Category Archives: Sundal Varieties

Nutritious Package – Sprouts : salad and sundal


 



The Sprouts Story

Sprouts have become a regular part of our diet, for a few years now. These are the sprouts that I have been using presently. Many whole millets/grams can be sprouted and made into healthy alternatives to snacks and meals.

  • sprouted green gram

  • sprouted black chick pea

  • sprouted fenugreek seeds

Before we move on to the benefits and usages of sprouts, my Sprouts Story is something to be shared.

Initially, the inclusion of sprouts started as a salad for breakfast. It was great, light, refreshing and tasty.. They were accompaniments to a light breakfast.  Only on a few weekends, we would start the day with sprouts alone to break the fast. After a few years, there was a change in breakfast. I converted to dosais or idlis with whole grains, millets or unpolished rice varieties. Hence, sprouts were shifted to be part of the lunch platter. Fresh salad with carrots, cucumber or any salad veggies with liberal juice of lemon, went with lunch.

 
Here, there arose a problem. While packing lunch in the morning, the freshness of the sprouts was lost.  I moved it further evening as a replacement for tea/coffee. Now, I couldn’t survive without my coffee. If coffee was consumed with a healthy stuff, I believe the goodness of the healthy food is eaten up by caffeine in coffee and tea. Tell me I’m wrong, and I shall include my lonely coffee with breakfast, lunch and dinner too.

Coming back to sprouts, I switched it over to evening.. as a snack during tea. Then, winter set in. The fresh sprouts wouldn’t go well raw, cold with fresh veggies- I wanted something hot for the chilly weather. Additionally, the sprouted black gram was posing problems to chew . I thought of cooking or braising it to make it softer. While we had elders as guests, it made a lighter healthier snack while cooked… Easy to munch and tastier with South Indian seasoning- mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies. A great snack for a cold winter evening. I have to mention here, I had my coffee after sufficient time gap.

Beyond the health benefits, sprouts are a beauty to watch grow. They mark the beginning of growth or existence. One can truly see the glow of new life in the sprouted seeds. If you feel I am excessively exaggerating, please try for yourself.

There are different ways to sprout seeds. This is what I do.

Soak seeds overnight. Drain water. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a clean dry box and close with a damp cheese cloth. Shake every now and then. Be careful, if there is too much water in the seeds, they would attract fungal growth. If they are too dry, they wouldn’t sprout. It might take a few times to understand the process and succeed.

Note: Green gram sprouts quickly. Fenugreek is a bit sticky. Black gram poses greater problems… It  attracts fungus very easily. But be patient… Do not lose hope.. Slow comprehension of the process of each seed would help flawless sprouting, even after a few failures.

Health Benefits of Sprouts

Pre-digested foods refer to the foods that have been pre-digested for us either by another animal or machines or equipment. The nutrients are in pre-digested form, so they require very little digestion, and the nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Thus, an elemental diet provides you nutritional needs while giving your digestive system at rest. Sprouts nutrition reduces high blood pressure, helps in weight loss, lowers cardiovascular risk and helps us to fight against diabetes and fatty liver.

https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.thefitindian.com/sprouts-for-weight-loss/amp/

To know more about benefits of sprouts, google has loads of information.

Suggestions on how to include sprouts in your meal pattern

These salads are vey flexible, one can alter all ingredients as per preference.  These are only a few suggestions. Usage is purely one’s own imagination or innovation.

Sprouts Salad -1

Ingredients (serves appr.  3)

  • sprouted green gram – 2 cups
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • grated carrots – 2 cups
  • pomegranate – seeds of 1 fruit

Mix all together and season if needed with salt,  pepper and lemon. This tastes awesome without any seasoning too.

Sprouts Salad – 2

 

Ingredients

  • sprouted green gram – 2 cups
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • finely chopped or grated carrots – 1 cup
  • finely chopped onions – 1 cup
  • finely chopped green chillies – 2 no.s

 

Mix all together and season with salt,  pepper and lemon.

Steamed or Cooked Version of Sprouts: Sprouts Sundal

Ingredients

  • sprouted black chick pea – 1 cup
  • sprouted green gram – 1 cup
  • sprouted fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup
  • finely chopped onions – 1 cup
  • finely chopped green chillies – 2 no.s

seasoning

  • oil – 1 tblsp
  • mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • dehusked black gram – 1 tsp
  • curry leaves – a few
  • asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – as needed

Method of Preparation

  1. Cook sprouts in very little water. One can pressure cook with 3/4 cup water for 2 whistles in full burner
  2. Or saute the sprouts and cover and cook in a closed pan
  3. Heat oil in a pan, let mustards splutter, then add black gram
  4. When black gram turns golden, add curry leaves, chopped onions and chillies
  5. Then, add the  cooked and drained sprouts, salt and mix well
  6. When they are mixed well, sprinkle asafoetida and switch off stove
  7. Sprouts Sundal is ready to be served.

Paasi Paruppu Sundal/Stir fried Dehusked Green Gram Salad

 

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Here comes another Sundal/stir fried lentil to end the navaratri season. But sundals are not the sole speciality foods of Navaratri alone. They are very simple recipes yet highly potential protein foods providing essential nutrients to the body, both children and elders alike.

As I had mentioned in earlier posts, sundals can be a substitute to fried starters in parties; nutritious snack than junk food during relaxing times. Especially for kids returning from school, sundal can be an excellent source of nutritious energy – now stop them grab their white flour butter cookies out of tiredness and hunger!

Call Sundal, Stir Fried Lentil as well as Salad – is this right?- Omit the seasoning, add carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and don’t hesitate to choose from your favourite salad veggies to the boiled lentil to make it a healthy salad.
Paasi Paurppu Sundal/Stir Fried Dehusked Green Gram Salad

 

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Mung dal is high in fiber, low in saturated fat, low in sodium, and contains no cholesterol. Because of the wide range of nutrients contained in mung dal, these legumes offer a whole host of health benefits for the immune system, the metabolism, the heart and other organs, cell growth, protection against free radicals, and diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Here is a list of the nutrients that mung dal provides:

· Protein

· Vitamin C

· Folic acid or folate

· Iron

· Zinc

· Potassium

· Magnesium

· Copper

· Manganese

· Phosphorus

· Thiamine

https://www.doctorblossom.com/index.php/nutrition-a-recipes/155

 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • paasi paruppu/dehusked green gram – 1 cup
  • yennai/oil – 2 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1/2 tsp
  • vengayam/onions – 1 no. or chinna vengayam/shallots – 4 no.s
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – a few
  • pachai milagai/green chillies – 2 no.suppu/salt – to taste
  • perungayam/asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Chop onions finely and slit the green chillies; red chillies can also be added or substituted
  2. Wash and soak dehusked green gram in enough water for 2 hrs
  3. By 2 hrs, the lentil would have become softer and bigger in size – cook the lentil in a pan with the same soaked water
  4. Do not cook this lentil in a pressure cooker as it would mash very fast
  5. Keep checking for water and be alert not to overcook; If water is evaporated, the lentil might be burnt or if it is overcooked, it might be mashed while seasoning
  6. Once the lentil is cooked, switch off stove and keep aside
  7. If there is excess water after cooking, drain away
  8. Heat oil in a pan, let mustard seeds splutter and add dehusked black gram
  9. Add chopped onions, curry leaves and green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes
  10. Then add cooked lentil and salt and mix well
  11. Mix carefully that the lentil remains in perfect shape
  12. Sprinkle asafoetida powder and switch off stove
  13. Sundal is ready.

 

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Navaratri and Nostalgia – Karuppu Kondaikadalai Sundal/Stir fried Black Chick Peas

 

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This is the week of Navaratri – the Hindu festival devoted to the three women deities – Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswathi, consorts of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma respectively.

Religious aspects differ with families and mindsets of families. This holds good for traditions too. But, I strongly believe that the procedural aspects of religion are secondary and so are the mythological stories that have evolved to keep a community within its boundaries. But the traditions that have been transferred through grandmothers and mothers of households holds a community, society and a race intact, without losing its identity.

Passing on stories and memories of one’s childhood to the next generation is an interesting event on a day-to-day basis. With nuclear families as the norm and families living in different countries around the world, the connection between generations has slowly gone to a negative index. Thanks to modern social networking tools and low-cost international call facilities, the widened gap has reduced. But, the role of story telling is switched over predominantly to the parents from grandparents greatly.

This ‘Role Adoption’ of a mother as a story-teller in transferring culture and traditions to the next generation, has its own advantage, especially during festival occasions.

More information had been written on the religious and festive aspects of Navaratri in https://dosaikal.com/2011/09/30/navaratri-and-the-sundal-connection. So, let us talk about the experience of story telling with Navaratri and Nostalgia.

The immediate ones, apart from other elaborate and striking features, that would come to my mind about Navaratri are –

a. Pattu Pavadai – the traditional dress worn by little girls on festive occasions;

b. Carnatic Music – classical south indian music, the classes of which would start from the day of Vijayadasami;

c. Recital of Songs – as small and young girls, we would go in groups or with amma to worship the golu celebrations or the decorative arrangements of our near and dear ones and

d. Sundal – the lentil salad if I could call it which would be made everyday for poojai and also distributed to families in the neighbourhood!

Pattu Pavadai Chattai

 

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Now, as a story teller, Nostalgia hits me first with the Pattu Pavadai Chattai – Pattu – Silk; Pavadai – Full Skirt and Chattai – Blouse; the traditional silk skirt and blouse of the little girls. Everytime I buy new clothes from Chennai, Pattu Pavadai is part of the collection – it comes from various sources – maternal and paternal grannies and other grandmothers and grandfathers of the total clan!

I get them stitched like any other Tamil person in different heights so that my daughter can wear each one new as she grows taller day by day. There is also the concept of ‘duck’ – not the noun which quacks but the verb – the work that the tailor does to alter the height of the Pavadai/skirt. We tell him ‘ducku podunga’ – might have been ‘tuck it in’. He tucks the extra length of the skirt cloth in one or two layers to be unthreaded as she grows and the height of the skirt is increased. What excellent tailoring sense from generations!

When I see her wear the Pattu Pavadai Chattai for any occasion – my childlike senses are rekindled – this time I made the ‘puff kai chattai’ – puffed hand blouse – which I dare not try to wear for my Pudavai/Saree today.

 

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Carnatic Music

Telling her stories of Paatu vaguppu/Music classes, I have become her music teacher too – just the basics!

 

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With the new edition of the same old book of basic classic Carnatic music to the easily portable shruthi box – I try to dig in to memories back home!
Sundal

Navaratri without Sundal – lentil salad is like Pongal without Karumbu/Sugarcane.(https://dosaikal.com/2012/01/13/thai-pongal-the-harvest-festival)

The protein rich, nutritious sundals are real treat during this festival.  Different lentils are soaked and cooked and seasoned with minimum oil and just stir fried to be presented as a healthy snack. Among the various varieties, it is Karuppu Kondaikadalai Sundal this time.

Now, to the recipe –

Karuppu Kondaikadalai Sundal/Stir fried Black Chick Peas

 

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Chickpeas are a source of zinc, folate and protein.Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated. Nutrient profile of desi chana (the smaller variety) is different, especially the fibre content which is much higher than the light coloured variety. One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contains 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which only 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein. Chickpeas also provide dietary phosphorus (168 mg/100 g), which is higher than the amount found in a 100-gram serving of whole milk.

Recent studies have also shown that they can assist in lowering of cholesterol in the bloodstream. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea

Ingredients (serves 3 to 4)

  • karuppu kondaikadalai/black chick peas – 1 cup
  • thuruviya thengai/grated coconut – 1/2 cup yennai/oil – 2 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1/2 tsp
  • milagai vatral/red chillies – 1 no.
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – a few
  • perungayam/asafoetida powder – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – to taste

 

IMG_3096

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak black chick peas in enough water overnight or at least for 8 hours
  2. Pressure cook till soft – this might take at least 20 minutes in low-medium heat
  3. Heat oil in a pan and let the mustard seeds splutter and add black gram
  4. When dehusked black gram turns golden brown, add red chillies and curry leaves and saute
  5. Red chillies can be substituted with green chillies if one prefers
  6. Strain the cooked black peas and add to the pan
  7. Add salt to taste and stir fry well
  8. When all ingredients are combined well – this might take five minutes – turn off the stove
  9. Sprinkle freshly grated coconut to serve
  10. Coconut can be added while sundal is still getting stir fried. Then, the colour of fresh coconut is lost but an excellent flavor of pan roasted coconut enhances the salad; While non-roasted fresh coconut might not add those extra calories due to roasting!
  11. The addition of coconut can be left to choose as per family preference
  12. Enjoy the healthy snack which can also be an excellent starter in dinners.

 

Pachai Payaru Sundal/Hari Moong Sundal/Green Gram Salad

This is another sundal for navaratri – pachai payaru sundal.

Pachai Payaru is also called Paasi Payaru. It is the whole green gram. All whole lentils are healthier because of the husk in them. This pachai payaru or green gram is very versatile too. Apart from the simple seasoned dal to go with rice or chappatis, various other dishes can be made out of this payaru. Pachai payaru payasam or sweet pudding and dry curry in combination with other vegetables (https://dosaikal.com/2011/08/04/beans-pachai-payaru-thuvaran-beans-and-green-gram-dry-curry/) are a few delicacies. Mulai vitta payaru or sprouted green gram with other salad vegetables is a tasty, crispy and healthy option for hunger cravings.

The health benefits of Pachai Payaru

The green gram is one of the most wholesome among pulses in India. It is free from the heaviness and tendency to flatulence, which is associated with other pulses. Cooked dal of green gram is a very digestive food for invalid and sick persons. Its regular use during childhood, pregnancy and lactation helps one to get the required nutrition and promote health. It is rich in proteins, fibre, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, iron and also a small amount vitamin B complex.  http://www.best-homeremedies.com/herbal_medicine/grains&pulses/green_gram.htm 

Pachai Payaru Sundal

 

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • pachai Payaru/hari moong/green gram– 1 cup
  • onions (optional) – 1 medium
  • green chillies/red chillies or both – 2 nos
  • salt – as needed
  • oil to temper – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1tsp
  • urad dal – 1 tsp
  • curry leaves – a few
  • asafoetida – ½ spoon
  • grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Pressure cook pachai payaru till just done – careful it shouldn’t be over cooked
  2. Strain the water and keep the dal separately
  3. Chop the onions fine (onions are optional – some wouldn’t prefer onions when prepared for puja)
  4. Chop green chillies or slit into two halves
  5. Heat oil in a kadai, let mustard seeds splutter
  6. Add urad dal, when it turns golden brown add curry leaves, onions and green chillies
  7. Red chillies can also be added if preferred
  8. Add the cooked pachai payaru and sprinkle salt
  9. Mix well and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes
  10. Be careful not to stir too much or else the dal might get mashed
  11. Sprinkle asafetida
  12. When done sprinkle grated coconut and serve hot
  13. This can also be served as a healthy starter for dinners
  14. Sometimes, we used to have this sundal with sugar or jaggery sprinkled on top. It would have the mixed flavour of chillies and jaggery.

Navaratri and the Sundal Connection (Kadalai Paruppu Sundal/Channa Dal Sundal/Bengal Gram Salad)

Navaratri is a Hindu festival of worship of Shakti or Parvathi or Durga. These are nine nights of festivities. The word Navaratri means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning night. During these nine nights, Goddess Parvathi is worshipped in nine forms. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadhasami.

If it is Shivaratri for her husband Shiva, Navaratri is exclusively for Shakti. The difference is that, Mahashivaratri is celebrated on one particular night in the month of march, but navaratri for shakti is celebrated for nine days. Ofcourse, there are the monthly sivaratris. In most states of India, Durga Puja is celebrated in different names.

Navaratri is also celebrated four times a year in some parts of the country. In Tamilnadu, as far as I know, the most popular celebration of navaratri is in the month of Purattasi (September-October). One can find more details on navaratri on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri.

The first three days are devoted to Parvathi as she is popularly known in Tamilnadu – goddess of power, the next three days are devoted to Lakshmi – goddess of wealth, and the last three days are devoted to Saraswathi – goddess of wisdom. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadasami – the day goddess durga defeated the demon mahishasur and she is worshipped as Mahishasuramardhini.

Beyond these religious aspects, worship techniques or maintenance of rituals and customs, which might differ with every household, I have always been more concerned and attracted to the cultural and traditional aspects of any festival.

In Tamilnadu, the ninth day is celebrated as Saraswati Poojai and Ayudha Poojai and tenth day as Vijayadasami.

For Saraswathi Poojai, all our books would go to the Poojai Arai or Puja Room and appa would make a beautiful seating arrangement covering all the books with special new silk dhoti, on top of which the usual framed photo of goddess saraswathi with the veena on her hands would graciously sit. Sometimes we would give our gold chains to adorn saraswathi.

That day, used to be the happiest.. More because we would be instructed not to study or even read any book. Suddenly by noon, I would feel so bad not studying or reading my favourite magazines! I wouldn’t have missed my books so badly any other day!!

Ayudha Poojai would be marked by cleaning all instruments, equipments, metallic substances of day-to-day use – cycles, bikes, cars, all musical instruments at home.  Everything associated with the household or work places would be cleaned, decorated and worshipped. Agricultural equipments for a farmer, type writer in a typing class, sewing machines, an aruval (sharp big knife specially for coconuts) for a coconut vender and so on..

All new ventures would begin from Vijayadasami. Even today, some schools take in children for kindergarten sessions starting from vijayadasami day. It is believed anything started on this particular day would be successful. All forms of art classes are started from vijayadasami. Every year, on that day, we show our special gratitude to our art teachers – whom we regard as goddess saraswathi herself.

When I was very young, navaratri meant sundal everyday (can I call it cooked lentil salad?), a different one every day.. After a few years, it used to be wearing the best of pattu pavadai (traditional long skirt and top in silk) and go to other houses in the neighbourhood, sing Carnatic music in front of goddesses and not to forget – collect the day’s sundal from their house. After a while, it was more of performing at home and neighbourhood (irrespective of what the neighbours or relatives feel – we are singing for the goddesses!).

But still, more memories are stuck with the different kinds of sundals prepared and the golu decorations in some households. Navaratri in tamilnadu is very much marked with golu or kolu. Apart from the traditional kolams or colored rangolis, golu is a kind of a decoration of dolls and other beautiful innovative things. Some arrangements might have five steps, seven steps or nine steps generally or always in odd numbers. Golu would be arranged with traditional dolls collected for generations, some of the gods and goddesses, some depicting epic scenes, also some new dolls – all displayed with a sense of ethnicity and beauty. It can be called a household exhibition of innovative artistic skills.

For more details on golu, I found this website with a native touch – http://cvrajan.hubpages.com/hub/Navratri-Golu-The-Hindu-festival-of-dolls

I find this golu decoration similar to the Durga Puja Pandals in West Bengal. If those pandals are a community event and done on a large-scale through committees or organisations, the one in Tamilnadu is a household affair – innovative, ethnic, traditional and religious involvement and excitement intact.

Now, to Sundals or lentil salads!

Sundals can be associated with mainly two things – one navaratri and the other – Beach! The beaches in Chennai and other places in Tamilnadu are always remembered with the sale of different kinds of spicy, tangy sundals. On beach sundal we shall talk in another post.. Now on navaratri sundal.

There used to be no golu decoration in our house. But worship of goddesses on all days with different sundals and distribution in the neighborhood was always there. In this session, let me share making a few varieties of sundal.

Kadalai Paruppu Sundal/ Channa Dal Sundal/ Bengal Gram Salad

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • kadalai Paruppu/channa dal – 1 cup
  • onions (optional) – 1 medium
  • green chillies/red chillies or both – 2 nos
  • salt – as needed
  • oil to temper – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • urad dal – 1 tsp
  • curry leaves – a few
  • asafoetida – ½ spoon
  • grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Soak kadalai paruppu for ½ an hour
  2. Pressure cook till just done – careful it shouldn’t be over cooked
  3. Strain the water and keep the dal separately
  4. Chop the onions fine (onions are optional – some wouldn’t prefer onions when prepared for puja)
  5. Chop green chillies or slit into two halves
  6. Heat oil in a kadai, let mustard seeds splutter
  7. Add urad dal, when it turns golden brown add curry leaves, onions and green chillies
  8. Red chillies can also be added if preferred
  9. Add the cooked kadalai paruppu and sprinkle salt
  10. Mix well and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes
  11. Be careful not to stir too much or else the dal might get mashed
  12. Sprinkle asafoetida
  13. When done sprinkle grated coconut and serve hot
  14. This can also be served as a healthy starter for dinners.