Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal! September 2021
Just hearing those words fills me with warm nostalgia and I am miraculously transported to Marina beach in Madras – cool sticky sea-breeze setting in as the sun begins its descent, aromatic Molaga (chilli) bajji, laughter-filled banter of families, colourful balloons and kites high up in the sky, fans and mask sellers, panju mittai (cotton candy), horseback rides on emaciated ponies, piles of flip-flops with a responsible eye watching over them, cone ice cream carts with bells and above all the sundal sold at the beach.
The vendor’s cry of Thenga manga pattani sundal has a certain ring to it and it must effortlessly roll off the tongue to fully grasp the totality of this snack’s experience. Throughout my childhood I have craved this beach snack, sold in newspaper cones, from a large dodgy-looking metal container but never dared to ask for it given the hygiene-conscious family I come from!
Well, the sundal is equally tasty made at home so here’s the recipe for you. This is also a festival snack that is usually offered to friends and family; a healthy one that can be munched at any time of the day. I like serving it as a mini starter, a warmup to a slow long meal with friends.
Ingredients – 5 servings
1 cup white or brown Chickpeas, soaked overnight, cooked in slightly salted water until soft but not mushy (or use tinned chickpeas)
1 teaspoon Veg Oil
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Ural dal
2 slit Green Chillies
1 inch Ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (the magic ingredient!)
2 tablespoons fresh Coconut, grated (if using desiccated, soak in warm milk or yoghurt to hydrate it)
Coriander and Curry leaves, chopped
2 inches Green Mango (sour and not sweet), finely chopped (you may find these in Indian grocery shops, if not, make do without it)
Salt, to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat; add the mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.
2. Once it crackles, add Ural dal and sauté until golden brown; add in the asafoetida, green mango, ginger, green chillies, salt, and the cooked chickpeas.
3. Stir-fry for a few minutes until all the ingredients are well combined. Turn off heat and stir in the coconut and coriander and curry leaves.
4. Serve warm in Kutti Shombu with a hot or a cold drink
You can make Sundal with many legumes and lentils like moong beans, peanuts, black eyed peas, green peas, corn etc.
Do try it and let me know if you would like more such recipes, I am more than happy to oblige!