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Chickpea Sundal | Vegan Richa

And just like that Summer is over, fall is here and the holiday season begins. Navratri, Dussehra, Diwali (Indian festivals through October) and then Halloween, Thanksgiving and more. I should have planned better and made some fall and holiday recipes in the Summer itself to avoid all the rush. Anywho, lets kickstart the celebrations with this simple snack / salad. 

Sundal can be made with any cooked legumes like chickpeas, split chickpeas, black chickpeas, black eyed peas, kidney beans and on and on. The cooked legumes are spiced with mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal, tossed in coconut and served hot or cold. Sundal is usually made with fresh coconut. But since freshly grated coconut is not available easily in regular grocery stores, I use dried coconut in this recipe.

Navratri basically means 9 nights. In western India, people come together to dance (Garba and Dandiya) every night, till wee hours of the morning. Check out this video to learn some Garba , here is a stage performance, and here a song from a hindi movie.

Simple Chickpea Sundal!

Chickpea Sundal | Vegan Richa

More festive recipes from the blog

Baked Wheat Mathri crackers, Gluten-free Mathri crackers,  
Roasted Chivda- Savory Spicy Trail mix of Puffed grains, nuts, dried fruits.
Indian Desserts like Besan Laddoo, Choorma, Kesar Burfi, Halwa etc. 

and yes that fudgy coconut laddoo in the below picture is coming up next. 

Chickpea Sundal | Vegan Richa

Chickpea Sundal. Chana Sundal 
Allergen Information: free of dairy, egg, corn, soy, gluten, nut, grain. Note: Asafoetida (hing) is generally ground with wheat or other starch like rice. Omit if you are not sure to make gluten-free or use certified gluten-free. 

1/2 tsp organic canola or safflower or coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (black gram) or use mung dal (petite yellow lentils)
2 dried red chilies, broken into halves (cayenne or mild like california red)
10 curry leaves
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) – optional
3 Tbsp shredded coconut (dried or fresh coconut)
3 Tbsp water 
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (canned or pressure cooked or slow cooker cooked)
1/2 tsp salt (less or more depending on if the cooked chickpeas are salted)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and urad dal. Mix and cook until the dal is golden brown. 
2. Add red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida. Cook for 15 seconds. 
3. Add shredded coconut, water and mix. Cover and cook for a minute to rehydrate the coconut.
4. Add cooked chickpeas and salt. Mix well, Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve as is or as a side. Add chopped onion, tomato, cilantro and lemon juice and mix in for variation.

Note: If using fresh coconut, skip step 3 and add coconut after cooking the chickpeas for 5 minutes.  

Use any cooked or sprouted beans, black chickpeas, split peas, split chickpeas, black eyed peas, kidney beans etc. or use cooked grains like quinoa or millet. 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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  1. Katie Beane says:

    Hi, since it’s just a tsp, can red lentil be used instead of the urad dal? I’m not really sure what the function is with such a small amount in the recipe, so I’m not sure. Thanks!

    1. Richa says:

      It adds a nutty flavor. You can use red lentils. Urad dal roasts to crunchy crackers texture and is the traditionally used flavor.

  2. Colleen Swanger says:

    Just one teaspoon of petite yellow lentils? Dried? I can’t find either those or the urad dal in stores right now during the lockdown, but I have coconut! 🙂

    1. Richa says:

      You can always omit the lentils or use your choice of roasted nuts instead.

      1. Colleen Swanger says:

        awesome, thanks. I think I may have been thrown off by the measurement – teaspoon seems like not enough. 😉

  3. Angela says:

    There are so many kinds of “dried/shredded/desiccated coconut”. Can you please help me understand which kind to use? Some seem so incredibly dry that I’m not certain if that’s what I should be looking for. On the other hand, most others are sweetened…. I generally buy the frozen shredded coconut, but that’s not dried…

    Would love your feedback

    1. Richa says:

      Frozen shredded coconut is fresh coconut which has been shredded. Thats the kind usually used in indian food and in this recipe. Dried coconut is available in different sizes of flakes, small flakes, medium flakes , both of which might be called dessicated. Large flake dried coconut is like chocolate shaving, flat, white, thin and about 1/2 cm or longer.
      Frozen shredded coconut is not available easily in grocery stores, so i often mention to use dried version instead and reconstitute it with water during cooking (moisture + heat will make them softer). In baking I use dried small or medium flake. There are sweetened dried small or medium flakes available as well, but i dont like to use those. so just plain coconut.