt the need to do something that would calm my overworked brain and bring peace to my soul… Without any surprise, it was cooking that helped me to relax my mind and bring smile on my face. I cook not just to fill my family and my tummy; I cook because it helps me to be myself. I find cooking to be therapeutic when I take out all my day’s stress, anger and find myself relaxing while pounding the spices and stirring the pots and pans. It is a different story that on rare days like these, my family likes to stay away from the kitchen when they find me pound the spices like someone possessed and gingerly step in to my domain when they hear me humming to my favourite songs! ;)

Tuval Lilva and Tomato Curry served with Chapatti and Palak Paneer

Aha… slowly my thoughts seem to come back to me, like a ray of bright sun behind grey clouds! It’s about time, I would say! But I’ll not bore you with my rants today… So let me just share the recipe of Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry instead. I picked a bag of fresh, shelled fresh pigeon peas from Indian grocery without actually having any recipe idea on mind! I was excited, nevertheless, for able to buy these pigeon peas which looks really fresh and cute. I stored it in refrigerator and completely forgot about them for few days. It was only on that busy weekday I found these happy looking bag of beans while rummaging through last bits of vegetables. A bag of fresh pigeon peas and a lone bell pepper in one hand and a box of ripe, juicy tomatoes in another hand, I decided to cook following my instincts instead of follow some recipe! So what I have here today is something that came from my heart and it made its lasting impression on our taste buds who rejoiced with every mouthful of this tangy and sweet Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry. Sometimes the best tasting meal is made when you follow your heart and this recipe is the true example… If you don’t have a bag of tuvar lilva or fresh pigeon peas, simply replace them with fresh/frozen green peas and it will still taste great! But don’t reduce the number/amount of tomato as they lift the flavour of this curry to new level. Simple, wholesome and absolutely delicious Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry will leave you asking for more! 

Fresh pigoen peas and tomatoes for Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry

Quick to make and delight to eat ~ Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry

Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry (Fresh pigeon peas in sweet and sour tomato gravy)
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins when cooked in a Pressure Cooker and 20-25 mins on stove top
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Mild/Low to Medium
Serves: 5-6 people
Shelf Life: 3 days when refrigerated and up to a month when frozen
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

1 heaped cup Tuvar Lilva/Hasi Togari BeLe/Fresh Pigeon Peas, shelled and washed
5-6 medium Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium Onion, very finely chopped
1 medium Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares or triangle
1 Green Chilli, slit (Adjust acc to taste)
½ inch Ginger, peeled and grated/minced
½ tbsp Jaggary/Cane Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
1 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (Optional, adjust acc to taste)
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
½ tsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Dried Red Chillies, halved
A large pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
A sprig of Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil

Simple vegan delight ~ Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry

  1. Heat about tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker, or heavy bottomed pan, on a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it sizzle and pop. Next add dried chillies, hing and curry leaves and let them fry for 30 seconds.
  2. Add finely chopped onions and sauté them till they turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Mix in grated ginger, slit green chilli and cook till the raw smell disappears, about 1 minute.
  3. Add roughly chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn pulpy and release their juice, about 3 minutes.
  4. Next add coriander powder and garam masala and mix them well. Add the jaggary and salt to taste and mix in about 2- 2½ cups of water and let it come to a gentle boil.
  5. Mix in shelled tuvar lilva, bell peppers/capsicum and cover the lid of a pressure cooker or pan. It takes around 12 minutes (2-3 whistles) in pressure cooker and around 18 minutes in a pan for the tuvar lilva to cook through. You want them to be cooked through and yet retain their shape and not mushy.
  6. Let the pressure be release completely before opening the lid of the pressure cooker. Add fresh lime juice to taste and finely chopped coriander leaves before serving Tuvar Lilva and Tomato Curry with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice. Bliss!!!

Sia’s Notes:
  • Use fresh green peas in place of tuvar lilva for another flavourful curry.
  • Also you can use potatoes or other green leafy vegetables like spinach or fresh fenugreek leaves. The possibilities are endless!
  • Fresh tomatoes are the best in this recipe but you can replace them with canned tomatoes if you are short of time. But don’t reduce the number/amount of tomato as they lift the flavour of this curry to new level.


  1. Love the way you have presented this simple dish...with slices of onions and a lovely knife...Btw where did u get that from!

  2. Gorgeous pictures as always. Another mouth watering recipe to try!

  3. Woww.. Looks absolutely perfect and delicious.. awesome job dear !!
    Indian Cuisine

  4. I make a manglorean curry with the fresh tuvar, always wondered how it would taste with a different approach,this looks intersting.. thanx for the recipe.

  5. Another lovely dish! Hold that clinging baby close! I hope teeth come through soon!

  6. loved the delicious and rustic lilva and tomato curry ,will try this with fresh peas. loved the beautiful clicks..

  7. thats such a nice thali.

    i love tuvar beans. we always have it boiled with a sprinkling of some red chili powder and salt.

    cooking is therapeutic to me too after all the stress i go through in a day's work.

  8. Quick curries like these save me on several occasions. A bowl of this with curd rice! Yum...

  9. The recipe came out very well. Thanks.
    BTW in the ingredients list you have given Hasi Togari BeLe for tuvar lilva. I think it has to be Hasi Togari Kaalu :)


  10. The recipe came out very well. Great presentation too,
    BTW in the ingridients list, it has to be Hasi Togari Kaalu, instead of Hasi Togari BeLe :)


  11. I tried your recipe as I am trying to use up some long forgotten frozen veggies in my freezer, Tuvar Lilva being one of them. You were right about not reducing the tomatoes. I did not have the green bell peppers, so used some potatoes. I was worried that it will taste like my usual boring aaloo-Mattar, but this was way different! It turned out great. Looks and taste too. Thank you! Keep up the great work.


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