White Chana Sundal | Spiced Chickpeas with coconut

You read some of my childhood navratri stories yesterday and then like happens often; childhood became history. I grew up, moved out of the house and married into a South Indian family. With a totally different culture and traditions and ofcourse food. My word became richer by a whole new cuisine and cultural experience.

White Chana Sundal | Spiced Chickpeas with coconut
My first navratri after the wedding, everything was so different than I had experienced till then. There wasn't any devi pooja, there was no mention of Rama which were the things I grew up celebrating. For us the first 8 days of the festival were always about Durga who according to the stories was hiding from Bhairo without food for 8 days in the hills of now what we know as Vaishno Devi. And when she killed Bhairo and came down from the hills was fed by a local with chola and poori. The fasting and kanya pooja on ashtami is a representation of the whole story in a way. The dashmi or dushehra marks the killing of Ravana by Ram. Two of the most important Gods in the North of India are worshipped around this time.

But it was different down South, the 9 days of Navratri are marked by a popular and beautiful tradition of keeping Golu or Kolu in the house and inviting friends and families for blessings. The first time I saw it, I was fascinated. Usually various kinds of dolls are kept in odd number of steps. People get innovative and have themes around Golu, every year some new dolls are bought and added to the existing collection. Everyone in the house contributes in its decorations, even the kids get a dedicated area. A friend's son this year has built the whole village with Lego in his area. Golu kind of reminds me of the jhankis we used to make up north during Janmasthami.

From what I understand the Gods are placed on the highest of the steps, followed by humans and animals on the last. Kind of signifying the way of life and that God is superior to us all. We never kept Golu at home, one we aren't too religious. Two, I am slightly uncomfortable with the idea of haldi kumkum. Specially because I live with MIL who is a widow, it makes me very sad to greet only a certain set of friends in a particular way and not the rest. If people would not get hurt, I would love to boycott the whole haldi kumkum practice itself. Yes invite people, sit together, eat some good food and say bye but then like a lot of traditions and customs this is deep rooted and will take years to change.

But I love love love everything else about Golu, the decoration and ofcourse the prasadam that is made every evening. One of the major ones being Sundal. I adore the very lightly spiced lentils with a generous sprinkle of grated coconut. I could eat bowls full of them. Of all kinds but my top favorite really is white chana Sundal or Chickpeas Sundal

White Chana Sundal | Spiced Chickpeas with coconut

So whether you are fasting or not, whether you have kept Golu or not. Let the food across regions unite this navrati. Enjoy the chola poori halwa and the sundals at the same time. You can be as lucky as me, I am sharing the recipes with you guys after all :)

You read some of my childhood navratri stories yesterday and then like happens often; childhood became history. I grew up, moved out of the house and married into a South Indian family. With a totally different culture and traditions and ofcourse food. My word became richer by a whole new cuisine an...

White Chana Sundal | Spiced Chickpeas with coconut

Summary

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  • Coursemain course
  • Cuisinesouth indian
  • Yield4-6 servings s 4-6 servings
  • Cooking Time30 minutesPT0H30M
  • Preparation Time10 minutesPT0H10M
  • Total Time40 minutesPT0H40M
  • Passive Time8 hours

Ingredients

Dried white chickpeas/white chana
1 cup
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Urad dal
1 tsp
A generous asafoetida/hing
pinch of
Dry red chilies
2
Curry leaves
2 sprigs
Fresh grated coconut
4 tbsps
Salt
to taste
Ghee/oil
1 tbsp

Steps

  1. Wash and soak chickpeas for 8 hours or overnight
  2. Next morning, rinse and boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker along with salt. After one whistle, reduce the flame and let it simmer or 15 minutes. Set aside for steam to escape
  3. In a kadai, heat oil and add the mustard seed. Let them crackle and add urad dal, fry till it is lightly brown.
  4. Add heeng, red chillies and curry leaves and fry further for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the boiled and drained chickpeas and fry for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add grated coconut and turn off the heat. Serve warm
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