“Sundal” is a highly nutritious, filling, high-protein, high-fiber snack that can be fixed in a jiffy! Sundal is basically just soaked legumes like garbanzo beans/brown chana/moong sprouts that are cooked to perfection and seasoned with spices and grated coconut, to make an extremely versatile and tasty dish!
Ingredients (makes 2.5 cups):
- Garbanzo beans/Chickpeas (1 cup unsoaked)
- Oil (1 tsp)
- Mustard seeds (3/4 tsp)
- Split Black Gram (Urad) Dhal (1 tsp)
- Cumin (Jeera) seeds (3/4 tsp)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Curry leaves (a sprig or as much as you have handy)
- Dry red chilly (1 broken)
- Grated coconut (1 tbsp)
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped) (1 tbsp)
- Soak the garbanzo beans overnight in enough water. Cook with salt and water. I usually pressure cook the beans for 3 whistles and 9 minutes on simmer. Drain the excess water (you can save it and use it for dhals/lentils, curries, gravies, soups etc. if you want to).
- Heat oil on medium flame in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.
- As soon as they begin to crackle, add the urad dhal.
- When it starts changing color, add cumin seeds, chilly, asafetida and curry leaves. I haven’t used the more pungent spices like ginger, green chillies, onions etc. in this recipe, but you could, if you want to.
- Immediately add the cooked beans, salt (if necessary) and mix well. Switch off the flame.
- Garnish with grated coconut, coriander leaves. You may want to add a dash of lime/lemon, if necessary. I didn’t in this recipe.
- Sundal is a great snack and an awesome addition to the kids’ lunch box. Here, I’ve paired it with semiya upma for the kids’ lunch and strawberries for first recess.
Sweet (garbanzo beans, coconut), sour (lemon, if used), salty (salt), bitter (curry leaves, coriander leaves), pungent (mustard seeds, cumin seeds), astringent (asafetida).
Beans are kapha aggravating due to their heavy, sweet, grounding nature. The inclusion of warming, light, pungent spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chillies etc. offset this kapha aggravating quality of beans. They can also cause some flatulence and difficulties with digestion, and tend to be a bit vata aggravating. The addition of digestive spices like asafetida, cumin seeds, curry leaves balance this vata aggravating quality. Pittas with a strong digestive fire can handle this dish. Overall, it is tridoshic. Vatas and kaphas should consume it in moderation. For all doshas, it is important that the beans are soaked for enough time and well cooked.
If agni (digestive fire) is not strong enough to digest this, sundal can tend to be tamasic in nature. Addition of pungent spices like chillies, ginger etc. would cause an increase in rajas and digestibility of the dish. Since we have used more sattvic (yet digestive) spices in this recipe, the quality of sattva increases.