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Yellow Peas Sundal. (Yellow vatana cooked and spiced with coconut and chillies)

Delicious Sundal.
Delicious Sundal.

The word sundal to me conjures up two things – One – Navarathri where “Sundals” are the main naivedhyams to the Goddess Devi and two – Marina Beach where hawkers sell the awesome Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal literally which translates to Coconut Mango and Green Peas. Although my mom has never ever allowed me to even look in to the hawker`s basket, all of us cousins secretly hoped to taste it some day as the aroma wafting in the air would be simply too much for us.

Navarathri again is an altogetherly¬† different option. Every day of Navarathri, we would be invited by the mamis next door and in the neighbouring apartments for “tamboolam“. So my sister and me would be dressed in our finest pattu pavadais, resplendant in their colours and happily go to their homes. Normally, we would be asked to sing a song on Devi, which we would and then after some time we would be given little baskets with turmeric, kumkum, and hot sundals wrapped in newspaper. As days went by, these newspaper parcels were stylishly replaces with little ziploc covers, but I missed those days of simplicity, where people had time to listen to little girls sing, enquire about each other in all sincerity, explain significances of the navarathri dolls etc.

Last night when I saw the little canister of yellow Peas in my pantry, I decided to soak it up overnight so I could make sundal the next day. Yellow Peas  is an excellent source of protein as its a healthy legume. Many days, its an easy snack for the kids when they come home in the evening from school as its both healthy as well as filling.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Yellow Peas.

1/4 cup of dessicated coconut.

3 green chillies.

Salt.

Hing.

Seasoning:

Mustard, Curry Leaves.

PREPARATION:

  • Soak the yellow peas the previous night for about 6-8 hours.¬† If you plan to make it for an evening snack, it is enough if you soak it that morning.
  • Drain all the water and pressure cook with a little salt and just enough water that they just reach the top of the vatana peas. Do not add too much that the peas drown in the water. This will render them mushy.
  • Switch off after 2 whistles and open after pressure is released.
  • Grind the coconut and green chillies without any water in to a coarse mix. Set aside.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of coconut oil and when it is hot, add mustard, curry leaves and a dash of hing.
  • Immediately add the cooked yellow peas and a little salt and hing as required.
  • Garnish with the coconut-chilli mix and incorporate it well in to the peas.
  • Switch off the stove and serve with Sambar and Rice or as an evening snack for the kids – a healthy side/snack ready in minutes.

NOTE:

  • One variation is to season with only mustard and garnish with finely chopped coconut slivers, and finely chopped mango pieces. The crunchiness from the coconuts and the tang from the mangoes are incomparable.