Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Schezuan pepper spiced South Indian 'Sundal'


Oh boy, that recipe name almost qualifies as a tongue twister!,
'Sundals' are simple stir fries using lentils or beans as the key ingredient.
Primarily of South Indian origin, they are a staple holy offering during the Hindu festival of Navratri. While the choice of lentils & beans may be numerous, the basic seasoning is almost always a 'tadka' (mustard, a dried arbol & dehusked split 'Urad' dal, sputtered in smoking hot oil) and a pinch of asafetida powder. Certainly NOT toasted Schezuan pepper!
The inspiration for this recipe comes from Merill Stubbs of Food52.com who suggested this recipe
http://www6.food52.com/recipes/3098_shichimi_edamame created by chezsuzanne, a contributor on food52.
Asafetida is a spice pretty much confined to Indian cuisine & it was pleasant to discover that it paired very well with schezuan pepper. The pepper itself lends a nutty aroma that complements the dish beautifully.
Thanks Merill & Chezsuzanne for  helping me unlock the potential of this wonderful spice!

Serves 6
    28 ounces can garbanzo beans 1 teaspoon schezuan pepper powder, toasted lightly 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon split dehusked Urad dal (optional) 1 dried arbol chilli pepper crumbled lightly 1 pinch Asafetida 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder 1-2 tablespoon juice of a lemon or lime 2 sprigs chopped cilantro for garnishing 2 tablespoons Olive oil Salt to taste


Drain & discard the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans. ( the precooked beans have sufficient salt to season the dish, but feel free to add more as per your personal taste)

Heat oil till hot and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds sputter & pop, add the arbol chilli and asafetida. Stir to combine.

Add the drained garbanzo beans, toasted schezuan pepper & turmeric. Mix well.

Lower the burner to a simmer, cover the pan & cook for 5 minutes till the flavors blend.

Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with lime/lemon juice & garnish with cilantro.





Given that Sundal is such a comfort food for a lot of Indians & its healthy, tasty & vegan to boot, I'm taking the liberty of sharing this recipe with Claire of Chez Cayenne for the house favorites : Vegan recipes. Do take a moment to check out the other awesome dishes!

6 comments:

  1. Wow. Sundal paired up with Schezwan pepper. Sounds very interesting and looks delicious

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  2. I have never had Schezwan pepper. This looks like a great way to try it!

    Thanks for entering this in House Favorites. Do you think you could put a mention of the event and a link back to my blog in your post? If you have any questions about that, you can email me at housefavorites [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Niv Mani, I've posted the April House Favorites wrap up. Thanks again!

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  4. A very unique blend of flavors and ingredients! I love sundal in any form!

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  5. I love going to my local Chinese market. I never know what I'll find. But one of my favorite things happens to be a pouch of peanuts which also contains dried red chiles and the szechuan peppercorns. Is it acceptable, or is it still sundal if I were to add the peanuts to it, too?

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  6. I don't see why not Maven.. There are sundal varieties made with peanuts alone.. Go for it!

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I'd love to hear feedback from you, your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

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