What is Green Split Pea?

Pisum sativum var. arvense (L.) Poiret

Below is a photo of Whole Green Peas before they are split and Split green Peas with the testa (seed coat) removed:

Green Peas, Spit, myfavouritepastime.com_3869

Green Split pea, also known as the Field Pea, Soup Pea, Dry pea, or Matar Dal, belongs to the species Pisum sativum, together with the fresh garden peas, Sno Pea and Sugar Snap Pea.

Green Split Pea is a cool-season crop grown for its  mature dried edible seeds, which can be marketed whole, split or ground into flour.

The dried seeds are enclosed in a 1 to 4 inch (2.5-10cm) long pod that often has a rough inner membrane and 4-9 seeds. The whole mature seeds are round, smooth and green.

The mature green peas are dried and husked (or dehulled) and split in half. The green split peas are about 1/4 of an inch wide and pale green in colour.


  1. Split green peas are high in protein and low in fat and contain the highest amount of dietary fibre, with 25 grams fibre per 100 gram portion.
  2. 100g (3.5oz) split green pea has: 340 calories, 1g Fat; 15mg sodium; 60g carbohydrate (fibre 25g, sugar 8g); 25g protein and 20% daily recommended iron (Bulk Barn)

Green Peas, Spit, myfavouritepastime.com_3870

Culinary Use

  • They have a mild, earthy flavour and soft texture. Since the mature seeds are rich in protein and they be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups and stews
  • Pea soup is eaten in many other parts of the world, including northern Europe, parts of middle Europe, Russia, Iran, Iraq, India, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and the Fiji Islands.
  • The split or whole peas can also roasted and salted, and eaten as a snack..
  • Fresh pea shoots can also be used in salads and stir-fries.
  • The pea flowers are also edible.
  • The mature seed can be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread.

Only selected varieties of the green and yellow peas are sold for human consumption as whole, split or ground flour. Other varieties are produced for animal feed, and for seed.

Green Peas, Spit, myfavouritepastime.com_3879

Botanical Notes

Pisum Sativum (Pea)

Grown for green immature seeds sold as sweet garden peas

  • Pisum sativum var. sativum (Also called Green Pea, Green Garden Pea or English pea)

Grown for Mature Dried Seeds (pulse)

  • Pisum sativum var. arvense (L.) Poiret (Field Pea, Canadian field pea (spring pea), dun (grey-brown) pea, Kapucijner pea, matar dal, or Austrian winter pea (black pea)
  • Whole peas split to produce: yellow split pea and Green Split pea.

Grown for immature edible pods:

  • Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon: Sugar snap pea or snap pea
  • Pisum sativum var. saccharatum: Snow pea, Sugar Peas, Mangetout or Chinese Pea Pods.

Last Updated: July, 30 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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