Sundal – Navaratri, appreciating the power of the feminine

Sundal is a lentil dish treated with unique spices, prepared for 9 days in 9 diff ways, sprinkled with coconut. You don’t have to wait for a festival day to roll along in October. Nutritionally dense and awesomely delicious, I hope you will add sundal to your food repertoire.

Come fall, festivities begin around the world. thanksgiving, Halloween in western societies, Rosh Hashanah and in India, 9 days of celebrating the divine feminine.

Navaratri is a long awaited festival for my family. We would get dressed up in our finery, long silk skirts with matching blouses and hair all braided up, & dressed with flowers, glass bangles that tinkled as we stepped out with our friends.

The idea of Navaratri is to celebrate feminine power, and this involved making sundal everyday. Mom would make 9 varieties of sundal one for each day and I still follow this tradition. Also every evening, we would get lots of invitations to homes where we would eat more sundal and other treats. In return for song. Stuff our faces till we were bursting & could eat no more. Then finally the hosts would pile on more goody bags of sundal that we would scoop up in our skirts, being careful not to stain the long silks as we had more houses on our round. Finally, we would reach home & examine our bounty.

Navaratri got me thinking me of Halloween. Neighborhood moms & dads set up a safe patrol so the  kids could giggle, jump & skip from one house to the other, skirting the streets in our vibrant skirts called pattu pavadai. Can you guess which of these girls is me 🙂

You need

1 cup kala channa(brown chickpeas), soaked and cooked, and drained
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 red chilies, broken in half
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
4 curry leaves
Pinch hing
Juice of ½  lime
Himalayan salt to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup grated coconut

  • Heat oil
  • Add in the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the urad dal  and when it turns golden, drop in the remaining spices. Sauté and then add in the cooked chickpeas.
  • Add in the lime juice & salt. Give everything a stir and turn off heat.
  • Stir in the grated coconut. Enjoy as a side dish or as a snack with chai


  • I used brown chickpeas but you can easily sub with white ones. I used them from scratch, soaked and boiled, but if you are pressed for time, simply use canned ones
  • I like my sundal spicy so the 3 red chillies, if you like it milder, reduce the red chilli
  • I used grapeseed oil, but you can use any other cold pressed cooking oil

I enjoy sundal with my evening tea, It makes a tasty & nourishing snack.

Have you had sundal before? I’ve been making one daily and offering it to my PSW(personal support worker) who simply loves the protein kick, without it being boring & dull. Do try my sundal recipe & let me know how you enjoyed it.


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