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Easy Sundal

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This is comfort food!

2014 is the year I go veggie crazy on my blog. I love my meat but over the past six months or so I’ve been experimenting a lot with vegetable curries and side dishes.

This sundal recipe is a real keeper. It’s quite easy to make and is a nice snack for those evenings in front of the telly.

You might also like to serve this sundal recipe as an h’orderves at a drinks or dinner party. This snack does go quite well with ice cold lager.

Traditionally, this finger food from Southern India is eaten with yes, you guessed it, your hands.  Some people may not want to do this as it is quite oily and messy. I’ll leave that one to you.

Around our house I give everyone a bowl of their own sundal and the bowls always end up empty.

The secret to success here is in the initial soaking and cooking of the lentils. They need to be soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and no longer than one hour.

Soak them too long and they become bitter when cooked.

Then when you boil the lentils, you need to watch them carefully. Ten minutes should do the trick.

You want the lentils keep their shape and not become mushy. They do need to be soft though so that you can crush them between your fingers.

Sundal recipe

I love making this. Throw in about three tablespoons roasted and grated fresh coconut for a completely different and delicious dish.

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Yield: 6

A Quick and Easy Sundal Recipe

A Quick and Easy Sundal Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 cup (250ml) Dry chana dhal (Yellow split chickpea lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 long dried red chillies ( or more if you like spicy food)
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies - split lenthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice of one lemon


  1. Soak the lentils in cold water for about 30 minutes and no longer than an hour.
  2. Rince and then place in a pan and cover with water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You only want to simmer the lentils for about seven to ten minutes. The lentils should be soft enough to crush between two fingers but still keep their shape.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Now heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  6. When bubbling, add the mustard seeds, red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, pour in the drained lentils.
  7. Sprinkle in the asafoetida and turmeric and then mix it all up to combine.
  8. Fry until the lentils have become slightly crispy and the oil is all absorbed into the lentils. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste and squeeze the lemon juice over it all.
  10. Start snacking.

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