Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Navaratri to All !!

                                                                                          Pic Courtesy: Google Images

Navaratri means "Nine Nights". Navaratri is a very auspicious occasion where we invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga. We worship Her nine different forms for the nine days. It is celebrated with sanctity and utmost devotion in various parts of the country. The festival symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil.

The ninth day of Navaratri is celebrated by invoking the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi. This day is also called as Aayudha Pooja in the South. "Ayudha" means "Weapons" in the literal sense. On this day, we

The tenth day marks the day of Victory and is known as Vijaya Dashami. In the Southern part of India, Navaratri is celebrated by doll displays. Each family gets very creative in arranging and decorating dolls based on various themes. They invite young girls, give them new clothes and gifts. They also invite married women and invite them for "Haldi-Kumkum" or "Vethalaipaaku". In the Northern part of India, Navaratri is celebrated by worshiping Goddess Durga and the married women fast for nine consecutive days.

In South India, every family prepares Sundal's which is a lentil delicacy. They provide the sundal in small cups for all the visitors (especially the enthusiastic kids) who come home to see the doll display.

I have a few Sundal varieties in this post. The procedure for making the Sundal is almost the same for every lentil. Variations can be made depending upon one's taste and preferences. However, the cooking time may vary for some lentils.

Lentils that can be used for preparing Sundal:

  • Green gram dal / Whole Green Moong Dal

  • Whole Bengal Gram / Kala Chana

  • Lobhia / Black eyed peas

  • Whole Peanuts

  • Chick peas / Garbanzo beans
  • Chana Dal (yellow split)
  • Horsegram
  • Green peas
  • Field bean / Val
  • Red Kidney Beans / Rajma , and many more...

Here I have included the method of preparation for Kala Chana. Other Sundals have the same preparation method although the cooking time for the lentils may vary.


  • Soak the lentil that needs to be prepared for about 4-5 hours.Once they have soaked and doubled in volume, pressure cook the lentils for 1 whistle along with some salt. Once cooked, strain them in a colander and set it aside.
  • In a pan/wok, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. Allow the mustard sees to splutter. Then add urad dal and chana dal. Add a pinch of hing, curry leaves and green chillies.

  • Then add the cooked lentils and cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. 

  • Season with coriander leaves.
  • Sundal is ready to serve. Enjoy!!
  • Some lentils such and lobhia and chana dal need not be soaked for 4-5 hours. 
  • Chana dal can be soaked for 30 minutes and cooked on open flame. Pressure cooking will over cook it.
  • Lobhia needs to be soaked for just an hour and cooked.
  • If you like to add grated coconut, add it 2 minutes before turning of the heat.
P.S: I know this post is coming really late. Due to academic commitments I have not been able to update my space regularly. Hope all my readers understand my position. Thank you very much for your kind understanding. Since I did not have a good camera, I could not take very good pictures and could not cover all the Sundal varieties. Will update this post as and when I prepare the sundals asap.