White dried peas Sundal ( Vatana )

When fresh peas are not available or when you want to enjoy a starchier, hardier flavored legume, dried peas are the perfect choice; they are available any time of the year.
Although they belong to the same family as beans and lentils, they are usually distinguished as a separate group because of the ways in which they are prepared. 

The different types of peas are all spherical, a feature that also sets them apart from beans and lentils. Dried peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally. 

Sundal is a typical preparation by cooking dried peas or other legumes, overnight, pressure cooking them to a light softness. The cooked peas or lentils are then seasoned with a tempering of mustard seeds, chillis, curry leaves and sprinkled with grated fresh coconut.

This is offered as a Prashad or Neivediyam usually during Navaratri, for 9 days nine different Sundal is prepared . This is a great healthy snack too.


1 cup white /yellow dried peas, soaked for 8 hours or overnight.

2 green / red chillis
1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
1/2 tsp split udad dal 
Sprigs of curry leaves.
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut
Salt to taste.
 2tsp oil for tempering.
Pinch of asafoetida.


Drain water from the soaked white/yellow peas, and pressure cook up to 2 whistles or else it gets over cooked. Drain and keep aside.

In a pan, heat the oil, pop the mustard seeds, brown the udad dal, add the pressure cooked, drained white peas to the pan, add salt, pinch of asafoetida powder, grated fresh coconut and the curry leaves.
Add the Sundal powder too to enhance the taste of the Sundal.

Makes a great tasty delicious snack for evenings and a healthy option for kids too.

Health benefits of using dried peas.

Dried peas, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
Fiber is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. As if this weren't enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones (notably daidzein). Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.

In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like dried peas can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fiber foods. Researchers compared two groups of people with type 2 diabetes who were fed different amounts of high fiber foods. One group ate the standard American Diabetic diet, which contains 24 grams of fiber/day, while the other group ate a diet containing 50 grams of fiber/day. Those who ate the diet higher in fiber had lower levels of both plasma glucose (blood sugar) and insulin (the hormone that helps blood sugar get into cells). The high fiber group also reduced their total cholesterol by nearly 7%, their triglyceride levels by 10.2% and their VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein--the most dangerous form of cholesterol) by 12.5%.

Dried peas are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them. A cup of cooked dried peas provides 196.0% of the daily value for molybdenum.

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