Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sundal: South Indian Black Chickpeas Salad

      This is my take on the traditional Sundal. The recipe is of Tamil origin, so also the name. It is usually served for ceremonial occasions, especially as a religious and festive offering. It  is also, one of the street snacks sold in the South. In Kerala we make 'Upperi', one of the common names given to a stir-fried and dry side-dish made with vegetables, legumes, lentils, fish and meat. The terms vary from region to region: thoran, mezhukkupuratti/ mezhukkuvaratti, podi-thuval etc... but the method is the same.
Method One
A quick initial tempering with whole spices and curry leaves
Followed by  the addition of the main ingredient: especially quick-cooking vegetables
Letting it cook on medium high heat: with or without a lid
A  stir now and then, so that it does not 'catch' or burn,
A final seasoning with fresh grated coconut and perhaps a drizzle of coconut oil completes the dish.
Method Two
The tempering is also done at the end for pre-cooked legumes, vegetables that take longer to cook, tubers,  lentils and meat dishes.
These  are cooked with salt  and turmeric, until the liquid evaporates.
A final tempering with spices and curry leaves finishes the dish.
There are many ways to use this basic recipe and one can tweak the ingredients  in endless combinations. Traditional tempering uses mustard seeds - cummin seeds used here; dessicated coconut [ which was available in  the pantry] in lieu of fresh, grated coconut. The sour-tart flavour comes from lemon juice instead of  raw mangoes. The green chillies are not chopped fine and is added as another ingredient and not as a 'spice', to this salad.

This  recipe goes to the Weekend Herb Blogging, started by Kalyn and continued by Haalo at   Cook Almost Anything     and hosted this week by Chris of   Melecotte.
2 Cups of cooked black chickpeas
4 slim long green chillies, non-spicy
2 hot green chillies [optional]
1/2 tsp cummin seeds
1 broken dried red chilli
1 pinch of Asafoetida powder
3-4 tbsps dessicated coconut
substitute with fresh grated coconut
1/4 Cup grated carrots
1 tbsp Lemon juice

The black chickpeas need to be soaked in 3  the amount of water, overnight or for about 6-8 hours.
Cook the chickpeas until soft with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.
Drain and keep aside.

Heat  2 tbsps of vegetable oil/ coconut oil to smoking point
Temper the cummin seeds, urad dal seeds, red chillies and curry leaves,
Immediately add the green chillies
Add a pinch of asafoetida,
Saute until glossy = a few minutes
Add the chickpeas and stir/ toss for a couple of minutes
Garnish with grated coconut/ dessicated coconut and grated carrots.
Sprinkle 1 tbsp of lemon juice
Toss/ Mix well and serve.


  1. Absolutely mouth watering...tempting color ..

  2. We prepare this on Fridays I mean the sundal variety, we add crushed pepper corns finally in the dish.Gives a nice aroma and taste

  3. Thanks Divya and Aruna!

    Thankyou Chitra; will add black pepper too next time.

  4. Simply healthy and my fav snacks..

  5. delicious flavourful sundal looks good

  6. Thanks Priya and Toreviewtoronto!

  7. My Thursday neivedhyam is black chickpea sundal. Your pictures take the simple sundal to a new level totally.

  8. Thankyou Lata!
    This has always been a treat to look forward to; we just had another variety for a puja on friday which prompted this dish.

  9. I have never seen black chickpeas!! I must find them. Love this! Thanks for participating in WHB. :)
    ~ Chris (

  10. My mum insist me on eating them whenever she prepares, but i'm such a lazy bum to chew it ;) looks great!

  11. One of my favourite snacks...especially when made with black chick peas...


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