White beans recipes | White Beans Sundal – South Indian style snack with spices and coconut
In South Indian homes, sundal is the mainstay of prasad offered during Navratri festival days. This prasad is served to everyone who drops in home for golu-viewing*. Sundal is usually made using a variety of grams / pulses, mainly brown chickpeas (kala chana) or even regular chickpeas (kabuli chana). There are enough varieties such that a different sundal can be prepared on each of the nine days of the festival. My favourite is one made using Chana Dal, which feels much lighter than the versions made using whole beans (Recipe for Chana Dal Sundal)
Almost every single legume such as rajma, peanuts, green moong etc. can be prepared into a sundal. Beans are soaked and pressure cooked until soft but not mushy. A tempering of mustard seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida in coconut oil is prepared and the cooked beans are tossed in this tempering. A hearty garnish of fresh grated coconut is mandatory 🙂 Coriander and lemon juice are optional extras.
It is the simplest way to prepare any beans and it makes for a healthy snack even during non-navratri days.
My version of sundal is prepared using white beans (also called navy beans). It is sometimes sold in Indian supermarkets / shops as ‘Mangalorean beans’. I love to use them in salads, pasta and also soups. They are light enough to eat for supper- as compared to the heavier beans like chickpeas and rajma which sit heavy on the stomach if eaten closer to bedtime. Soak the white beans for 2-3 hours until they double in size and pressure cook for 1 whistle + 4-5 minutes on sim and you are ready to use them in any dish of your liking.
If you cannot source white beans, prepare this sundal recipe using chickpeas or black eyed peas as the curry leaf spice powder will tinge the white coloured beans a vibrant green.
More Healthy White Beans Recipes
- White Beans and Carrot Hummus
- White Beans and Rocket Salad
- White Beans, Greens and Eggs in a Skillet for breakfast
You can read about the difference between Cannellini beans, Great Northern Beans and Navy Beans here
If you are using canned white beans for this recipe, drain the liquid and rinse under running water. Drain well and proceed with the recipe.
Equipment required to prepare Sundal
White Beans Sundal
- 1/2 cup dried white beans
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 dried red chillies
- pinch asafoetida
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut can also use frozen
For spice powder
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 4 dried red chillies
- 2 teaspoons urad dal skinned black lentils
- Soak the white beans in enough water for 3-4 hours. Drain and place in a small pressure cooker (2-3L capacity). Cover with water, add 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few drops of oil. Pressure cook until you hear one whistle. Reduce flame to sim and cook for 3-4 minutes under full pressure. Switch off the flame. Open cooker once pressure has dropped. Drain beans into a sieve / colander.
- While the beans are cooking, dry roast the ingredients for the spice powder in a fry pan on a medium flame for 5-6 minutes until the curry leaves are crisp and the urad dal is golden brown. Cool for a few minutes and grind in a small mixer jar to get a coarse powder.
- In the same saute pan, heat coconut oil. Fry mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies until the seeds splutter and chillies turn a bright red. Stir in the asafoetida and immediately add the cooked beans. Season with a pinch of salt if required. Sprinkle the prepared spice powder over the beans and toss gently to mix all ingredients together.
- Remove into a bowl and garnish with fresh grated coconut.
*Read more about Navaratri Golu here.