White Peas

Botanical Information

Botanical Name: Lathyrus sativus

Common Names: Grass pea, cicerchia, blue sweet pea, chickling pea, chickling vetch, Indian pea, white pea, white vetch

Family: Fabaceae (Legume family)

Nutritional Information

White peas offer various nutritional benefits. Here is a general overview of their nutritional composition per 100 grams of cooked white peas:

Calories: 84 kcal

Carbohydrates: 14.5 grams

Protein: 5.4 grams

Fat: 0.4 grams

Fiber: 4.3 grams

Vitamin C: 2.3 milligrams

Iron: 1.6 milligrams

Potassium: 208 milligrams

Calcium: 32 milligrams

Magnesium: 31 milligrams


The term “white peas” is a common name given to Lathyrus sativus, also known as grass pea or chickling pea. The name “white peas” likely refers to the color of the mature seeds, which are typically white or pale yellow in appearance.

The cultivation of white peas, or Lathyrus sativus, dates back thousands of years. It is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of Asia, including India and China. The exact origin of white peas is difficult to pinpoint due to their long history and widespread cultivation.

White peas have been traditionally grown as a staple crop in many regions of Asia and East Africa. They have been valued for their ability to tolerate drought conditions and poor soil fertility, making them a reliable food source in areas with challenging agricultural conditions.

Throughout history, white peas have played an important role in the diets of various cultures. They have been used for both human consumption and livestock feed. White peas are a versatile legume that can be cooked and incorporated into various dishes, including soups, stews, and curries.

It’s worth noting that white peas have gained attention in recent years due to their nutritional benefits, particularly their high fiber content and protein content. They are considered a valuable plant-based protein source and are often recommended as a nutritious addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.

  • Rich in fiber: White peas are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion helps regulate bowel movements and promotes a feeling of fullness, which can be beneficial for weight management.
  • Plant-based protein: White peas are a valuable source of plant-based protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining overall health. Incorporating white peas into a balanced diet can help meet protein requirements, especially for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.
  • Nutrient-dense: White peas contain various essential nutrients, including vitamins (such as vitamin B1, vitamin B9, and vitamin C) and minerals (such as iron, manganese, and potassium). These nutrients play important roles in supporting overall health and well-being.
  • Potential blood sugar management: The fiber content in white peas can contribute to better blood sugar control. Fiber slows down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
  • Heart health support: The high fiber content of white peas may also contribute to heart health. Dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Weight management: Due to their high fiber and protein content, white peas can help promote satiety and reduce appetite. Including white peas in meals may assist in managing weight by controlling calorie intake and preventing overeating.
  • Choose dry white peas that are whole, uniform in size, and free from cracks, holes, or insect damage.
  • Look for peas that have a clean and unblemished appearance.
  • Avoid peas that are discolored, moldy, or have a rancid smell.
  • If buying packaged peas, check the packaging for any signs of damage or tampering.
  • Store dry white peas in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard.
  • Ensure that the storage container is airtight to prevent moisture and pests from entering.
  • Keep the peas away from direct sunlight, as exposure to light can cause them to lose their color and nutritional value.
  • Properly stored, dry white peas can last for up to a year or even longer. However, it is recommended to consume them within 6-12 months for the best quality.
  • If you live in a humid environment, consider storing the peas in the refrigerator or freezer to extend their shelf life and maintain their freshness. Place them in airtight containers or freezer bags before freezing.
  • Before using the peas, inspect them for any signs of spoilage or insect infestation. Discard any peas that appear damaged or have an off smell.

White Peas Recipes


1 cup dried white peas (soaked overnight and drained)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, pureed

2 green chilies, slit

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Lemon wedges for serving


  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and green chilies. Cook for a minute.
  • Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the oil separates from the masala.
  • Add soaked white peas and mix well. Add water to cover the peas.
  • Cover the pan and cook on medium heat until the peas are tender and the curry thickens.
  • Add garam masala and mix well.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with roti, puri, or steamed rice. Squeeze some lemon juice before serving for an extra tangy flavor.


1 cup dried white peas (soaked overnight and drained)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

1 teaspoon chaat masala

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste


  • Pressure cook the soaked white peas until tender. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked white peas, chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili, and coriander leaves.
  • Add chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well to combine all the flavors.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve the white peas chaat as a refreshing and tangy snack, garnished with some extra coriander leaves on top.

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