Navrathri or Golu meant getting dressed up in pattu paavadai/sarees and heading out with my friend(s) around the neighbourhood to invite them to the golu at home... which also meant several renditions of 'Shree Gananaadha' which was my goto geetham when asked to sing... of course some of them who knew I had progressed a bit more with my carnatic music or were astute enough to notice that I sang the same thing the previous year, would demand a keerthanai instead... :) We also got to eat so many varieties of sundals, got chased by street dogs & made new friends... not to mention the fun of setting up the golu itself - getting them from storage, dusting them and arranging them in a particular order. Invariably every year, we would forget the exact order of the dasavathaaram and ask around before putting them right... then we would set the park area with a basin filled with water in the middle (the theppakulam) surrounded by little dolls. My father, who is very enthusiastic about golu, has a custom made, easy to assemble golupadi made for this & helped with the arrangement of the dolls... My mom would handle the home front and make different, delicious sundals each day after getting back from work and pack them in small plastic bags to distribute to those visiting to see the golu. How i miss those good old days.
Wanted to post this easy, nutritious and delicious dish to mark the start of Navrathri / Golu. This can be made with a wide variety of beans and peas and has some simple seasonings going in alongwith some freshly grated coconut. It's high in fiber and protein and so is quite filling too.
BLACK CHANNA SUNDAL
Black Channa - half cup, soaked overnight
Red Chillies - 2, broken into 2
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - couple pinches
Coconut - 2 tbsp or so, grated
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
1) Pressure cook the black channa with a bit of salt until soft & some water. This is one dhal which doesn't easily turn into mush. For the others, like channa dhal, dried green peas etc, take extra care so they are soft but not mushy.
2) It's best if there isn't too much water with the dhal, a few tbsp is fine, but if there is more, it needs to be drained.
3) Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal, hing, curry leaves and dried red chilli pieces. Add the cooked dhal and add more salt if necessary and allow to cook until all the water evaporates.
4) Stir in the grated coconut and remove from the stove.
Black channa can be substituted with channa dhal, dried green/white peas, mung beans (whole and split), white channa, whole toor dhal etc.
I would like to send this to Sra for the Legume Love Affair Event that she is hosting this month. This event originated at Susan's blog 'The Well Seasoned Cook'.