Savour The Flavour of the Telugu – Pappu Charu

Ok here it is for you. The famous Telugu dish “Paapu Charu” literally translated means Lentil soup, but it is quite more than that. I have learnt this recipe from my Mom. Many people think Pappu Charu is similar to Sambhar, let me clarify it is not. Try preparing this and you will agree with me. Let’s get started:


  • Toor Dal/Kandi Pappu/Yellow Lentils – 150 gms
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 1 tsp
  • Secret Ingredient (Read on, you will know what it is) – 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies – 3 nos
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Tamarind – 2tsp – soaked in 2 cups of water
  • Onion – 1 (if desired)
  • Salt to taste

Additionally For Tadka/Popu/Tempering

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies – 2 nos
  • Cooking Oil – 1tbsp


  • Take washed 150 gms of Dal in a pressure cooker, add 450 ml of water, add a tea spoonful oil and mix.
  • Let the Dal be cooked for 3 whistles in the pressure cooker. Once cooked mash the Dal properly so that it is a even.
  • Squeeze the soaked tamarind well and add the 2 cups of tamarind juice to the mashed Dal and add another cup of water.
  • Put the mixture on stove to boil and add chilly powder and mix well.
  • Add oil to a frying pan and heat it. Once heated, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry Red Chillies, cut green chillies and mix well.
  • Once mustard starts splitting, transfer the contents to the cooker where Dal is boiling.
  • Let the whole mixture boil for a few min and now add the secret ingredient icon smile Savour The Flavour of the Telugu   Pappu Charu Sugar!
  • Add 1 tsp sugar and mix well.
  • Finally add salt to taste.

Serve hot with rice. If you prefer add ghee and I promise you will love it.


the author

Sid is from Hyderabad, currently lives in the UK and works for a large BPO and IT Service provider. He has experience in managing very large and diverse teams. Off work he is an avid photographer and experimental cook!

3 Readers Commented

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  1. venkat on January 5, 2009

    Yummy Yummy! i love pappu charu

  2. Uttkarsh on January 5, 2009

    Glad you go this one in… This is one delicacy for a winter night!
    I think you should post on rasam and pulusu too…

  3. Kiran on January 6, 2009

    Just what I was looking for yesterday. It’s just a coincidence that I was looking for this recipe and guess what I found here :-). Made this one yesterday and must say – it was a big hit. Keep’em coming.