Sunday 28 September 2014

Chick Pea Masala Sundal (கொண்டைக்கடலை மசாலா சுண்டல்)

After arranging the dolls on ‘kolu steps’ (கொலு படிகள்), the kolu was further decorated with serial lights and paper festoons. However, setting up a park adjacent to ‘Kolu’ (கொலு) was the greatest fascination for children. We would spread sand uniformly over a wide area a few days before ‘Navarathri’ (நவராத்திரி) and sow mustard seeds (கடுகு), which start growing quickly providing the required green cover for the park! Plastic trees would be placed strategically along the tiny road that led to a little hillock made of clay. A temple doll would be placed on top of the hillock. We used to place the ‘marriage procession’ (கல்யாண ஊர்வலம்) set on the road. This set had a car carrying bride and groom, music party (நாதஸ்வர கோஷ்டி) playing in front of the car, family members carrying gifts (சீர் வரிசை) for the groom, complete with men carrying petromax lights (பெட்ரோமாக்ஸ் விளக்கு)! We bought this clay set for Rs.150/. Couple of days ago, I read a news item stating that ‘Sorga vasal’ (சொர்க்க வாசல்) set is now being sold for a whopping 18000 rupees!

Those days, tiny ready-made cement tanks (தெப்ப குளம்) were being sold. Some houses had built-in tanks in the hall, covered with tiles. During dussera, the tiles would be removed and the tank used for setting up the kolu! Otherwise, a plastic tray served the purpose. The tank would be filled with water and plastic fishes, crabs and even star fish (!) would be placed in it. Women dolls carrying water pot were placed next to the tank. We also had a very beautiful ‘music concert’ (பாட்டு கச்சேரி) set, which was placed at the bottom of the hillock. Sometimes, we would make a zoo enclosure with tiny animal dolls. Having had a tour of the display of dolls, it is time for the masala sundal!


Chickpeas/ Kabuli channa (பெரிய கொண்டை கடலை) – ¾ tumbler or 150ml
Salt – to taste
Coconut – grated, 2 tablespoons
Curry masala powder – 1-2 teaspoons (adjust to taste)
Oil – 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Split urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Curry leaves – a few

Chick Pea Masala Sundal (கொண்டைக்கடலை மசாலா சுண்டல்)
Method: Wash and soak chickpeas in sufficient water overnight or at least 6 hours. Later drain the water and pressure cook chickpeas with salt and ¾ tumbler or 150ml of water for 7 minutes or 7 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, remove chickpeas from the cooker. Drain excess water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and when they start to sputter, add urad dhal. Fry till the dhal turns golden brown. Now add the cooked chickpeas, asafoetida and curry masala powder. Mix well. Now add coconut gratings. Sauté for 2 minutes and then, switch off the fire. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot. 

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