Friday, September 26, 2014

Black-eyed Peas Sundal

I miss being in Chennai during the festival season.  Even if you don’t celebrate everything, the charge in the atmosphere gets you in the mood.  I think I have mentioned in previous posts that my mom did not keep golu, but I loved looking at all the dolls in Kadhi Bhandar, Poompuhar, and in the street side shops on Mada Street.  It felt like the whole city was one big doll exhibition!  

The clothes and jewelry stores doing brisk business, especially with Deepavali just around the corner, the flower vendors selling their wares to all the mamis getting dressed up for vetthilai paaku, the small street-side stores that sell mini mirrors, combs, and bangles that are part of the goody bag treats – I really miss all that excitement!

Here Navarathri is so low key.  If I did not keep Golu, it would be just a mundane routine for 10 days.  I am glad that my mother-in-law started this tradition for me, because now my kids have some memories to associate with Navarathri – maybe not as colorful as mine, but still better than not doing anything special.

For today’s sundal, I soaked black-eyed peas this morning before going to school.  It really doesn’t need that much soaking, but since I wanted to make it as soon as I got back, I soaked it in the morning.  Like all other sundals, this one is also very simple to make and cooks very easily.  

Here is what you need:

  • ½ - ¾ cup dried black-eyed peas
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 red chilies
  • a bit more hing
  • 3 – 4 curry leaves
  • 2 – Tbsp. coconut, grated

Here is how I made it:

  1. Soak the black-eyed peas for 3 – 4 hours
  2. Pressure cook the peas with salt and hing.  ( I cook it for about 5 minutes on low after the first whistle)
  3. Remove the peas and drain the water.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add mustard seeds, cumin, hing, and red chilies.  When the mustard seeds sputter, add the curry leaves.
  5. Add the cooked peas and mix well.
  6. Fry this for a couple of more minutes. Turn off the heat.  Add the coconut and mix well.

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