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South indian "Street" Food - Sundal (Chickpea Salad)


Apologies for the short interruption in scheduled programming. I had some time management issues. anyway sorted out now. :D.

So, I am back today with something that I grew up with on the coastal shores of South India! Sundal, is a savory snack that is very popular inside and outside the homes of Tamilians.

This is one dish that cannot be termed as just street food as it also shares the venerable place as "Prasad", something that is blessed by the gods and shared with friends and neighbours on good and festive occasions.

Sundal Packets

If you visit a Tamilian house on certain festivals, you are sure to be greeted with a bowl of this simple and flavorful salad. In temples, you get them served in little bowls made of dried beetel leaves or banana/palm leaves.

It is also one of the most popular snacks munched on while sitting on the cool sands of the beach in the evening watching the sea lapping at the shores. Growing up in Chennai, a coastal city, I loved going to the beach at dusk and listening to the waves hitting the coast.

I find the sea at night a beautiful place to be... putting your troubles in perspective, a asynchronous tones of the waves soothing your heart and soul and making you smile through anything... It's the best place to sit with a friend or loved one, chat or not, just spend time quietly.

Sundal 2

I distinctly remember, vendors selling Sundal to those sitting on the beach. They carry the sundal in iron buckets and a number of handmade paper cups to serve them in. They would cost 1 or 2 rupees (yes, that is ridiculously low converted to $) and even then we would haggle for to bring it down. LOL. But that's the thrill of it ;-)

That and cut raw mangoes.. Oh YUM!! :)

Sundal (South Indian Chickpea Salad)


Prep Time: 3 hours to overnight
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min

1 cup dried chickpeas
2 tsp whole mustard seeds
7-8 fresh curry leaves
3-4 fresh green chillies, diced
3 T fine desicated coconut (or use unsweetened coconut)
water to cook the peas
salt, oil as needed

Soak the beans, in enough water and a little salt, overnight. Cook the beans in salted water in pan or in a pressure cooker (2-1/2 whistles) until just done. Drain and set aside. This can be made upto 2 days ahead.

In a shallow pan, saute a bit or oil (ghee is best!). When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add the curry leaves and chillies. As they start to crisp up, add the cooked beans. Toss and cook on low for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle the grated coconut and toss and cook for a few minutes. That's it. Serve! :)

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