Tuesday, September 30, 2008


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 - 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'.


  1. I love all forms of sundal..and yes the entire golu/navratri festivities are something I love and miss...ah the good old days :)

  2. After reading your post, I realize how much I miss all that back home. Yeah, I have never been the singing type. Did you learn music, since you were talking about keerthanai?

  3. I have never had sundal till i went to Sricalli's home and they were delicious.
    This looks really delicious too

  4. i remember the singing laav!! it was such a chore for me..i used to however wait for their invitation..to sample all their food...i know i was a bhookad right from when i was a kid ;)


  5. Laavanya-

    What a great start to navarathri, good sundal recipe.

  6. I remember visiting the golus..Brings back memories..

  7. Before I got to know Tamilians, I always thought kolu was held for Sankranthi, because that's what our friends at home used to do! And they would give us raw, soaked channa as part of the tamboolam - in fact, I've seen that kind of channa in many of these festive events.

  8. That is great start of sundal, Did u made the koolu?
    I visit my neigh to bring back the tabulam and prasad :)

  9. we make it the same way except for the urad dal. a nutritious and tasty dish.

  10. o i luv sundal....happy navaratri to u!

  11. my mother used to make these kind of sundal! Good old days! I think we call golu as "bommala koluvu" in Telugu! We do this during navarathri only!

  12. Happy Navrathri Laavanya. I love sundal and keep posting more of sundal recipes..

  13. Great start for the Navaratiri Kolu Lavanya..Brings back memories..

  14. Know what i just made them today for the evening as my hubby loves them....moreover perfect health wise.....

  15. sundal looks yumm..I made with channa dal yesterady..

  16. Wow, Laavanya! You sound like a serious carnatic singer too! :)Thats nice to know! Your Golu story sure does bring back lots of memories.

    Hope you have a lovely navrathiri this time too! And please do share some pics of your golu, if you can.

  17. i love those days golu .. miss those days .. sundal looks delicious .. Wish you a very happy navaratri

  18. Hi... this is a healthy snack. Look so good. YUM!

  19. this is new to me. looks good and tatsy. will try tomorrow have soaked chana.

  20. such a nutritious tasty dish!love black chana in all it's forms :)

  21. Hummm I miss navratri a lot :(

    Nyways sundal looks good, healthy and delicious!!!

  22. Thanks for reminding me that golu is here! Back home, I didnt particularly enjoy the singing requests (sometimes you get outright bullied)....the things one has to do for sundal! Yours looks wonderful. Are you making a different one everyday?

  23. Sundal looks yummy,n yeah others said..waiting for someone to call me for Gollu :)

  24. Sundal is looking very nice...do show your kolu too:)

  25. Happly Navrathiri Lavanya. Miss Chennai now :) Viji

  26. Thanks Usha, me too.

    Divya, I didn't like the fact that I had to sing at everyone's house - too much pressure and some just don't take no for an answer. Yes, I did learn music... :)

    Happy Cook - Thanks.

    Rajitha, me too. We even had a 'sundal mama' who would sample the different packs and tell us whose was the best :)

    Thank you Mitr.

    Thanks Divya.

    Sra, oh that's interesting...

    Cham, no.. i didn't keep kolu.. though I want to, for my daughter's sake - maybe in a few years.

    SO true Priyanka.

    Thanks Sangeeth and to you too.

    Uma, 'bommala koluvu' - really nice to say that :) sounds cute.

    Thank you Mahima.

    Thank you Kamala, Raaji & Sowmya.

    Sujatha, I haven't sung in many years now so I can't even remember some of them... sadly. However, I never really enjoyed singing for an audience.. Only parents keep golu- not me. Will ask them to send some pics :)

    Raaga - good for you :) Nice to see you back.

    Thanks Deesha, Sukanya & Bhawana. Hope you got to try it Bhawana.

    Thank you Richa... me too.

    Madhavi - Thanks :)

    VeggieBelly - I wanted to but it hasn't really materialized that way. I agree, some just won't take no for an answer and they even make you feel awful about refusing.

    Thank you Ramya & Raks.

    Happy Navrathri to you too Viji.

  27. Adding small pieces of ginger enhances the taste

  28. ite way of eating black channa. Had got a similar recipe with a wet curry from our tamil neighbours. It was delicious. My mom made it quite often like that afterwards. yummy!


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