BM #113 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Protein rich recipes
When I got married, I used to prepare Sundal varieties a lot and my husband always had this confused look. He would ask me why I am preparing something that was made only during the festival season on an everyday basis. You see, Sundal is way of preparing dry beans and lentils (commonly with coconut) and is made during the pooja holidays as an offering to the God. But in my house, it was a everyday dish.
The reason – my younger brother was a picky eater. His lunch and dinner every single day was curd rice, served with a side of (a) potato fry (b) raw banana fry (c) Sundal of any kind OR (d) potato/tapioca/ raw banana chips. The first time I saw him eat rice with sambar was when I was over 25. You really could have knocked me down with a feather at that moment!
Fortunately for my mother who was working, my brother’s eating habits came handy. Everyday she would make some kind of vegetable porial and then a Sundal as a second side dish for everyone. It’s much more easier to prepare a Sundal than a regular vegetable. Soaking overnight and pressure cooking is the major part, which is not too much effort. The sautéing part is the only active work and it takes less than 5 minutes even when you are cooking for a crowd. So no wonder we all adopted this into our regular diet.
With my husband, who grew up in a household without picky eaters, Sundal remains a once in a while dish. Or a healthy evening snack. So after our marriage, instead of making this a couple of times a week, I started making this only when the veggies run low. It’s not surprising that Sundal made a strong comeback during this quarantine time when grocery shopping wasn’t as easy as before :-).
Read on for the recipe.
- 1 cup dry whole moong beans
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 red dry chili
- 6-8 curry leaves
- A pinch of hing, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
- Salt as needed
- Soak the beans overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Add enough water to the beans to so that there is at least an inch of water on top of it. Pressure cook for one whistle or for 1 minute in Manual mode if using Instant Pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Drain the beans and If possible, let it cool down for sometime. Cooking when it’s hot could make it mushy.
- Heat oil in a pan. add the mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle add the hing and let it cook for a few seconds. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Mix with a spatula and add the drained beans. Gently mix everything without breaking the beans. If the beans are undercooked (each batch of beans is different, so cooking times might differ slightly), sprinkle some water and cover and cook until it’s done.
- Add the shredded coconut and mix it in gently. Taste test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Take off the heat and serve with rice and morkuzhambu (yogurt based curry for rice).