Andhra Style Pappu Charu Recipe

Jump to Recipe

Unleash the exceptional flavors of Andhra cuisine with this traditional Pappu Charu recipe. Pappu Charu is a lentil soup or stew that is a staple in Andhra cuisine. It is made with a combination of lentils, tamarind juice, green chilies, and a blend of spices. This simple recipe requires minimal ingredients and is very easy to make. Pappu Charu is often served with hot steamed rice as a side dish or as a delicious tiffin accompaniment.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

It is a common dish that is popular in many families, especially for weekend lunches. Pappu Charu also has cultural significance in Andhra Pradesh, as it is a part of traditional Andhra meals such as Onam Sadya or Kerala feast. It is a popular dish in South Indian restaurants and is commonly available in Andhra Tiffin centers.

The dish is a staple in Andhra cuisine and has a long history in the region. The traditional way of making this lentil stew is by cooking lentils, vegetables, and tamarind juice with a blend of spices such as sambar powder or rasam powder. Red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, curry leaves, and coriander leaves topped with oil and mustard seeds contribute to the delicious aroma and flavor.

Pappu Charu has evolved over the years, and now you can make it an Instant Pot with different dals like Toor dal, Moong dal, Urad dal, Chana dal, Masoor dal, yellow pumpkin, and yellow lentils. You can adjust the recipe to your personal taste by adjusting the quantity of tamarind pulp or tamarind water and spices. In addition to Pappu Charu, you can also try other traditional Andhra recipes like Kandi Pappu, Pappu Pulusu, and Mulakkada Pappu Charu.

Ingredients List For Andhra Style Pappu Charu

Andhra Style Pappu Charu


The recipe calls for 1 cup of red lentils (also called masoor dal), which is the main ingredient of the dish. You can also try toor dal for a slightly different flavor. Dals create the base of the dish, providing a hearty and filling texture to the soup.


Onions and tomatoes are the main vegetables in this soup. These vegetables provide sweetness and a natural umami flavor to the dish. The green chilies also add subtle heat and a slight crunch to the dish.


The recipe calls for a variety of spices, including ½ tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of red chili powder and 1 tsp of salt. These spices add depth of flavor and warmth to the dish. Fresh coriander leaves and 1 sprig curry leaves add a fresh, herbal aroma and flavor. Tamarind extract provides a tangy and sour flavor.


Andhra Style Pappu Charu

The Tarka is made by adding 1 tbsp of gingelly oil or ghee, 9-10 crushed garlic, ¼ tsp of mustard seeds, ¼ tsp of cumin seeds, 2 red chilies broken, few curry leaves, and ¼ tsp of asafoetida. These ingredients season this soup and also act as a garnish to the dish. Tarka gives a nice aroma and flavor to the dish, and it also adds a nice texture.

Step By Step Instructions

Start by soaking a lime sized ball of dried tamarind in 1 cup of hot water. After 30 minutes squeeze and strain out the extracted tamarind water and discard the solids. You’ll use the tamarind extract later.

Rinse 1 cup of red lentils in a colander under running water and then soak the lentils for 1 hour.

Take a pot and add the soaked lentils and 2 cups of water.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

Then ½ tsp of salt and bring it to a boil.

Allow the lentils to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked into a porridge like consistency.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

While the lentils are cooking, take another pot or pressure cooker and add 1 large onion roughly sliced, 2 tomatoes roughly chopped, and 2 green chilies.

Also add ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, and 1 sprig of curry leaves to the mix.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

After adding the spices, add about 3 cups of water.

Close the lid and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

Let the pressure release, open the cooker lid and add 1 cup of prepared tamarind extract.

Then also add the cooked dal to the cooker and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp of gingelly oil or ghee, add 9-10 crushed garlic cloves, ¼ tsp of mustard seeds, ¼ tsp of cumin seeds, 2 red chilies broken and few curry leaves, and ¼ tsp of asafoetida.

Fry these ingredients until they start to sizzle.

Pour this Tarka over the prepared soup.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and green chillies, and your pappu charu is ready to be served! Enjoy it with hot rice as a side dish or as a delicious tiffin accompaniment.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu

Serving Suggestions

To enjoy pappu charu at its best, serve it hot in a bowl. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for added flavor. Pairing it with steamed rice or roti creates a complete meal. Alternatively, you can serve it as a side dish with grilled meats or vegetables. You can also serve it with idlis and as a side dish with avial or dal fry. Pairing with Indian snacks and chutneys is a perfect way to quickly create a satisfying meal. For a refreshing twist, add a dollop of yogurt or a sprinkle of roasted peanuts on top before serving.

Storage Suggestions

To store pappu charu, allow it to cool down first. Once cooled, transfer the pappu charu to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Make sure to use a clean spoon when serving to prevent contamination. The pappu charu can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Andhra Style Pappu Charu Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Ravi Kumar and Qintarah Khan Course: SidesCuisine: South Indian, AndhraDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Pappu Charu is a staple lentil soup in Andhra cuisine, made with lentils, tamarind juice, green chilies, and a blend of spices.


  • For lentils:
  • 1 cup 1 Red lentils (masoor dal)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 cups 2 water

  • Other Ingredients:
  • 3 cups 3 water

  • 1 large 1 onion, roughly sliced

  • 2 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 2 2 green chilies

  • ½tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp 1 red chili powder

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 2 tbsp 2 fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 sprig 1 curry leaves

  • 1 cup 1 tamarind extract

  • Ingredients for Tarka:
  • 1 tbsp 1 gingelly oil or ghee

  • 9 9 -10 crushed garlic,(whole)

  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds

  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 2 red chilies broken

  • Few Few curry leaves

  • ¼ tsp asafoetida

Recipe Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add vegetables to Pappu Charu?

Yes, you can add vegetables such as drumsticks or eggplant to Pappu Charu for added flavor and nutrition.

Can I make Pappu Charu in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make Pappu Charu in an Instant Pot by following the same steps as mentioned above, but cook the dal in the Instant Pot instead of a pressure cooker.

What is the consistency of Pappu Charu supposed to be like?

Pappu Charu should have a thick consistency, but not too thick. Add more water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

What is the main ingredient for Andhra style pappu charu?

The main ingredient for Andhra style pappu charu is dal, which is typically made with masoor dal, toor dal, or moong dal.

Can I make Andhra style pappu charu with other types of dal?

Yes, you can make Andhra style pappu charu with other types of dal but the flavor will change with each dal. Masoor dal is quick cooking and has a very nice authentic flavor, but feel free to experiment.

Is Andhra style pappu charu spicy?

Andhra style pappu charu can be made with varying levels of spiciness depending on the amount of red chili powder used. Traditionally, Andhra food is very spicy, but you can adjust the spiciness to your preference.

How do I make Andhra style pappu charu without tamarind?

To make Andhra style pappu charu without tamarind, you can use lemon juice or vinegar as a substitute to add sourness to the dish.

Can I make Andhra style pappu charu in a pressure cooker?

Yes, you can make Andhra style pappu charu in a pressure cooker. Cook the dal in water until soft and then follow the steps above to make the dish in the pressure cooker.

Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe to be the first to learn about a new recipe

Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.

I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!

I created to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply