Sundal Recipes

30 Minutes ( plus overnight soaking)
Serves 6 People
Author: Rajni Ram
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Navarathri Is the festival that celebrates “Shakthi”-the feminine energy. It also declares the end of summer in India and the commencing of winters.  In Tamilnadu the festival is celebrated by arranging a “Golu” aka a display of dolls. The women folk visit each others houses in the neighborhood to receive Tamboolam( Vermillion,Turmeric, Betel nut and leaves, Glass bangles,which symbolise prosperity). While people visit each others homes to receive Tamboolam, Sundal is distributed as Prasad(holy offering).

A little planning goes along way in enjoying a stress free festival. I am documenting here a series of Sundal recipes that can be made for Navarathri oe even otherwise as a healthy snack.

Sundal is a dry dish made of Legumes or lentils. You could call it a dry salad without a dressing and only tempering. Apart from the soak time of the legumes,the dish needs only 30  minutes of cook time. A simple tempering is all this simple dish needs to make it delicious.

Coming to why Sundal is consumed during Navarathri- There can be two reasons attributed to this. One is that to bring about variation in food. The second is that, Sundal is made from legumes which are dry. Meaning the harvested seeds have been sun dried the previous season which are now soaked and used. We switch to legumes around this time because non- vegetarian food is not eaten during navarathri by many. So these legumes supply the needed protein. This abstinence from Non- Vegetarain food gives the live stock time for regeneration. Similarly for vegetarians, they abstain from certain vegetables around this time, here too the idea is allow the everyday vegetables to propagate and give them time to re grow. So legumes come to take the place of regular vegetables. So that nutrition of the body is taken care off. Sundal is a nutrient dense, protein rich snack or accompaniment.

Sundal Podi, is made with ground whloe spices, and gives the Sundal an added oomph, so I have given the recipe to the Podi as well. I don’t add this podi to all Sundals, just a few of them. I have mentioned it in the recipes,where I have included it. Anyway there is no harm in adding or excluding them from the Sundal at all.

I hope you will find this Sundal series helpful. I plan to keep adding to this from time to time. Happy Navrathri to all those celebrating.

While you are here checkout other Navarathri delicacies like Maa Ladoo, Chakkara Pongal, Aval Sakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, Akkaravadisal, Milagu Vadai, Medu Vada,and more…

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sundal Podi:

  1. Whole Coriander Seeds 2 tbsp
  2. Whole Fennel/Saunf Seeds 1 tbsp
  3. Whole Dry Red Chillies 10-15 numbers
  4. White Til/Sesame 1/2 tbsp

Ingredients for tempering the Sundal:

  1. Oil as required 2 to 3 tsp approx.
  2. Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  3. Chana Dal/ Gram Dal 2 tsp
  4. Urad Dal 2 tsp
  5. Whole dry red chilli 1-2 broken
  6. Curry leaves a few
  7. Asafoetida 1/4 tsp

Spice Powders used:

Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp or as required

Sundal Podi 1/2 tsp

Other Ingredients:

Salt as required

Coconut gratings 1 tbsp or more

Raw mango julienne 1/2 tsp (not in all Sundal)

  1. For Sundal Podi: Dry roast the whole coriander seeds, fennel seeds,dry red chillies, and cool them. Blend them to a coarse powder(see picture for texture). Now separately dry roast the Til/Sesame seeds until they puff and splutter, cool them, add them to the coarse powder and give a single spin in the blender. The Til should get crushed, and yet coarse bits should be visible.
  2. Konda Kadalai/ Kala Chana Sundal: Soak the Kala Chana/ Konda Kadalai overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Discard the soaked water, add fresh water and some salt and pressure cook until soft. Now drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai,and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Kala Chana along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt, Sundal Podi, Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut scrapings,mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready. ( Here I have used sprouted Kala Chana).
  3. Karamani/ White Lobia Sundal: Soak the Karamani/ WhiteLobia overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Discard the soaked water, add fresh water and some salt and pressure cook until soft. Now drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai,and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Lobia along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt, Sundal Podi, Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut scrapings,mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready.
  4. Butter Beans/ Lima Beans Sundal: In this recipe I have used Fresh Butter beans, so I have not soaked the beans. For fresh beans the cook time is also less,so about 4 whistles in the cooker should be fine. After cooking the Butter beans, drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai, and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Butter Beans along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt, Sundal Podi, Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut gratings,mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready.
  5. Sweet Corn Sundal: Sweet Corn kernels do not need soaking. The cook time of the kernels is almost negligible. I have cooked the sweet corn with some salt and turmeric powder, in the microwave for 7 minutes on high. Drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai, and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Sweet Corn,and finely chopped raw Mango pieces, along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt, Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut gratings, squeeze half a lime if you prefer, mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready.
  6.  Kabuli Chana Sundal: Soak the Kabuli Chana/ Chana overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Discard the soaked water, add fresh water and some salt and pressure cook until soft. Now drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai, and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Kabuli Chana along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt, Sundal Podi, Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut scrapings, mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready. ( Here I have used sprouted Kabuli Chana).
  7. Verkadalai/Groundnut Sundal: Soak the Verkadalai/ Raw Groundnuts overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Discard the soaked water, add fresh water and some salt and pressure cook until soft. Now drain almost all the cooked water, retaining about a tablespoon of it. Take oil in a pan or kadai,and add all the tempering ingredients to it. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Now add the cooked Groundnut along with the retained water and mix well. Add salt,  Red chilli powder,and cook until all the water evaporates, and it looks dry. Now add fresh or desiccated coconut scrapings, mix well and put off the flame. The Sundal is ready.
  8. Karamani Vellam Pota Sundal/ Lobia Sweet Sundal- Other than Savory Sundal, sweet Sundal can also be made for a variation. While I have used Red Lobia/ Sevappu Karamani here, feel free to swap with with soaked green Moong or White Lobia.
    Take 1 cup red Lobia/ Red Cowpeas and roast them lightly in a Kadai/Pan. Keep stirring so that they don’t burn. Now transfer the roasted Lobia to a vessel, wash and soak it overnight or for 5-6 hours. Now pressure cook the soaked Lobia upto 3 whistles. The idea is to not get them mushy, but cook them until just done. To ckeck doneness, if you are able to mash them between your thumb and index finger finger easily, they are perfect. Drain all water and set aside. In a Pan take 3 tbsp powdered Jaggery, add a table spoon of water and place it on the flame. Stir to melt and dissolve. Filter this liquid jaggery into another pan/kadai. Now add the cooked Lobia/Cowpeas to the jaggery liquid and turn on the flame. Cook until the mixture is almost dry. Add a pinch of dry ginger powder, 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder, and 1 tbsp pf coconut gratings and mix well. Turn of the flame. sweet Sundal is ready.

Notes:

  1. While roasting for the Sundal powder, roast on medium flame and keep stirring through out so that the spices don’t burn. When the coriander seeds give out a nice aroma put off the flame and cool the spices.
  2. For the Kalachana Sundal I have used sprouted Chana, however the regular soaked ones can be used. Raw Mango pieces can also be added as garnish to this Sundal.
  3. As mentioned earlier the Sundal powder can be completely ignored or added as preferred.
  4. A dash of lime goes well with the sweet Corn Sundal.
  5. Ensure that Legumes like Rajma, Chana, Lobia etc, are soaked adequately. Good soak time,and cooking them soft ensures they don’t give gas and acidity issues.
  6. For the Groundnut Sundal Ihave added fresh coconut gratings, adding dessicated coconut enhances the tasteeven better. You can try that too.

2 thoughts on "Sundal Recipes"

  1. Alpana Nagar says:

    Awesome

    1. Rajni Ram says:

      Thank You.

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