Chana Dal Sundal (Kadalai Paruppu Sundal)

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South Indian cuisine is so versatile. I mean from the most robust of curries to the simplest, yet soul-stirring stir-fries, this food repertoire has something for everyone. Just like the ‘Sundal,’ essentially from the cuisine of Tamil Nadu. It is a basic tempered and sautéed preparation and can be made with a variety of legumes, lentils or grains, just like this Kadalai Paruppu Sundal. This is typically a Chana Dal Sundal, tempered with spices, curry leaves and coconut. Makes for an excellent vegan, healthy side dish.

chana dal sundal served in a copper vessel with text layovers.

About Chana Dal Sundal

The Kadalai Paruppu Sundal is made with Bengal gram or chana dal. Hence, also popularly referred to as Chana Dal Sundal. It really tastes fab in each and every bite, with the nutty flavor that is imparted by this particular lentil.

This Chana Dal is super easy to make as well. You just have to cook the soaked and drained Bengal gram and temper it. The tempering is also just as basic as it can be – mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, dried red chilies, asafoetida and lots of coconut. Want to make this dish gluten-free? Skip the asafoetida.

However, you do have to take care while cooking the chana dal for this Kadalai Paruppu Sundal. The lentils should not become pasty or too soft. It should be cooked well, yet retain the shape. You can opt to cook the dal in a pot, pan or even pressure cooker.

chana dal sundal served in a copper vessel with text layover.

I have soaked the chana dal and then cooked it in a pan for this recipe. If you decide to cook the lentils in a pressure cooker, then cook the soaked lentils on a medium heat for one whistle. That should be enough to give the you the desired texture and consistency of the chana dal.

As I mentioned earlier, serve this Chana Dal Sundal as a side dish with a main course or have it just as a nutritious snack.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Chana Dal Sundal

Soak Cook Lentils

1. Rinse 1 cup chana dal in water for a couple of times. Take the lentils in a bowl and add 1.5 cups of hot boiling water.

Cover and soak for an hour. You can even soak chana dal in water (at room temperature) for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

chana dal soaking in water for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

2. Later, drain all the water.

drained chana dal for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

3. Add the soaked chana dal in a pot or pan.

soaked and drained chana dal added in a pan for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

4. Add 2.5 cups water.

water added to chana dal in pan for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

5. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir to mix.

adding salt to the chana dal in pan for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

6. Keep the pan on the stovetop.

pan with chana dal and water kept on stovetop.

7. Cover with lid and begin to cook the chana dal on medium-low to medium heat. Alternatively, you can cook chana dal in a stovetop pressure cooker for 1 whistle.

pan covered with a lid.

8. When the water starts frothing (roughly after 7 to 8 minutes), remove the lid and continue to cook chana dal on medium heat.

water with chana dal frothing.

9. While the chana dal is cooking, check at intervals.

checking chana dal in a spoon while cooking.

10. Cook the lentils till done perfectly, yet retain their shape. Taste a few lentils to check if they have cooked well.

The lentils should soften and mash when you press them, but not become mushy or pasty.

Cooking soaked chana dal takes about 30 minutes in a pan or pot.

well cooked chana dal in a spoon.

11. Drain all the water and keep the cooked lentils aside.

cooked chana dal drained.

Make Chana Dal Sundal

12. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another pan or kadai. Keep the heat to a low and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

mustard seeds added to hot oil in a pan for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

13. Then, add 1 teaspoon urad dal.

urad dal added to the hot oil in the pan for making kadalai paruppu sundal.

14. On low heat, fry both mustard seeds and urad dal. Stir often.

frying mustard seeds and urad dal in hot oil.

15. Fry till the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turn golden.

frying till mustard seeds crackle and urad dal turns golden.

16. Then, add 10 to 12 curry leaves, 1 to 2 dried red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing).

curry leaves, broken and deseeded dried red chilies and asafoetida added to the hot oil.

17. Mix and fry for a few seconds till the red chilies change color.

spices and curry leaves mixed well into the oil.

18. Now, add the cooked chana dal.

cooked chana dal added to the pan.

19. Add salt as per taste.

salt added to chana dal.

20. Mix very well and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat. If there is any moisture or liquid in the chana dal, then cook till the moisture gets dried.

sautéing chana dal mixture.

21. Lastly, add ¼ cup fresh grated coconut.

fresh grated coconut added to chana dal sundal.

22. Mix and turn off the heat.

coconut mixed well in the chana dal sundal.

23. Serve Kadalai Paruppu Sundal. You can garnish with some fresh coconut or a few coriander leaves, if you want.

chana dal sundal served in a copper vessel with text layover.

More on Sundals

Making sundals with different legumes, lentils or beans bring in an additional dose of protein in a vegetarian meal. This Chana Dal Sundal is called so as the Tamil word for chana dal is ‘kadalai paruppu.’ Sundals are terrific, given the fact that they can be made easily and in a hassle-free way.

Just like the Kadalai Paruppu Sundal, many other types of sundals are made to be offered to the Goddess during Navratri festival. There is usually one type of sundal for each day during the 9 days of Navratri festivities. This dish is also common during Vinayaka Chaturthi and Krishna Jayanthi festivals.

In addition to this Chana Dal Sundal with husked and split Bengal gram, I have shared other sundal recipes on my blog. I would really recommend you to try each one of them.

A sundal can also be made on a regular day. Generally, I prepare the traditional recipe of sundal without adding any spices or masala. So, when I make Rasam or Vatha Kulambu, I also end up making one of the sundals or Poriyal to go along with it.

Expert Tips

  1. The lentils can be easily cooked in a pot/pan on the stovetop as I have done or use a stovetop pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.
  2. If you are cooking the chana dal in pressure cooker, soak lentils for an hour in hot water. Then, pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium heat. The chana dal can even be soaked in water at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Make sure to cook the lentils till tender and soft, yet shape retained. To check, taste a few lentil grains whether they have cooked well or not.
  4. Not a fan of dry red chillies? Simply omit them or add green chillies.
  5. If you are a lover of coconut, add more if you want.
  6. While serving the sundal, drizzle some lemon juice to accentuate the flavors all the more.
  7. Making the dish for a lesser number of people? Halve the recipe.

More Chana Dal Recipes To Try!

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chana dal sundal recipe, kadalai paruppu sundal recipe

Chana Dal Sundal (Kadalai Paruppu Sundal)

Chana Dal Sundal is tempered and sautéed dry dish made with cooked chana dal, few spices, herbs and fresh coconut. Chana Dal Sundal is also called as Kadalai Paruppu Sundal where 'Kadalai Paruppu' is the Tamil word for Chana Dal.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Course Side Dish, Snacks
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 8
Units

Ingredients

For Soaking Lentils

  • 1 cup chana dal (hulled and split bengal gram)
  • 1.5 cups hot boiling water – for soaking

For Cooking Lentils

  • 2.5 cups water – for pressure cooking
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For Tempering

  • 2 tablespoons oil can use peanut oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (hulled and split black gram)
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1 to 2 dry red chillies – broken and seeds removed
  • 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as required
  • ¼ cup coconut – fresh grated or add as required

Instructions
 

Soaking Lentils

  • Rinse the chana dal in water for a couple of times. Take the lentils in a bowl and add 1.5 cups hot boiling water.
  • Cover bowl with a lid and soak the lentils for an hour.
  • After the soaking time is over, drain all the water and set aside.

Cooking Lentils

  • Add the soaked chana dal in a pot or pan and add 2.5 cups water.
  • Also add ½ teaspoon salt and stir.
  • Keep the pan on stovetop.
  • Cover pan with lid and on a medium-low to medium heat begin to cook the chana dal.
    Alternatively, you can cook chana dal in stovetop pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
  • When the water starts frothing, remove the lid and cook lentils without lid on medium heat.
  • Do check at intervals when the chana dal (kadalai paruppu) lentils are cooking.
  • Cook the lentils until they are tender and softened but still retain their shape. Taste a few lentils to check if they have cooked perfectly.
  • Drain all the water and keep the cooked lentils aside.

Making chana dal sundal

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another pan or kadai. Keep heat to a low and add mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • On a low heat stirring often fry both mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • Fry until the mustard seeds crackle and the urad lentils turn golden.
  • Next add the curry leaves, dry red chillies and asafoetida (hing).
  • Mix and fry for a few seconds until the red chilies change color. Ensure that the spices and herbs do not burn.
  • Now add the cooked chana dal or kadalai paruppu.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Mix very well and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat. If there is any moisture or liquid in the chana dal then cook till the moisture gets dried.
  • Lastly add the fresh grated coconut.
  • Mix very well and turn off the heat.
  • Serve Chana Dal Sundal hot or warm. You can garnish with some fresh coconut or a few coriander leaves if you want.

Notes

  • If cooking in pressure cooker, then soak lentils for an hour in hot water. Then pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium flame. 
  • You can add more coconut if you want. 
  • When serving a drizzle of lemon juice on the Chana Dal Sundal also tastes good. 
  • This recipe can be halved.
 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Chana Dal Sundal (Kadalai Paruppu Sundal)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 298mg13%
Potassium 9mg0%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 64IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 14mg70%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 49mg5%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 148µg37%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 3mg1%
Phosphorus 6mg1%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Chana Dal Sundal recipe from the archives was first published on January 2018. It has been updated and republished on March 2024.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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5 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

7 Comments

  1. The second sentence says it’s made with peanuts. But none are added anywhere. Did you forget the peanuts??

    1. The sentence means that there are many variants of sundal and one of them is made with peanuts. So the chana lentils replace cooked/steamed peanuts in the recipe. No peanuts are added in this recipe.

  2. Lovely recipe. You can just eat it like a snack. This brought back memories of my mother’s cooking. She used to make this quite often when I was growing up way back. I am going to make this one of these days.5 stars

    1. thank you rom. yes chana dal sundal can be eaten as a snack. for most of us, food memories are pleasant memories. thanks for sharing. do try the recipe and i hope you will like it.