Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sundal with garbanzo beans

Navrathri and sundal are almost synonymous.  During Navrathri, a lot of South Indians set up Golu or Kolu – a display of dolls, featuring various gods and goddesses.  It is typically displayed on steps.  There has to be an odd number of steps, and you need to have the traditional mara paachi bommais (a pair of special wooden dolls) in your display.

Garbanzo Sundal

Like I mentioned in a previous post, my mom did not keep Golu, but we would be invited to various houses in our neighborhood.  I would wear pattu pavadai (silk skirt) and go from house to house, collecting vethalai-paaku (beetel leaves and areca nuts) and some other girlie goodies (like small combs, really tiny mirrors, or maybe bangles, or bindis).

My Golu this year

In some houses, the mamis (aunties) will ask us to sing.  I think most of them become aware of my singing abilities and didn’t force me to sing the next time I went :)

Along with the goodies, everyone also will give us a packet of sundal.  Each day people make a different type of sundal.  By the time I came back home after making the rounds, I would have a good variety to choose from. Now that I think of it – it is like how my kids go from house to house collecting candy on Halloween!

I also make sundal now during navrathri.  If I have people coming to visit my golu, I make a lot, but if it is just for prasadam for that day, I soak very little beans in a small katori (cup) and make that by boiling it with salt and then adding a simple seasoning of mustard seed, hing, red chilies, and curry leaves.

I made this sundal for a party I had last weekend.   I used garbanzo beans, but you can substitute yellow peas, dried green peas, kala channa, lima beans, or mochai (val), and follow the same recipe.

I don't add coconut to the sundal.  This way, I can use any left over channa in some other recipe.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, soaked overnight – or at least for 6 hours
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. channa dal
  • 3 red chilies
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)

Here is how I made it:

  1. Drain the water from the soaked beans.  Add fresh water, salt and turmeric.  Cook in a pressure cooker for about 10 minutes on low after the first whistle.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, channa dal, and 3 red chilies till the channa dal changes color slightly. Grind this into a coarse powder. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  4. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and 2 red chilies.
  5. When the mustard seeds sputter, add curry leaves and hing.
  6. Drain all the water from the cooked garbanzo beans and add that to the pan. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the powdered spices.  Mix well.

Serve as a snack or as part of a meal.

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