Carrot Payasam| Carrot Kheer

I’m here today with the recipe for Carrot Payasam or kheer, a sweet treat that’s right in time for the upcoming Pongal festival. The gorgeous long, red ‘Delhi’ carrots are available in plenty these days, sweet and succulent, and they are just perfect for this payasam. The carrots lend a beautiful orange-red hue to the payasam, not to forget a lovely flavour. Indeed, this is a delicious dessert that one cannot help but love. It is a favourite at our place, too!

Carrot Payasam, aka Carrot Kheer

A bit more about this Carrot Payasam

The recipe I’m sharing here is from my mom. Amma makes Carrot Payasam beautifully, and this is the way she makes it (well, mostly!).

This is a very easy kheer to prepare, requiring only a few basic ingredients. It can be put together in a matter of minutes, something even a beginner to Indian sweet dishes can master without sweat.

The red ‘Delhi’ carrots you get in the winters are quite sweet, so you can get away with using (relatively) lesser sugar in the payasam. Those are the carrots we prefer using in this dish, but if you can’t find them, the orange ‘Ooty’ carrots work very well too.

It’s raining #SankrantiSpecial dishes at the Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday.

Pongal (also called Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan) is just around the corner, so the group members decided to showcase festival-special recipes this week. I have already shared many of the traditional dishes that are prepared for the Pongal festival, earlier – Semiya Payasam, Aval Payasam, Sakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, Ezhu Thaan Kootu and Masala Vadai as well as variations on the classics like Banana Sweet Pongal, Broken Wheat Pongal and Proso Millet Sweet Pongal. I have also written about Undhiyu, a must-have in Gujarat on Uttarayan day. So, for the theme, I decided on this family favourite recipe of Carrot Payasam.

Recipe for Carrot Payasam

Here is how I make it.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1 medium-sized Delhi carrot
  2. 500 ml full-fat milk
  3. 1/4 cup sugar or as per taste
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  5. 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  6. 4-5 cashewnuts
  7. 4-5 almonds

Method:

1. Peel the carrot and cut off the top. Cut into large cubes and place in a wide vessel.

2. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to the carrot pieces. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4 whistles on high flame or till the carrot is well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Meanwhile, take the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and place on high flame. Allow to cook till the milk comes to a boil.

4. At this stage, reduce flame to medium. Add in the sugar, and mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame for 7-8 more minutes or till it starts thickening, then switch off gas.

5. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked carrot pieces out. Transfer the cooked carrot to a small mixer jar, along with the water it was cooked in. Grind everything together to a smooth puree.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Above leftmost bottom: Step 3, Bottom right: Step 4, Leftmost bottom: Step 5

6. Add the carrot puree to the milk in the pan, mix well, and place it back on medium flame. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or till the mixture thickens to the desired consistency. Switch off gas at this stage.

7. Meanwhile, chop up the almonds and cashewnuts roughly.

8. Heat the ghee in a small pan, then reduce flame to medium and add in the chopped almonds and cashewnuts. Allow the nuts to turn brown, taking care not to burn them. Now, add the nuts and the ghee to the carrot-milk mixture.

9. Add in the cardamom powder too. Mix well. Your Carrot Payasam is ready. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Top left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Bottom right: The Carrot Payasam has thickened and is almost ready, Above leftmost bottom and leftmost bottom: Steps 8 and 9

Tips & Tricks

1. If you are using the orange ‘Ooty’ carrots in the above recipe, you would 2 small, fat ones.

2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use depending on personal taste preferences. It would also depend upon how sweet the carrot is.

3. Make sure the carrot is fully cooked before adding it to the milk.

4. Make sure you cook the carrot using very little water, so it does not make the payasam watery.

5. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the Carrot Payasam, for best results.

6. You may even grate the carrot and cook it. Add the cooked grated carrot to the milk, instead of pureeing it. We prefer the method above, though.

7. For best results, use full-cream milk. I used Nandini full-fat milk.

8. We prefer using sugar to make this Carrot Payasam, rather than jaggery. The salt content in jaggery sometimes makes the milk split.

9. If the Carrot Payasam gets too thick, you can dilute it using some boiled milk.

10. My mom keeps this payasam really simple, and avoids the fried cashewnuts and almonds. I usually do that too, but prefer adding the nuts on special occasions. Either way, the Carrot Payasam tastes great.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Omapodi| Tamilnadu Style Sev

Omapodi – the Tamilnadu version of sev – is synonymous with Diwali, for me. I grew up watching my grandmother and my mom making big boxes full of omapodi in the lead-up to Diwali, for the extended family and friends. The fragrance of the carom seeds in the omapodi dough frying in hot oil, would waft around the house, a sign that the festival of lights was very, very near. Till date, I can’t imagine celebrating Diwali without omapodi. Over time, though, as lives got busier and more stressful, I started resorting to store-bought omapodi to commemorate the festive season. This Diwali, though, thrown into introspection by the pandemic, I decided to make my own at home. A soul-satisfying experience, that!

Our family recipe for Omapodi

Omapodi, like I was saying earlier, can be referred to as the South Indian version of sev. The distinguishing feature here is the addition of carom seeds (omam) in the dough, which gives the dish a heady aroma and flavour, while also aiding in digestion.

Omapodi is a deep-fried savoury snack during Diwali, in the South of India. It is, actually, one of the easiest Diwali savouries there is. The omapodi can be eaten as is, or used in other savoury preparations like Mixture. Crispy and crunchy and delicious, I like munching on omapodi on its own, sometimes with a cup of tea on the side.

Today, I’m sharing our family recipe for omapodi, the way my grandma used to make it.

Diwali Fiesta at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. This week, we decided to showcase special foods keeping in mind the fact that Diwali is fast approaching. This eternal favourite of mine wasn’t up on the blog, and this theme gave me the perfect foil to do so.

How to make Omapodi

This is how we go about it.
Ingredients (serves 6-8):

  1. 2 heaped teaspoons carom seeds (ajwain/omam)
  2. 3 cups gram flour (besan/ kadala maavu)
  3. 1 cup rice flour (chawal ka atta/ arisi maavu)
  4. 2 teaspoons salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  7. Oil for deep frying

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left: The carom seed extract, Bottom right: Step 3

1. Soak the carom seeds in about 4 tablespoons of water for 15-20 minutes. Then, grind the carom seeds and the water together in a small mixer jar.

2. Strain the water using a strainer with a fine mesh. Little by little, add about 1/2 cup water to the ground carom seeds in the strainer, and squeeze out all the juice from them. Discard the ground carom seeds. I got about 3/4 cup of the carom seed extract. See the video below, to understand how to go about the process of extraction. Strain the extract once more to ensure that there are no coarse particles that remain.

3. Measure out the gram flour, rice flour, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder in a large mixing bowl. Combine these ingredients well together.

4. Take the oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Set on high flame. Allow the oil to get nice and hot.

5. In the meantime, fix the plate for sev or omapodi, the one with small holes, inside the press. We use a hand-held press with different plates for making different types of snacks – see the picture below for a clearer understanding.

6. Now, pour the carom seed water into the mixing bowl. Mix well. Add in about 2 tablespoons of the hot oil to the mixing bowl too. Bind into a dough that’s not watery or runny, yet not too stiff, as shown in the picture below. You may add in a little more water if required.

7. When the oil is ready for frying, reduce the flame down to medium. Take a large ball of the dough and place it inside the press.

8. Squeeze the press to release tiny ribbons of the dough into the hot oil. Deep-fry till crisp and slightly brown, then turn over and cook on the other side for a few seconds too. Transfer to a platter. The first batch of omapodi is ready.

9. Use all the dough in a similar fashion. Let the omapodi cool down fully, then transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight box.

Top left: Step 4, Top right: The hand-held press I used to make the omapodi, Centre left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left: Step 7, Bottom right: The deep-fried omapodi

Tips & Tricks

1. The soaking and grinding of carom seeds helps in extracting all the essence from them. If carom seeds are added as is or coarsely powdered, they might get stuck in the press.

2. Make sure you do not make the batter too stiff or too runny. It should be soft and pliable.

3. Do not overcrowd the pan while deep-frying. Squeeze out only a little of the dough in each batch, to ensure even frying.

4. Make sure the oil is hot and ready before adding in the dough. To check this, add in a small piece of the dough into the oil – if it sinks to the bottom, the oil isn’t ready. If it slowly rises to the surface and starts changing colour, it is ready.

5. Do not over-fry the omapodi. Just a few seconds on either side is good enough for the fine ribbons of batter.

6. You can use either the plate with super-fine or moderately fine holes in the press, to make this omapodi. Here, I have used the one with super-fine holes.

7. Adjust the amount of salt and red chilli powder as per personal taste preferences.

8. Allow the deep-fried omapodi to cool down fully before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight box. Stored this way, the omapodi stays well for a week to 10 days, at room temperature.

9. I have seen many these days avoid the addition of carom seeds in omapodi because the grinding and straining is a bit of a cumbersome process. However, for me, omapodi is not omapodi without the carom seeds. My grandma used to use them, and I do too.

10. Many families skip the addition of rice flour. However, we have always used it. A mix of gram flour and rice flour yields crispy omapodi, as does the addition of hot oil in the dough. The latter is a very important step too, so do not skip it.

12. You may add a little asafoetida (hing) to the batter. We usually don’t.

13. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free too.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Red Pumpkin Halwa| Butternut Squash Halwa

Diwali is almost here, and it’s time for indulging in some lovely sweets and savouries. Here’s presenting a different sort of sweet treat for the festive season – Butternut Squash Halwa! As the name suggests, the halwa is made using a variety of pumpkin called ‘butternut squash’, and is absolutely delicious.

A closer look at Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a variety of pumpkin with light brown skin on the outside and orange-red flesh inside. It isn’t very different from the regular red-fleshed pumpkin or ‘parangikkai‘ in Tamil. However, the flesh is sweeter than that of Parangikkai.

I find it easier to peel a butternut squash than a pumpkin, easier to remove the seeds and stringy bits. Head to this post of mine for a detailed guide on how to cut and use a butternut squash.

Does the butternut squash lend itself to Indian dishes?

Oh, yes, it does, and wonderfully at that!

My first encounter with butternut squash was at Namdhari’s Fresh, a few months ago. I used it in making a Tamilnadu-style poriyal, and it turned out fabulous. Since then, I have been hooked. The more I use butternut squash, the more I fall in love with the veggie. 🙂

I have used it in Avial too, and found it to go beautifully. A while back, I also used butternut squash in a gorgeous Kerala-style Mathan Payaru Errissery – will share the recipe on the blog soon. And, oh, I also used the peel and stringy bits from butternut squash to make a chutney, which was mind-blowingly delicious – recipe coming up on blog soon.

I recently used butternut squash in a halwa, and was super happy with the result. It tasted so, so good! Thanks to the naturally sweet taste of butternut squash, it goes beautifully in halwa. You need to use only a limited amount of sugar because of that. The squash (along with the little saffron I used) gave the halwa a glorious orange-red colour too, and I totally loved that.

It’s raining Diwali special recipes at Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I’m sharing this recipe for Butternut Squash Halwa in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.

The Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is a group of food bloggers who cook based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The group members are divided into pairs each month, and each pair exchanges two secret ingredients not known to the rest of the group. These secret ingredients are then used by each pair to prepare a dish that fits into the theme. Oh, it’s fun! 🙂

Poonam, the talented blogger at Annapurna, suggested the theme for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge for October – ‘Diwali Specials’. I’m in awe of the no-fry Easy Motichoor Laddoorecipe that Poonam has shared for the theme. It’s absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to try it out!

My partner for the month was Jayashree of Evergreen Dishes. I gave her the two secret ingredients of ‘gram flour’ and ‘salt’, and she used them to make these crispy, delish Ribbon Pakoda. She assigned to me the ingredients of ‘pumpkin’ and ‘ghee‘, and this Butternut Squash Halwa is what I chose to make with them. Now, it’s a big family favourite! 🙂

How to make Butternut Squash Halwa

Here is how I made it. It’s very easy to put together.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 3 cups butternut squash, grated
  2. 3 tablespoons ghee
  3. 1/2 cup milk or as needed (optional)
  4. 12-15 cashewnuts
  5. 3/4 cup + 1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
  6. A pinch of saffron strands
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Method:

1. Start by removing the skin, seeds and stringy bits from the butternut squash. Then, grate it medium-thick. I have used half of a large butternut squash here.

2. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Then reduce the flame to medium and add in the grated squash. Cook on medium flame, for 4-5 minutes or till it is almost done. You may add in some milk to cook the squash, if needed – I haven’t used any here. Stir intermittently.

3. Still keeping the flame at medium, add the sugar to the pan, along with the saffron. Mix well. The mixture will turn liquid-y at this stage. Continue to cook on medium flame till the mixture thickens up, 3-4 minutes. Stir intermittently.

4. Meanwhile, chop up the cashewnuts roughly. Heat the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of ghee in a small pan. Add in the cashewnuts. Turn the flame down to medium and allow them to brown a little. Add the cashewnuts and ghee to the mixture cooking in the other pan. Switch off when the mixture has thickened up, but is still quite runny. Remember that it will thicken up further upon cooling.

5. Mix in the cardamom powder. Your Parangikkai Halwa is ready. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used butternut squash that I picked up from Namdhari’s Fresh. You may use regular red pumpkin instead, too.

2. Since butternut squash is quite sweet, I needed to add a limited amount of sugar only. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use as per personal taste preferences.

3. You may add in some raisins, along with the cashewnuts. Here, I haven’t.

4. Make sure the grated butternut squash is fully cooked before adding in the sugar.

5. Use a heavy-bottomed pan, for best results.

6. You could cook the grated butternut squash covered, but that is absolutely not necessary. It cooks quite easily uncovered too.

7. This Butternut Squash Halwa looks quite similar to the Kasi Halwa that is commonly served in South Indian weddings. Kasi Halwa has the same orange-red colour that this halwa has. However, Kasi Halwa is made using white pumkpin and that bright hue comes from food colouring. This halwa gets its beautiful golden-orange colour from the butternut squash and the use of saffron. I have not used any artificial food colouring here.

8. You may use more ghee in the halwa, if you so prefer.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kasi Halwa| White Pumpkin Halwa

This Ashtami, here’s presenting the recipe for Kasi Halwa, a popular sweet treat in South India. It is a common part of the banana-leaf meals at South Indian weddings, poojas and other auspicious occasions. Belying its name, Kasi Halwa has nothing to do with the holy town of Kashi – the name probably comes from the Kashi Phal, the Hindi name for white pumpkin, from which the dessert is made. Now, don’t baulk, the halwa tastes absolutely delicious!

Of Kasi Halwa and fond memories

My first introduction to Kasi Halwa was at the engagement ceremony of one of my cousins, years ago. The ceremony was in Madras, and my parents and I were visiting from Ahmedabad. My love of food in general and my sweet tooth are legendary in my family, and a whispered ‘There’s Kasi Halwa on the lunch menu. You’re so going to love it!,’ was one of the first things I heard when we landed in Madras. It was my aunt, the in-charge of the menu for the ceremony.

I had no inkling of what exactly Kasi Halwa was before that. At lunch, a big glob of hot-hot-hot ghee-dripping orange goodness was placed on my banana leaf. The Kasi Halwa had arrived. True to my aunt’s words, I absolutely adored it. It was so, so delicious a confection I was hooked right from the first bite. Never could I guess that the lovely thing was made from something as humble as white pumpkin, poosanikkai in Tamil!

Now, my aunt is the sort of person who, if she loves something at a wedding, has no qualms about going ahead and asking the chef for the recipe. She did just that for the brilliant Kasi Halwa, and the cook was sweet enough to oblige. I was surprised to learn from her just how simple a dessert it was to prepare, requiring very few basic ingredients. The cook taught us some very useful tips and tricks to get Kasi Halwa right, and that’s how we make it at home ever since, minus the orange food colouring. Till date, it remains a favourite with everyone at home.

How to make Kasi Halwa

Here is how we make it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. A big piece of white pumpkin, about 1-1/2 cups when grated
  2. 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon ghee
  3. 3/4 cup sugar or as needed
  4. A generous pinch of saffron
  5. 10-12 cashewnuts
  6. 1/2 tablespoon raisins

Method:

1. Remove the skin and seeds from the pumpkin. Grate it medium thick. I had about 1-1/2 cups pumpkin when grated, including some water that released from it.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the grated pumpkin, along with the water from it. Mix well. Saute the pumpkin in the ghee for about a minute.

3. Now, close the pan and allow the pumpkin to cook on medium flame till it is completely cooked and all the water has evaporated. This can take 10-12 minutes. You will need to uncover the pan intermittently to check on the pumpkin. In between, if the water has dried out, add a little regular water or milk to cook the pumpkin in.

Top left: The slice of white pumpkin I used, Top right: Step 2, Bottom left: Step 3, Bottom right: The pumpkin is fully cooked

4. When the pumpkin is completely cooked, add the sugar to the pan. All the water should have dried out at this point. Keep the flame still at medium.

5. Add in the saffron threads too. Mix well. The mixture will release water once the sugar is added in – don’t worry about it.

6. Continue to cook on medium flame, uncovered, till the water dries out and the mixture thickens. This should take 3-4 more minutes. Stir intermittently.

7. While the mixture is cooking, chop up the cashewnuts roughly. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a small pan. Turn the flame down to medium, and add in the chopped cashewnuts and the raisins. Let the raisins plump up and the cashewnuts turn slightly brown. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Add the ghee, cashewnuts and raisins to the pumpkin mixture cooking in the other pan. Mix well.

8. The Kasi Halwa is done when it has thickened considerably. Switch off the gas when the mixture is still a bit runny. Remember that it thickens up further upon cooling. Serve hot, warm or chilled.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Bottom left and right: Steps 7 and 8

Tips & Tricks

1. Make sure the hard skin, fibre and seeds are completely removed from the pumpkin. Grate it medium-thick, for best results.

2. I have used regular refined sugar here. Adjust the amount of sugar you use, as per personal taste preferences.

3. Cardamom powder can be added to the Kasi Halwa for flavouring. We don’t.

4. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the Kasi Halwa.

5. White pumpkin leaves a lot of water while grating. Some people squeeze out the water from the pumpkin, before using it to make the halwa. I don’t. Rather, I cook the grated pumpkin in the water it releases.

6. It is important to uncover the pan intermittently and check on the pumpkin, while it is cooking. Usually the water released from the pumpkin is enough to cook it. However if the water dries out and the pumpkin is still uncooked, you can add in some regular water or milk. This will help cook the pumpkin completely.

7. Add in the sugar only after the pumpkin is completely cooked. This is important. If you add the sugar beforehand, the pumpkin might not get fully cooked.

8. Store-bought or restaurant versions of Kasi Halwa usually have a pretty orange colour to them. This is because of food colouring added to the halwa. I haven’t used any food colour here, just some saffron to give a delicate colour to the halwa.

9. The mixture will let out some water once the sugar is added in. Do not worry about this. It will soon start to thicken up.

10. Stop cooking the halwa when it is still somewhat runny. It will thicken up quite a bit on cooling.

11. Don’t skimp on the ghee. This halwa is supposed to be dripping with ghee.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal| Kabuli Chana Sundal

Another day, another sundal! Today, I’m sharing with you all the recipe for Kabuli Chana Sundal.

Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal or Kabuli Chana Sundal

A bit more about this sundal

Like I was saying in this post, Navratri in South India is time for different varieties of rice dishes, sundal and sweet treats. This Kabuli Chana Sundal is just perfect as an offering during Navratri. As the name suggests, it is prepared using white chickpeas, which are popularly called Kabuli Chana, Vellai Kondakadalai in Tamil. This is a dish that is very simple prepare, yet one that tastes absolutely delicious. It can be prepared in advance and offered to visitors dropping in home for haldi-kumkum (it’s the saner, healthier, happier, pre-Covid times I’m referring to!).

#NavratriNavras at Foodie Monday Blog Hop


This week, the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group has decided to showcase dishes from different parts of India, reflecting the spirit of the Navratri festival. For this week’s theme, #NavratriNavras, I choose to share this Kabuli Chana Sundal, a classic festival special from Tamilnadu.


The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. This week’s theme was suggested by Mayuri, the talented blogger at Mayuri’s Jikoni. She has an amazing array of dishes on her blog, which you must check out. I’m still thinking about the gorgeous Saffron Tapioca Pudding she posted a while back!

How to make Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal


Here is how I make the dish.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • 1. 3/4 cup kabuli chana
  • 2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 3. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  • 5. 10-12 fresh curry leaves
  • 6. 3-4 green chillies
  • 7. Salt to taste
  • 8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 9. 3/4 teaspoon jaggery powder or to taste
  • 10. 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 11. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

  • Method:

    1. Soak the kabuli chana in enough water to cover them completely, for 8-10 hours or overnight. When they are done soaking, drain out all the water from them.

    2. Transfer the drained kabuli chana to a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the chana. Then, place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5 whistles or till the chana are well done. Let the pressure release naturally.

    3. In the meantime, slit the green chillies length-wise, and keep them ready. Keep the curry leaves and chopped coriander ready.
    Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left: Step 3, Bottom right: Step 4 – that’s what well-cooked kabuli chana should look like

    4. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked kabuli chana out. Drain out the water from them and reserve for later use. We will use only the cooked chana in this recipe.

    5. Now, we will start preparing the sundal. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Let these ingredients stay in for a couple of seconds.

    6. Add the drained cooked kabuli chana to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium.

    7. Add in salt to taste and turmeric powder.

    8. Add in the jaggery powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes, stirring intermittently. 
    Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left and right: Steps 7 and 8

    9. Still keeping the flame medium, add in the grated fresh coconut. Mix well. Cook for a few seconds on medium flame, then switch off gas.

    10. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Kabuli Chana Sundal is ready. Serve it warm or at room temperature.
    Top: Step 9, Bottom: Step 10

    Is this sundal vegan and gluten-free?


    This Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

    Because of the addition of asafoetida in the tempering, this is not a gluten-free dish. Simply skip the asafoetida in the above recipe, to make it a gluten-free preparation. This is because most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to some extent and are best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find completely gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely use that.

    Tips & Tricks


    1. Make sure the kabuli chana are well  cooked before using them in making the sundal. You should be able to crush a cooked chana easily between your fingers, as indicated in the pictures above. 5 whistles on high flame work perfectly for us.

    2. The water reserved from cooking the kabuli chana can be used in rasam, sambar, soups or gravy-based curries. This water is full of nutrition, so make sure you do not discard it. Reserve the cooking water for later use.

    3. You may skip using the jaggery powder, but I would highly recommend it. The little jaggery will not make the sundal taste sweet, but will beautifully bring out the other flavours in the dish.

    4. You can add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved water, while sauteing the chana, if you feel the mixture is too dry.

    5. Adjust the quantity of green chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the sundal to be.

    6. Prepare the sundal on medium heat only.

    7. The green chillies can be coarsely crushed, along with the coconut, in a small mixer jar, and added to the pan. I usually don’t do that.

    8. Some people add a mix of lentils and spices, roasted and ground, called Sundal Podi, to this dish. However, this is a very simple version of sundal, made using basic ingredients and no podi.

    9. This Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal can be eaten on its own. It also makes for a lovely accompaniment to sambar or rasam rice.

    10. Coconut oil or sesame oil works best in the making of this Vellai Kondakadalai Sundal. However, if you don’t have these, you can use regular refined oil.

    Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!