Kala Chana Sundal or Black Chana Sundal is a delicious South Indian Stir Fry. This is such an easy recipe that can be put together in 15 minutes if you have cooked chana in hand.
In this recipe, Kala Chana is tossed in homemade spice powder, curry leaves, mustard seeds, urad dal, and red chillies. What makes this recipe unique is the homemade spice powder that is exclusively made for Sundal. This recipe is from my dear grandmother. She is an expert in South Indian Cooking and I am so glad to be able to learn and share her recipes here. Try this Kala Chana Sundal by making fresh Sundal Powder and am sure you will love it.
About the recipe
Kala Chana Sundal or Kondakadalai Sundal as known in Tamil is a popular recipe in South India. This Protein loaded recipe is so delicious. While Sundal is often served as a snack, it is specially made during Navaratri. Navaratri is celebrated in most parts of India. In Tamilnadu, Sundal is served on all nine evenings for the guests who visit our home.
Sundal is made using various dals and legumes. While Kala Chana Sundal is very popular, Sundal is made using White Chana, Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Beans, Moong Dal, Chana Dal, Dried Peas, and Cowpeas. Sweet and Chaat version of Sundal is also made to give a variety for the guests.
One bowl of sundal is good enough to keep me full for hours together. Sometimes it is my early dinner too.
Why do I love this recipe
Easy to prepare with basic ingredients
Can be customized to our taste
Protein-rich and keeps our stomach full for a long time
Can be had as a snack or a light meal
This is a very unique recipe that you don’t generally find in shops or restaurants
How to make Kala Chana Sundal
Soak Kala Chana in enough water for 8 hours or overnight.
Once the Chana is ready to be cooked, filter out the water. Add fresh water, salt and pressure cook for 5 whistles. The chana should be soft and when you press with the finger, you should be able to slightly mash it.
While the Kala Chana is cooking, let’s make homemade spice powder/Sundal Powder.
We are going to dry roast the ingredients on a medium flame. To a pan, add red chillies and saute them till it slightly changes colour. Remove from the pan. Add chana dal and coriander seeds. Roast till golden brown and a nice aroma come. Keep it aside. Roast desiccated coconut till a nice aroma comes and keep it aside along with the other ingredients.
Once the ingredients cool to room temperature, make a fine powder. Once kala chana is cooked, keep it aside. If any water is remaining, discard it or use it while cooking some other dish. To a pan, add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Add turmeric powder, and mix well. Add the cooked kala chana, sundal powder, and salt if needed. Toss them together for 2 minutes. Switch off and serve hot.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot?
Yes, absolutely. Cooking Kala Chana in Instant Pot is very easy. Soak Kala Chana in enough water for 8 hours or overnight. Once the Chana is ready to be cooked, filter out the water. Add fresh water, salt and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Release pressure naturally. The chana should be soft and when you press with the finger, you should be able to slightly mash it.
Follow the procedure for Sundal Powder and tempering the Sundal as mentioned above. The Sundal can be prepared in the same Pot or in a pan on the stovetop.
You can use any Bean in place of Kala Chana to make this Sundal. Canned chickpeas can also be used.
Adding Sundal Powder is optional but gives a wonderful taste and flavour to the Sundal.
Instead of Sundal Powder, chaat masala can be added. Gives a different flavour.
Sundal can be made with or without the Sundal Powder recipe that I am sharing today. Alternatively, you can temper mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, asafoetida and red chillies in coconut oil. Then you can add cooked chana, saute and finally garnish with coconut. This is a simple method that often satisfies my 4 pm hunger pangs.
Grated carrots, thinly sliced onions, raw mango, and cucumber can also be added to the sundal.
Sundal can be served as a snack or as a side dish for Rice. It is also given as a prasadam during Navaratri Festival when guests visit our home.
Other recipes you may like
Kala Chana Sundal | Kondakadalai Sundal
For the Sundal
- 1 cup Kala Chana
- 3 cups Water to cook the Chana
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- 1 Red Chilli
- Curry Leaves few
- Asafoetida a pinch
- Salt as needed
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
For the Sundal Powder
- 2 Red chillies
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp Chana Dal
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 2 tbsp Coconut dried or fresh
Soak & Cook Kala Chana in Stovetop Pressure Cooker
- Wash and soak the kala chana in enough water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the soaked water, add 3 cups of fresh water, salt and pressure cook for 5 whistles on medium flame.
- To check if the chana is cooked, the chana should be soft and you should be able to slightly mash with your finger. That's the indication.
- Drain any excess water and keep the cooked chana aside.
Soak & Cook Kala Chana in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Wash and soak the kala chana in enough water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the soaked water, add the chana to the inner pot of an instant pot, add enough water to cover the chana, add salt and pressure cook for 20 minutes.
- Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Drain any excess water and keep the kala chana aside.
To make Sundal Powder
- While the Kala Chana is cooking, let's prepare the Sundal Powder.
- Add red chillies to a pan and dry roast for a couple of minutes till the chillies slightly change colour. Keep them aside.
- Next add the coriander seeds and chana dal. Saute till golden brown and a nice aroma comes. Keep them aside along with the chillies.
- Finally, add the coconut and saute it till slightly golden brown. Switch off and add the coconut to the rest of the ingredients.
- Once all the ingredients reach room temperature, make a fine powder.
To make Kala Chana Sundal
- Add coconut oil to a pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli, asafoetida, and curry leaves.
- Once they splutter, add turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Add the cooked kala chana, sundal powder and combine well. Taste and add salt if needed. Cook for 2 minutes and switch off.
- Serve hot with a cup of tea or coffee.