I re-read something I wrote years ago, and it hit a chord, so I thought I would repeat it.
The weather is gorgeous and I am so grateful for so many things in my life. From my teachers and mentors throughout my life, to the birds that sing me awake in the morning, the kookaburras which made an unscheduled stop in our neighbourhood, to the gardeners and garbage men who keep things spick and span around this area.
I am grateful for the simplicity and nourishment of food, and of course for the great tastes.
Today I am making a Sundal from horse gram sprouts. Horse gram sprouts are a little trickier to grow – I found the cheese cloth method the best. And they are tough little sprouts so need simmering or steaming before use. They are highly nutritious and worth cultivating.
Read more about Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.
A Sundal is an Indian dish which is sometimes called a salad, although it is quite different to the salads of the Western world. More correctly they are a stir fry of a dal/lentil, or sprouts of the same. They are popularly made in Spring each year for the Navarathri Festival which spans 9 or 10 nights (depending on the year, and where you are from). It is a time of great devotion, displays of dolls and dancing. Traditionally, there are sundals for each of the Navarathri days, made for Naivedyam and snacks.
Horse Gram Sprout Sundal
1 cup or more of horse gram sprouts
1 tspn grated ginger
1 – 2 green chillies, chopped finely
2 Tblspn grated coconut – use frozen if you can’t use fresh, or soak dried grated coconut and squeeze very dry before using.
1 tspn ghee or coconut oil
1 tspn 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)
Rinse the sprouts well, cover with water and simmer on a low heat for 15 – 20 mins. Cook longer if needed., Drain and reserve the water for rasam, sambar or dal.
Using a wok, kadai or pan, heat the ghee or coconut oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop, and add the urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida.
As the dal and chillies start to colour, add the ginger and finely chopped green chillies. Lower the heat and stir for a few moments until the chillies soften and begin to colour.
Add the sprouts and stir fry over a low heat for a couple of minutes until they reach the right balance of crispness and cooked-ness for your tastes. If you prefer soft, place a lid on and allow to cook for 3 – 4 minutes over a low flame. Add the salt and stir to mix thoroughly.
Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut.
A squeeze of lemon juice also goes well with the sundal. Add it right at the end.
If you are not a fan of ginger, you can leave it out.