Sundal recipe – Sundal is a traditional South Indian dish mostly made with legumes, spices & curry leaves. It is very commonly made in Tamil speaking households during some festivals. Sundal is offered to the gods or goddess during pooja & then shared with family & friends. It is also served in many temples to the devotees.
Based on the family customs and traditions it is made for festivals. We make these for Varalakshmi vratham, Ganesh chaturthi, Navratri and even for Diwali.
To make sundal, you can pretty much use any legumes like chana, green gram, chana dal or even black eyed peas. During navratri, sundal is made almost every day to offer & then share it with friends. A variety of legumes are used each day for a change.
The recipe to make it is very simple. The preparation begins by rinsing & soaking the legumes anywhere for 4 hours to overnight depending on the kind used.
Then they are pressure cooked until soft yet firm and should hold shape. Lastly a tempering is made with basic whole spices like mustard and cumin. Curry leaves, hing, chilies and ginger are the flavor enhancers here.
A generous amount of fresh grated coconut is used to finish off.
In this post I have made the sundal using chana. You can also use black eyed peas (karamani) or green gram. The most important thing to note is the soaking and cooking time which you will need to adjust depending on the legume used.
Many people also add different kinds of spice powders for variation. But I have not used it here.
I have added more instructions in the recipe card below.
1. Wash and soak chana in lot of water for overnight. Drain the water and pressure cook for 1 to 2 whistles on a medium flame using ½ to ¾ cup water and pinch of soda.
2. Add ghee to a hot pan and mustard, cumin and urad dal. We use desi cow’s ghee for tempering especially if offering to Goddess Lakshmi.
3. Allow mustard, cumin to crackle. Saute dal until golden.
4. Add curry leaves, ginger and red chilies. Saute until the curry leaves turn crisp. Add hing. I do not use ginger.
How to make chana sundal
5. Drain water completely from cooked chana and add them to the pan along with turmeric and salt.
6. Add fresh grated coconut. I blended coarsely few freshly broken coconut chunks in a chutney jar and used. We use freshly broken coconut and do not use the one which is already offered during pooja or one used for regular cooking purposes.
7. Mix every well and switch off.
Cool chana sundal completely and offer as naivedyam.
Chana sundal recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup chana or green gram (about 1.5 cups soaked)
- ½ to ¾ cup water (I use ½ cup)
- 1 ½ tbsp Ghee or oil
- ½ tsp mustard
- ½ tsp cumin / jeera
- 1 tsp urad dal (optional for flavor)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 to 2 red chilies broken
- ½ tsp ginger grated (optional)
- 2 pinches turmeric / haldi
- 1 Pinch hing / asofoetida
- salt as needed
- 2 tbsps coconut fresh grated
How to make the recipe
- Add chana or green gram to a large pot and rinse them very well a few times.
- Pour fresh water and soak. If using chana soak overnight. If using green gram you can soak for 4 hours.
- Once they are soaked, drain the water and rinse them well.
- Add them to a pressure cooker or pot along with water. Pressure cook on a medium heat.
- If using chana then cook for 4 whistles. If using green gram cook for 2 whistles.
- When the pressure releases, open the lid and check. Chana or green gram should be soft cooked yet hold shape and not turn mushy.
- Heat a pan with ghee for seasoning. Add cumin, mustard and urad dal. Saute until the dal turns golden.
- Add curry leaves and red chilies. When the leaves turn crisp, add ginger and hing.
- Drain the excess water if any left. Add the chana/ green gram, turmeric and salt.
- Add coconut. Mix and switch off.
- Offer sundal as a naivedyam to the deities.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Over soaking the lentils or legumes can peel off the skin while pressure cooking. So do not oversoak.
- Also over cooking can make them mushy. So do not over cook.
I have not included green chili, ginger, garam masala and lemon juice since we do not add them for naivedyam. You can however plus or minus some of the ingredients based on your customs and traditions.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.