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Green Split Pea Curry Recipe & The £2 Challenge

Green Split Pea Curry - a frugal but delicious meal, suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten-free or nut-free diet.

When I was challenged recently to meal plan for £2 a day per person to include breakfast, lunch & dinner, my mind immediately sprang to pulses. They are not only delicious, but are also relatively cheap, especially if you use dried ones rather than tinned. Find out about the challenge below along with my recipe for green split pea curry – a British take on an Indian classic.

Voucherbox £2 Challenge with Zamcog

Voucherbox has teamed up with Zamcog to raise awareness of child poverty. The challenge is to feed ourselves and our families for £2 each for a day. I am always humbled when I take on this sort of challenge. Many people around the world have less than £2 to live on for an entire day and we didn’t even have to factor in the additional cost of the actual cooking. Whilst food is scarce for many, we in the West are thoroughly spoilt and throw away an astonishing amount. It’s really very shocking.

80% of Zambian children live below the poverty line and 75% don’t have access to education. Yet it costs just £2 per day to feed, cloth and educate a child there. Zamcog is a UK based charity that is dedicated to helping feed and educate Zambia’s most at-risk children. They believe that education can eradicate poverty and build futures. The video below takes you to Zambia and highlights the situation far more eloquently than I can.

I had a friend who lived in Zambia when I was a child and it all sounded very exotic and exciting. I had no idea so many people there lived so badly. Voucherbox are donating £50 to Zamcog for each blogger who takes part and helps to spread awareness of this shocking plight. If you’re a blogger and would like to take part in the #2poundchallenge, head over to Voucherbox for further details. It’s running throughout February.

Frugality & Variety

I have a frugal streak that relished this challenge and I didn’t really find it much of a hardship. In fact, I was surprised at how well we ate. But it did make me think. I like to eat nutritious ingredients and organic produce where I can. Although the food was healthy and well balanced, I was unable to get as many organic ingredients in as I normally would and the foods were very basic. Much as I love pulses and the green split pea curry, I also relish variety: such a restricted diet would soon drain the colour out of life.

£2 Food for a Day Challenge

So what did we eat on the day, apart from green split pea curry of course? I had £4 for the two of us, but even then I managed to underspend. We ate well and healthily and the plan even included a slice of my chocolate cake for £1. I used a few organic ingredients; omitting these and being a canny shopper could reduce the cost to almost the £3 mark. I already had quite a lot of the ingredients in stock, so I  used a mix of supermarket prices and the actual prices I paid for costing up purposes.

Frugality was the name of the game, but I thought a bit of luxury to start the day was called for. I made this filling and nutritious prune porridge with walnuts and cinnamon. The walnuts were expensive and breakfast came in as the most costly meal of the day, but it was worth it. Feeling miserable first thing in the morning is not a good way to go.

We drank tea and water throughout the day. Rooibos isn’t the cheapest of teas, but we like it and unlike conventional tea, the teabags can be used a second and even a third time. One teabag in a pot gives us 4 good cups of tea.

There are some things I won’t compromise on and eggs are one of these. I buy free-range eggs from my local Country Market and they are by no means cheap. I’d rather go without though, than eat factory farmed eggs. As it turned out, I was able to have egg on toast for lunch and this proved to be the cheapest meal at 77p.

Green Split Pea Curry. PIN IT.

Green Split Pea Curry - a frugal but delicious meal, suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten-free or nut-free diet. #TinandThyme #curry #veganrecipe #vegetarianrecipe #dhal #dahl #dal #frugal #thrifty #vegan #vegetarian

Green Split Pea Curry

For supper I made green split pea curry with carrots and served it with long grain brown rice. I made double the amount we needed, so there was no need to cook the next day. The curry was totally delicious, nutritious and filling and I wondered why I’d never thought to use British split peas in a curry before. The higher quality the curry powder the better your curry will taste. I used Steenbergs organic curry powder, which is a particularly good one.

Meal Plan for My £2 a Day Challenge

Breakfast – prune porridge = £1.39

  • organic rolled oats – 80g = 16p (7p for non-organic)
  • milk – 1 pt (enough for porridge and plenty of tea) = 44p
  • prunes – 6 prunes = 20p
  • ground cinnamon – 2g = 2p
  • walnuts – 50g = 50p
  • rooibos tea – 2 teabags (providing 8 cups of tea) = 7p

Lunch – Poached egg on toast with Marmite = £0.77

  • 4 large slices wholemeal bread = 16p
  • butter – 20g = 7p
  • Marmite = 1g per slice = 4p
  • 2 free range eggs (from local farmer’s market) = 50p

Afternoon Tea – Chocolate Cake = 25p

Dinner – Green split pea curry with brown rice = £1.25 plus spices

  • 125g green split peas = 24p
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) sunflower oil = 2p
  • 1 organic onion (100g) = 13p
  • 2 organic carrots (100g) = 13p
  • clove garlic = 3p
  • ½ a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes = 19p
  • ⅓ tsp sea salt = 1p
  • 1 tsp organic curry powder = 16p
  • ¼ tsp turmeric = 2p
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes = 2p
  • 120g organic long-grain brown rice = 30p (ordinary brown rice = 12p)

Grand Total = £3.66

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this green split pea curry recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share a photo on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot it. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Green Split Pea Curry – The Recipe

Green Split Pea Curry - a frugal but delicious meal, suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten-free or nut-free diet.
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5 from 3 votes

Green Split Pea Curry

A frugal but delicious vegan curry. Serve with brown rice for a filling and nutritious meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry, dhal, easy, frugal, split peas
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 341kcal


  • 250 g green split peas
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil (30 ml)
  • 1 large organic onion - chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 organic carrots - scrubbed and diced


  • Soak the peas overnight and for 24 hours if possible. The longer they're soaked, the quicker they will take to cook.
  • Wash well. Cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour or so until tender. They can also be cooked in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
  • Fry the onions, carrots and garlic in the oil over a moderate heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the spices and fry for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for a further ten minutes or so. Add the peas and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with rice or flatbreads.


Overnight soaking required.
Halve the amount for two people or save half of it for the following day.
Will keep in the fridge for 3 days if covered.
Please note: calories are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.1g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 8.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 891mg | Fiber: 19.9g | Sugar: 12.9g | Calcium: 1020mg | Iron: 0.7mg


As I cooked enough for two days running, I’m sharing this green split pea curry with Corina at Searching for Spice for Cook Once Eat Twice.

My green split pea curry also goes to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As it’s written for charitable purposes, I’ve only taken a small fraction of my normal fee. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.


  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    7th February 2017 at 9:30 am

    This is so comforting, filling and delicious…my kind of every day meal.

    • Choclette

      7th February 2017 at 11:03 am

      Yes, you’re right Angie, that’s a good description 🙂

  2. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe

    7th February 2017 at 10:22 am

    I guess this is the sort of meal that have been feeding low budget families for many years – it is definitely something I would love to eat for my dinner but am not sure how many days I could eat it before tiring – probably at least 3-4

    • Choclette

      7th February 2017 at 11:05 am

      Exactly Johanna. We really enjoyed this curry and were very happy to eat it two days running. Thhe thought of eating it and similar every day of my life is something else all together.

  3. Dannii

    7th February 2017 at 11:20 am

    This is such a great challenge, and it just goes to show what delicious meals you can make on a budget.

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 6:42 pm

      It’s very true and pulses are particularly good for a frugal meal, but I think I’d get a bit bored living on this sort of money full time.

  4. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    7th February 2017 at 11:52 am

    I love pulse based curries and dals, so comforting in the depths of winter, as well as very frugal. Lovely recipe and a great cause too.

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Helen. Pulses are king, especially for vegetarians and it really is shocking how so many people in the world are still starving or near starving.

  5. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    7th February 2017 at 11:57 am

    What a great challenge! I love a good challenge – even better if you can help raise awareness for important issues at the same time. Curry sounds great!

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks Becca. It was fun to do, but I’m not sure how long I’d be able to keep it up.

  6. Elinor Kugler

    7th February 2017 at 2:23 pm

    That’s incredible! I’m still in shock what an AMAZING meal plan you whipped up for £2 a person. 🙂

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Elinor. It was actually easier than I thought it was going to be. The trick would be doing it every day of your life 🙁

  7. Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes

    7th February 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I love a great curry recipe! So smart that you did this for the £2 challenge!

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 9:10 am

      Thanks Vanessa. Pulses are relatively cheap and so nutritious, they are perfect for frugal eating.

  8. Pretty Pate

    8th February 2017 at 4:43 pm

    wow this is such a good cause. Really impressed and love this curry recipe too.

    • Choclette

      8th February 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you. Pulses are just brilliant as a delicious frugal food.

  9. Sue

    9th February 2017 at 6:00 pm

    A brilliant challenge to take part in, and I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try it sounds and looks delicious.

    • Choclette

      14th February 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Great Sue, I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  10. Chris @thinlyspread

    21st February 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Perfect frugal fayre and utterly delicious to boot!

    • Choclette

      21st February 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Chris. Whilst it would be very hard to live on this permanently, it’s very tasty and makes a perfect weekday supper.

  11. Voucherbox

    22nd February 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for your post! We will be donating £50 to Zamcog which will feed, educate and clothe an at-risk child in Zambia for 1 month.

    • Choclette

      22nd February 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks for letting me know. That’s excellent news. It’s a cause well worth supporting.

  12. Corina Blum

    10th January 2019 at 11:14 am

    This sounds really delicious! Using dried pulses like split peas is a great way of eating economically as well as being really tasty too.

    • Choclette

      10th January 2019 at 7:03 pm

      I remember when tinned beans became a thing and I was shocked at how expensive they were. Dried pulses are the way to go for frugal shopping.


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