Sunday, May 17, 2009

...and some more

Dear foodies,

kala chana, pre-soaked, boiled in salted water, drained and seasoned with mustard, cumin, urad dal, red chillies, curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric and fresh grated coconut.
I have told many many times on this space how much I like sundal - boiled lentils/beans delicately seasoned with coconut, cumin & mustard seeds, with a hint of hing. When you want something filling, fun and simple to act as a protein booster in your diet, this is the way to go! Its healthy and cheap! I bought some chickpeas & pinto beans from the bulk bins at the local organic store and a pack each of raw peanuts and kala channa from the Indian store last month.

raw peanuts, boiled in salted water, drained & seasoned with mustard, cumin, urad dal, red chillies and a hint of turmeric
I pre-soaked the beans and boiled them in salted water for 3 whistles in my Prestige cooker, drained and stored in the fridge or freezer, I have a quick snack/meal waiting for me. They also are perfect side to a vegetable salad or soup, giving it the well needed protein addition and making a meal out of it. With the weather stubbornly sticking to its cold winter patterns and rainy evenings this is one recipe I've been going back to. I've also made them with chickpeas, chana dal and whole moong beans. When I have some English cucumber on hand, I dice them and add them along with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Some chaat masala on top and its perfect. The added bonus of using dried beans is the ability to sprout them. It makes you feel good about the chips or chocolates you might be eating on the side :-P

I've always been using canned beans out of convenience. At 99cents a can, they seemed cheap and going through the soaking and boiling looked like a chore I could pass on. But over the last 2 months I forced myself to get rid of all the canned stuff and try the dried beans to check how much of a hassle they really were. None at all! yes, its not much work at all. No matter how big or small a batch, your prep time taken is the same. So I end up going for larger portions which I can store in the freezer. I now have some cooked pinto beans, chickpeas and kala chana sitting in the freezer ready to be thrown into soups, curries or a sundal. It's so much more cheaper and tastier to boot. The canned stuff mostly ended up being a last resort meal option rather than a well thought out dinner plan, I never really cared much for how I used them. All that's changed now. and I like it this way. So if you have canned beans sitting deep within your pantry closet, give them a break and try your hand at using dry beans. Black-eyed peas and dried peas are next on my shopping list, I did not want to buy them all at once and end up not using any.

So if you are having a lazy Sunday like I am, then set some beans out for soaking, make yourself a warm cup of tea and finish this crossword!
are those the answers there, hmmmm

34 thoughts:

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! simple and healthy ..awsome pics :)

Indhu said...

hey... chickpea sundal was my latest post... and I totally agree with you about the canned stuff... I have started buying beans in bulk... I was kind of hesitant to store them in freezer after pressure cooking them... but I think I will go ahead and do it :)
Love the pictures...

Parita said...

gorgeous pics..never tried freezing boiled pulses..thanks for the tip:)

A_and_N said...

I love peanut sundal. Squeeze lemon and I will eat it everyday! :)

Vishali said...

wooo....Priya dear.....I am so so drooling looking at that awsome banner and the chatpata chana....perfect sunday :)...

Cheers..

Sonu said...

Nice header again.:)) hey...u Parle-G gal...I can see some with ur tea. I love Parle-G too. Tan ki shakti,man ki shakti Parle-G. hehehe. :D

Nags said...

lovely pics! i add a dash of hing to peanut sundal :) and maybe some lime. either ways, a lovely treat!

Soma said...

I made kala chana last week... love sundals, tho not known in bengal, but I do it quite often at home.

are those my family's favorite Parle G?:-) .. even my little one dips Parle G & Marie Biscuits in tea & enjoys it.

Pavani said...

See... how convenient it is to store cooked beans in the freezer. Go ahead and buy those peas, they wont go bad in the pantry for at least a year and I'm sure u'll find ways to use them all before that.

Prathibha said...

Simple and healthy sundal....Nice pics..add a dash of lemon and i m ready to dig in..

Suparna said...

Hi Priya,
Nice to read ur write up :P love sundal with crunchy bits of coconuts.
hmmm...I feel lazy with the soaking part of legumes...but love the cooking and eating part ;) am kinda legume crazy thingie. I make only the required amount for soaking and pressure cooking...Thanks for the precious tip of freezing the cooked ones,had thought it wouldn't taste good if frozen :D ummmmmah.
lovely snaps. Happy sunday

Vani said...

I love usli,as we call sundals. I use the canned stuff too, mainly because of the convenience. I'm sure soaking and cooking from scratch makes a difference in taste and texture too. And I do like the idea of cooking in bulk and freezing. Maybe I'll try it out after all! Will let u know :)

Priya said...

Mangala, thank you :-)

Indhu, yaa, try it out and see how it works in your dishes. I haven't had problems with the pinto beans and chickpeas until now.

Parita, This was my first time even buying dried beans :-P been lazy all along. And the opportunity to sprout them is an added advantage.

N, now why din't I think of lemon!!

Vishali, glad you noticed the banner :D thank you thank you :D I'm craving some sundal looking at that bowl right now :(

Sonu, thank you ji :-) haan ji, me too love Parle-G, can't have tea or coffee without dunking a few biskuts in it first.

Priya said...

Nags, the first time I made it, I slightly overdid the hing and did not like the taste at all. So skipped it then on with the peanuts. I still use it for the chana though. and I have to use lime next time!

Soma, I've never cooked with kala chana and vatane all these days since I was using only the canned stuff. Now I'm fishing out all those recipes I wanted to try with them :D

yup, I always have parle-G and Marie at home. My hand automatically reaches out for them when I make tea/coffee :D

Pavani, thank you soo much for giving the extra nudge. I am definitely buying the peas too! Was looking to see if the bulk bins had them, but I guess the Indian store is the only place to find them. I can already see myself enjoying some chaat :D

Priya said...

Prathibha, yes yes, lemon it will be! That bag of chickpeas in the freezer has lemon written all over it :D

Suparna, hehehee, I am just as lazy. But once you buy that bag of dried beans and give it a shot, you'll see its no big deal at all. And the comfort of storing them makes it even more appealing.
Pavani and Mythili (of Vindu) mentioned that they store cook beans without any problem too. So give it a shot. Hope you had a good weekend :)

Vani, and we call this usli :)Yes, it feels healthier and tastes a lot better using dried beans. And since you can control the texture the recipes you could try, multiply :) As a starter, buy a smaller qty from the bulk bins and give it a shot. I can bet you will grab a whole pack the next time you go to the store :D
And for full disclosure, I still do have 1 can of chickpeas stored for D-day :-P

Anitha said...

Hey Priya,
Excellent banner & love the photography of the sundals.

Sure these protein boosters are perfect for lazy relaxing days :-)

Anitha

Anita said...

Why are you distracting us with these sundals! I need the answers to 8 and 14 down! :) Puffed with pride...

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

I love sundal too its that coconut and cumin that gives a lotta flavors and I just cant stop eating them!!! pic looks perfect

indosungod said...

Priya, the sundals look beautiful and the peanut one is my favorite. I make curries with those peanuts and they are a big hit.

I hated them canned beans and stopped using them.

Sharmila said...

I too love boiled peanuts & kala chana. Nice pics. :-)

karuna said...

this sure is a protein booster. ure pics are amazing

pelicano said...

It is definitely much cheaper to use dried- and better flavour too! I had built up quite a stock at one time...am doing doing a "use up/down" of dried legumes now as it got out of hand... :-) But I didn't know about freezing the cooked ones- that sure would be a great time-saver!
I was reading a while back about the plastic that is used to line the interior of cans- not good, so for that reason too I avoid canned things as much as possible these days.

Vidya said...

first time here. wow awesome pics. nice job :) The peanut sundal looks verry tempting. I looove sundals.

applecrumbles said...

It sounds great and really easy.

Indrani said...

Priya, congratulations on your on HHDD

Vaishali said...

I've always been a big fan of sundal-- can't get enough of it. Your version looks delicious, Priya. And I agree-- prepping the beans from scratch is way better than buying them canned. I also don't like how salty the canned beans are.

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

woww....simple and yummy..First time here...i loved the presentation...awesome.. :)

Miri said...

Love sundals/salads - these are really healthy treats! and yes, I dont think the prep takes much time considering the pressure cooks it, just that you need to plan to soak.

Bong Mom said...

Ahhhhhhh those Parle G's.
The boiled peanuts, at yours and Indo's and here we have never boiled a peanut. Used to see them in B'lore but we always dry roast or fry in oil

The sundal with peanuts is a great idea

Divya Vikram said...

Lovely post! I try to make sundal atleast once a week!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Awesome fun time snacks. Looks good. YUM! Nice pictures...

meeso said...

There are so many great recipes here... I will have to follow you from now on :)

My Experiments with Cooking said...

I am coming over here for the first time. Totally impressed. Quick yet delicious!

bee said...

why is that last pic not in for click cookies? why? why? why?

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