This Sundal is a little different to other Sundals, those quickly stirfried salads of south India. A Gram Flour mix is poured over the sundal towards the end of cooking. This recipe comes from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 2. It is unusual to say the least, but delicious and filling. It could almost be an Usili, although Amma includes it under Sundals.
Feel free to browse the many sundal recipes – please click here for the complete list. If you are new to Sundals, these posts will also introduce you to this wonderful, stirfried, lentil-based dish from Tamil Nadu, South India.
You might also like to try Red Lentil (Masoor Dal) Sprouts Sundal, Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal, Channa (Chickpea) Sundal, and Mung Dal Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Adzuki Beanes (Red Chori) or some White Pea Sprouts, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.
Amma lists quite a number of beans and peas that this recipe can be made from, but I chose to make it with white pea sprouts, because they were cooked and ready to be used. It was delicious. See the notes below the recipe for alternatives.
The pea in white peas sprouts remains quite crunchy, so it is best to steam them for 20 – 30 minutes before making the sundal. Note also that this is an unusual sundal in that it does not include coconut.
This Sundal makes a great snack and, if you leave out the onions, is also perfect for Navarathri and Ganesha Chaturthi for naivedyam or prasadam. For snacks it can be eaten alone but make good accompaniments to rotis or curd rice, or with sambar or rasam and rice. I even love to eat them for breakfast.
Peas and Bengal Gram Flour Sundal with White Pea Sprouts
Source : adapted from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 2
Prep time: 6 mins + time to make the white pea sprouts
Cooking time: 20 mins to steam the sprouts, plus 10 mins cooking
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
1.5 – 2 cups of white pea sprouts that have been steamed for 20 – 30 minutes until tender but with a little crunch/bite still in the peas.
pinch salt, to taste (Amma says 2 tspns)
1.5 – 2 cups bengal gram flour/Besan/chickpea flour
2 tspns chilli powder
0.25 tspns turmeric powder
0.25 cup ghee
2 tspns black mustard seeds
1 tspn skinned, halved urad dal
1 – 2 dried red chillies, broken in half
a pinch asafoetida
1 stalk curry leaves (10 – 12 leaves)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (leave out if making naivedyam or prasadam)
4 green chillies (or to taste), finely chopped
small piece of ginger, finely grated or chopped
Mix the chickpea flour with the salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add 2 cups of water and mix to make a not-too-thick liquid. Allow to stand.
Using a wok, kadai or pan, heat 1 – 2 tablespoons of the ghee and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop, and add the urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida. After a few moments, add half of the curry leaves.
As the curry leaves subside their splattering, add the onion, green chillies and ginger, and stir to mix well with the spices. Saute for a minute or so until the onions begin to become tender but not to the point of them browning.
Add the white pea sprouts and stir fry over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Pour over the chickpea flour liquid and stir. Add the remaining curry leaves. Stir and turn over for a few minutes until the flour mix cooks. Stir in the remaining curry leaves and turn off the heat. Add 2 teaspoons ghee to enhance the flavour.
You can cover the pan and leave for 2 – 5 minutes for the residual heat to completely cook the flour.
Stir again and serve.
White Pea sprouts need to be cooked before use. I find the best way is to steam them for 20 – 30 minutes until the desired amount of tenderness is achieved.
Masala powder can be sprinkled over the dish at the end with the ghee. Mix well. You can make your own by lightly roasting with or without a little ghee – 6 cloves, 6 cardamom pods, 1 tspn poppy seeds, 0.5 tspns anise seeds, 2.5 cm cinnamon stick. Grind to a powder.
Add more or less gram flour mix according to taste.
Add more or less onions, according to taste. Leave them out if using for naivedyam or prasadam.
If you don’t have chilli powder on hand, grind 10 or 12 red chillies with 2 tspns salt and a little asafoetida.
A variety of dried or fresh peas or beans can be used for this dish. Split peas or beans can also be used however you want to use dal that maintains texture or bite when cooked (does not go mushy) and large enough dal to hold its own in the besan flour mix. Which ever ingredient you choose, soak and cook them before preparing the dish. Chickpeas/Bengal gram is particularly good to use.
Green chilli paste and ginger paste can substitute for the green chillies and grated ginger. But they must be home-made pastes otherwise the flavour suffers.