Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sundal Cravings...

Dear Foodies,

Sundal
If some one asks me what I miss most about the start of the festive season, food would fight for the top position along with the new clothes and the pooja customs. Each one of our festivals is accompanied by its very own, unique 'menu'. Its like rules written on stone, each preparation will invoke the memories of one particular festival. Varalakshmi vratam and Dussehra start the Sundal cravings for me. Varalakshmi vratam is like the "starter", just one evening of going arnd collecting all the various types of Sundal. My brother and I would tag along with my mom as she goes from house to house for tambulam just for the extra packet of Sundal. By the end of the trip we would have nearly every legume covered and soo many different flavor combos. Though the list of ingredients is pretty narrow, when paired with the legumes/beans used, the permutations and combinations are way too many ! And then comes Dasara, the "main course", my mom would prepare a different variety of sundal for each of the 9 days....yummmy !

Here go two varieties of sundal that I have tried and loved. The first one is with Lima beans. I absolutely love these. They taste a little like peas, but not as sweet and have a nice bite to them. I use them in a lot of mixed vegetable & rice preparations. I had a whole pack of these and knew this was the best way to get rid of the whole batch and enjoy the dish.

Lima Beans Sundal

Ingredients:
  • 1 pack: frozen Lima beans
  • 1/2 Tbsp: Oil
  • 2 tsp: Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp: Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp: Urad dal
  • A pinch of hing/asafoetida and turmeric
  • 2 nos: dry Red chillies
  • 10nos: Curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup: desiccated coconut flakes or fresh/frozen grated coconut
Method:
  1. Thaw the frozen beans and microwave them for about 5-6mins. Sprinkle a few drops of water before microwaving if they look too dry. The beans should be cooked but not mushy.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, jeera and urad dal.
  3. Once the dal starts changing color add the turmeric, hing, red chillies and curry leaves. Give it a minute for the curry leaves to turn crispy and then add the cooked beans and coconut.
  4. Mix well and season with salt. Reduce the flame and cook for another extra minute allowing the flavors to blend.
Thats it ! I think I might have to take away the 'Method' sub-heading going by its length in my last few entires :))

The next one is my all time favorite ! The king of all Sundals, made with chickpeas :) With canned chickpeas making this one is a breeze. I also had some semi-ripe mangoes that I added to it and I was all set to go on an outing to the beach in Madras :)

Sundal 'to go' potlam for you
The only difference in this version is you don't have to cook the chickpeas separately. Just drain and wash them thoroughly to get rid of all the liquid that comes in the can. I used chana dal in the seasoning. I chopped the mango and tossed it in the oil before the chickpeas so that the oil also gets infused with the mango flavor too. I used frozen fresh coconut that you get in the Indian stores for this one. I also used a green chilli, but you can adjust the heat to your taste. This one is surely the best combo for Sundal, the slight tang and sweetness from the mango paired with the chickpeas and coconut is absolutely fantastic.

Other Sundal victims: black eyed peas, Green peas, boiled chana dal, boiled peanuts, cooked kala chana, batani...the options are endless!

Enjoy & Have a great day !

15 thoughts:

Manisha said...

I am also craving sundal - esp after that JFI Dassera round-up!!

Priya said...


Manisha, I saw that too and hit my head hard for not having sent this out to Vee !

Pooja V said...

Sundal is new for me but I am loving it already !

Mansi Desai said...

Till now I have only seen Sundal in pics..I have to try it now so I can enjoy the taste!:)

Red Chillies said...

Wah. I have not tried anything using frozen lima beans. I always use the dried ones.
I also love the way you add mango to chickpeas. Beautiful.

Seema said...

Nice recipes.. your making us all crave for Sundal.. better get us all some!

Rajitha said...

yum! for a sec i thought the lima was edamame...chundal looks great...so have u settled to ur new routine :)

Dhivya Karthik said...

Sundal with lima beans! sounds so different and innovative!

Priya said...


Pooja, you have to try Sundal, its simplicity at its best :)

Mansi, try it ASAP, you can use chickpeas, black eyed peas, peas, chole, boiled chana dal, boiled peanuts, cooked kala chana, batani...the options are endless !

RC, I find the frozen lima beans very convenient. I DO NOT have the patience to hydrate the dried ones :) Mango in sundal is common in Tamilian households I think. This combo used to be a hot fav when we visited the beaches in Chennai.

Seema, that paper cone is for YOU :)

Hey Rajitha, I am trying hard to settle in. It is going to take a while. I do have a routine setting in though, during the weekdays. Come back home for my cup of coffee, experiment in kitchen, eat and settle into my cozy little chair until my eyelids won't stay up any longer :)

Dhivya, the innovation came from the cravings :) I had the lima beans sundal with some nice sambar, a perfect combo :)

easycrafts said...

I can have sundal anytime...never do i wait for an occassion.

Rina said...

Priya, Those sundals look so cool. These are quick and easy to make too.

sagari said...

wow priya sundal looksssss so yummyyyyy

KayKat said...

Ooo ... I'm a huge fan of the lima beans sundal - tried that over Navarathri for the first time and was totally hooked!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Very true priya! As a young girlI used to sing in every house during dasara to get a sundal packet! :D Nice recipe!

Namratha said...

Delicious Priya, loved the sundals...they are my fav too!

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