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Recipes | 6 Easy and Healthy Festive Snacks Aka Sundal Recipes – Life is What You Celebrate

9 October 2013 6 Comments

health gram and lentil snacks - sundal recipes

Look at this pretty Idol of Sarawati with Veena, this one is more than 100 years old, it was passed on to me by my mother. And this white Shiva Idol….a friend of your Tatha’s father (great-grandfather) brought it  from Sri Lanka about 70 years ago.” She wipes the idol gently and asks my son to place it on the ladder specially created for Navaratri festival.

For a change there is a silence at home for long, as the children are sitting patiently next to their grandmother, waiting eagerly for her to open that heavy iron trunk which is rusted beyond repair. I could see the amusement written all over their faces. The trunk which opens up with a creaky noise is like a Pandora box for them with small bundles of memories, moments and untold stories.

Her face lightens up each time she unfolds the fragile age-old clay dolls wrapped in small muslin clothes. I wonder how she never gets bored of narrating the (same) history of each Idol to my children, year after year… 🙂

And I am sure when they hold some of these Idols which belong to their fore fathers, it gives them a feeling of belonging and reminds them from where they came from.

Recipes | 6 Easy and Healthy Festive Snacks Aka Sundal Recipes -

Work-in-progress to set up the ‘Kolu’

This year hubby and children decided to set up the entire ‘Kolu‘ (arranging the dolls, Idols and creating a theme) on their own. It took four hours to assemble 7-step ladder. They created a small park with sand and sowed millet, Ragi and mustard in their farm. Exhausted and hungry, they called it off and decided to arrange the idols the next day.

This ritual during Navaratri was quite new to me when I got married and came to South India.

Just as every state has a distinct language, food and tradition, significance of a festival also changes from one state to another. Different legends describe the history of the festival of Navaratri in different parts of India.

In South India these nine days are divided and devoted to the Goddess who is worshiped in her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawati. Goddess Durga is invoked for first three days to remove impurities from mind.

Lakshmi is invoked the next three days to cultivate noble values, gaining prosperity and spiritual wealth. The last three days are for Goddess Sarawati for attaining knowledge. Tenth day is the day of Vijaydashmi or day of victory of our own mind.

In North India Navaratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil and the nine nights symbolizes the nine nights of war between Goddess Durga and the mighty demon Mahishasura.

During childhood days in Udaipur we used to get excited and start preparing for the Garba (Indian dance form) during Navaratri much before the actual festival started. From selecting the coloruful dresses to the knick-knacks to practicing the new dance steps with the Dandia sticks.

I do miss the fun quotient of Navaratri after my marriage and settling in South India. But the rich traditions and rituals I follow now are no less fascinating..

Either it is colourful Holi or rustic Pongal, whichever festival I celebrate it gives me a feeling of belonging and brings me closer to my roots.

In South India many families follow the tradition of setting up the Idols which is called as ‘Kolu‘. They offer prayers, make special ‘prasad‘ (offering to God) called ‘Sundal‘ and call their neighbours and friends to share gifts during Navaratri for all the nine days.

Each day one of these protein packed treat with pulses called ‘Sundal‘ is prepared and is offered to Goddess and then shared with family and friends. The recipe for making Sundal is so easy and versatile that you can substitute any legume or bean to make your own version.

I am listing 6 of the most popular ways to prepare this healthy and filling snack called ‘Sundal‘ in the same post below;

1. Ground Nut Sundal with Raw Mango

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes


  • 1 cup ground nuts
  • 3 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp. grated raw mango
  • 2 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp Urad daal
  •  1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Asafoetida powder
  • Few curry leaves

Method; Cook groundnuts in 3 cups of water till they are soft or pressure cook them for a whistle.

Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, add grated coconut, red chilly and Urad daal (de-husked black gram) and sauté for a minute.

Add curry leaves, grated raw mango, asafoeitda powder, salt and cooked ground nuts in the wok and mix well. Take it off from the flame and serve hot.

2. Green gram Sundal with Fresh Vegetables 

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes


  • 1 cup de-husked split green gram
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1/2 green capsicum
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of asafetida or Hing
  • Few coriander leaves

Method; Wash and soak split green gram (Moong daal) for an hour. Boil the gram with 3 cups of water in a deep vessel for about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook the gram. I don’t cook the gram and use it in raw form.

Slice tomato and capsicum into thin stripes or small cubes. Wash, peel and grate carrot. Chop green chilly.

Take a large vessel and add green gram, chopped vegetables, green chilly, grated carrots, coriander levaes and salt  in it. Mix all the ingredients well.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add chopped green chilly, asafetida powder and curry leaves in it.

Pour the seasoning over the gram and vegetable mix. Sprinkle lemon juice and stir with a ladle to incorporate all the ingredients well.

Refrigerate the Sundal till use and serve it chilled.

3. Horse gram or Kollu sweet Sundal with Jaggery

healthy gram and lentil snacks - sundal recipes


  • 1 cup Horse gram   
  • 1 cup grated jaggery
  • 2 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp. ghee or clarified butter

Method; Wash and soak horse gram or Kollu in Tamil or Kulath in Hindi overnight in plain water.

Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles.

Drain excess water.

Heat ghee in a wok, add coconut and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add cooked Kollu, jaggery, cardamom powder and sauté for a few minutes.

Take it from flame and let it cool.

4. Masala Dry Peas sundal 

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes


  • 1 cup dry peas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. Urad daal
  •  1/2 tsp, mustard seeds
  •  2 green chilly
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Few Curry leaves
  • Pinch of asafetida powder

Method; Wash and soak dried peas overnight.

Pressure cook soaked peas for 3 whistles or till soft.

Drain excess water form cooked peas.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds. Add urad daal, slit green chilly, grated coconut, salt, curry leaves, cooked peas,asafetida powder and mix well. Sprinkle lemon juice for tangy flavor.

5.  Black Chickpea Sundal with Lemon juice

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes


  • 1 cup Black chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 2 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. Urad daal
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of asafetida powder
  • Few curry leaves

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes

Method; Wash and soak black chickpea or kala channa overnight. Cook in a deep vessel with 4 cups of water till the grams are soft to touch or pressure cook them for about 2 whistles.

Drain excess water.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add Urad daal, split dry chillies, asafoatida powder, salt, grated coconut, curry leaves and cooked gram. Saute for 2-3 minutes and take it off from flame.

Serve hot.

6. Quick Bengal gram Sundal

Healthy gram and lentil snacks - Sundal recipes


  • 1 cup Bengal gram or Channa Daal
  • 2 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp. Urad Daal
  • 1/2 tsp. Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • Few Curry leaves
  • Pinch of asafeotida powder

Method; Wash and soak Channa daal for an hour. Cook it with 2 cups of water in a pan till the Daal is soft to touch. It will take about 7-8 minutes for the Daal to become soft. Do not overcook and let the Daal become mushy.

Drain excess water.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds. Add urad daal, red chilly, curry leaves, asafetida powder ad sauté for 2 mintes.

Add cooked Channa Daal, salt and mix well. Take it off the flame and serve.

Check Glossary for names of ingredients in Hindi.


  1. I would suggest you use a large open vessel to cook these recipes if you don’t have control over the cooking in your pressure cooker. Though cooking in a vessel is time consuming but you will get the perfect texture of grams for making these recipes.
  2. Try the recipes with Olive oil, apart form health quotient it gives a wonderful flavor.
  3. Overnight soaking is best for whole pulses with skin and which are large and harder.
  4. You can mix and match any gram, Legume/beans in the above recipes.
  5. Try Navadanyam – a mix of nine pulses to make the Sundal recipe. Use kidney beans, cluster beans, dried flat beans, black eyed beans, whole green gram, lentils (whole masoor daal) and other pulses for the same.
  6. These legume recipes also make a healthy & filling tea time snack or can be served as accompaniment to any-time meal.


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  • usha singh said:

    Sanjeeta–you pictures just blow me away each time i see them –the styling & photograpy is just fantastic

  • Sayantani said:

    This post reminded me of the various temples in Bangalore that we used to visit. loved the prasads there and most of the days wither it was coconut rice or some kind of sundal. i made them at home but the divine factor adds so much to its taste which i can never recreate. love the clicks and happy festivities to you.

  • Priya said:

    Omg, your pictures speaks a lot..Nutritious and variety sundals are just breathtaking.

  • mjskit said:

    The story of your mother unwrapping the idols one-by-one and telling each story gave me goose bumps. I remember as a kid listening to the stories of my grandparents. Great post! What an interesting collection of snacks. Quite different from any snacks I’m use to. they all look quite delicious my friend!

  • rebecca said:

    lovely and holy family project and fab healthy recipes
    rebecca recently posted..Caramel PopcornMy Profile

  • sowmya said:

    Been there and experienced that… Navrathri was my fav season 🙂 I remember visiting our neighbours houses and eating sundal the whole evening.. We sing songs .. man golden days 🙂 This post really reminded me my childhood memories 🙂 beautiful clicks..

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