Kadalai Paruppu Sundal (Bengal Gram Salad)
By DK on Oct 01, 2013
One of the best things about South Indian festivals is that many of the recipes prepared for the occasion can be enjoyed throughout the year as well. Most of them are simple and nutritious that can be enjoyed on a regular basis. I could eat festive recipes like Suyyam, Maladoo, Akkaravadisal, Puliodharai, Verkadalai Urundai, Manga Pachadi, Vella Kozhukattai ...(and the list goes on for a while more) throughout the year without feeling bored or guilty!
On the same lines are Sundals made during Navarathri Festival. Very simple to make and nutritious to boot. The Tamil word Sundal is akin to a salad. Few ingredients come together with a hint of spices (Indian food and spices go hand in hand) and you have a snack ready! The one I will be talking about today is made using split chickpeas - Indian term being "Bengal Gram" and Tamil word being "Kadalai Paruppu".
my kitchen notes
Prep Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
Yield: Makes 4 servings of 1/4 cup each
- 1 cup (abt 180 grams) Bengal Gram Dal (Kadalai Paruppu, Split Chickpeas)
- Pinch of Turmeric,
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Urad Dal (skinned and split Black gram lentils)
- 1-2 Dried Red Chilli
- Few sprigs of Curry leaves, torn
- Pinch of Asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- Optional additions
- 1 Green Chilli, or to taste, see Tips
- 2-4 tbsp grated Coconut, see Tips
- Ground Pepper to taste, see Tips
- Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, to taste, see Tips
Tips1. Green Chilli: Depending on the level of heat you like, you can increase the amount or simply skip using chillies. For the sake of flavor, I added 1 dried red chilli. We do not prefer heat in our food, hence I prefer this way.
2. Coconut: My mother never included coconut in our meals hence she makes this without it. But for added flavor I add 2 generous tbsp of coconut. I would recommend using fresh coconut, but frozen (and thawed) coconut works well too. If on diet restriction (or on a diabetic diet), simply skip using any.
3. Pepper: Traditionally this is not used in a sundal, but I add freshly ground pepper to any preparation that involves turmeric. Its optional.
4. Lemon: I don't remember my mother adding lemon juice to this, but I do add a little bit of citrus to my lentil preparations to help our body absorb the iron from the lentils. Its optional.
Soak the lentil for 45min to 1 hour. This step is optional. If using a pressure cooker, you can skip the soaking. But if planning to cook it on stove top, this soaking helps to speed up the cooking process considerably. If you are living in a place with humid/hot climate, I would suggest a soaking period of less than 1 hour since long soak makes it taste sour.
I pressure cook this with just enough water to cover the lentils along with turmeric
You would need to cook it for just one whistle or about 6-8 minutes (esp. if you have soaked it). Otherwise cook for 2 whistles (or abt 10 min). Make sure not to over cook the lentils. You need it to retain its shape. If you are not sure about this process, simply add enough water to cover it and cook the lentils on the stove top. The pre soaked lentil would take around 10 minutes to achieve the desire texture - it should retain the shape but it will be soft when you press it using your fingers.
Heat some oil - abt 1-2 tsp. in a pan. I use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and at times Sesame oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they stop popping, add the lentil, chili and asafoetida.
Add the coconut and curry leaves. Since I was using frozen coconut, I prefer to toast it a bit. If using fresh, you can add it towards the end if you don't want to toast it.
Add the drained lentil along with salt and pepper. Toss until combined.
Remove from heat and then add some lemon juice if using.
This can be served warm, at room temperature or cold.
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