Chickpea Sundal

Chickpea Sundal, a savoury snack from Tamil Nadu, flavoured with south Indian tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing and freshly grated coconut. You may add onions, ginger and coriander leaves for added flavour. Served best as an evening snack with some hot cup of chai. In less than 10 minutes you have a nutritious snack in a bowl if you have cooked chickpeas in hand. 
Chickpea Sundal

Does loving other cuisines more than your own make you a bad person who doesn't root for the home team? Often times when I see non-muslims or non-Moplahs sharing Malabar recipes home to Moplahs, I get the urge to get on the task of collecting recipes from family. But my hindrance is I don't have a taker - F doesn't eat most of our home food including any seafood which leaves me with very little choice. But he seems to be enjoying the Tamil food that I grew up eating. From my pottukadali chutneys, mutton biryani, vegetable kurma, paniyaram to Sri Krishna's sweets and Vijay movies! 😛 Even this chickpea sundal has won his tummy... which was so unexpected! I never counted him when I used to make chickpea sundal but these days since he is working from home full-time, he got to have it and now he asks for sundal whenever I soak chickpeas. All this story to say that, if you haven't ever had any sundal, try this chickpea version once and you will surely love it. 

What is Sundal?

Sundal is a Tamilian savoury dry snack made with any legumes or pulses, seasoned with mustard, chillies, curry leaves, ginger and coconut. You will find Sundal being served mostly as a snack or street food and is ubiquitous in all of South Indian and may be called differently. In Andhra cuisine, it is called Guggillu and is prepared the same way. Though this dish can be made with almost all legumes and pulses the most common and sort after is the one with chickpeas. You can eat Sundal around the year like on a hot summer's day or even on a cold winter's evening because they are a nutritious and satiating tea time snack. 

In this post, I have shared how to make a Chickpea Sundal recipe but you can use the same recipe with peanuts, mung beans, green peas, kidney beans, small fava beans, black or brown chickpeas, horse gram, etc. The Tamil word for Chickpea is Kondakadali, JFYI. Growing up in Coimbatore means we don't have the classic "Sundal in the beach" situation like in Chennai but we always received "Golu" sundal from friends and neighbours. There are a few variations in making any sundal but the main ingredients include mustard, chillies, hing and coconut. Btw, some folks (including mine) call this "chundal"! 

Chickpea Sundal

Ingredients for making Chickpea Sundal

  • cooked chickpea
  • coconut oil
  • mustard seeds 
  • urad dal (optional)
  • asafoetida (hing)
  • curry leaves
  • dry red chilli
  • ginger (optional)
  • onion, diced finely (optional)
  • green chillies, chopped
  • grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime or lemon juice (optional)

How to make Sundal?

Decide what sundal you plan to make and soak accordingly. Most legumes need to be soaked overnight and pulses need to be soaked for at least 30 minutes. If you are into sprouting, I guess it is even better but I have never seen sprouted sundal. Rinse the soaked chickpeas thoroughly and pressure cook with enough water and salt for 4 to 5 whistles on medium flame. Adding salt while cooking the legumes helps in preventing the chickpeas from getting overcooked and become mushy. We need them to hold shape to make a perfect sundal. 

Next, get started with tadka. In a pan, heat some coconut oil, splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and dried red chilli. You may add some ginger and onion but that's totally optional. I love to add ginger and onions most of the time. Stir in the drained chickpeas and fry until just warmed. Finish off with freshly grated coconut and coriander leaves if you like. Serve with a squeeze of lemon which is also optional. 

Chickpea Sundal

Chickpea Sundal

Chickpea Sundal

Chickpea Sundal Recipe


For pressure cooking chickpeas:
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (any colour), soaked overnight in plenty of water (You may use 1 to 2 cups of canned chickpeas instead.)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water 
  • Salt to taste 
For making chickpea sundal:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal 
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chilli, torn into pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, diced finely (optional)
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • cooked and drained chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime or lemon juice (optional)


  1. Wash and drain the soaked chickpeas. Pressure cook with water and salt for 10 to 15 minutes or 3 to 4 whistles on medium flame. Drain and reserve the water for other uses or you may discard it. You may use canned chickpeas.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan on low to medium flame. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add urad dal (optional), hing, ginger (optional), curry leaves, green chillies or dried red chilli and saute until urad dal turns golden. Stir in the chopped onion if using and saute until translucent with a pinch of salt. 
  3. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and fry until warmed and ingredients are well combined. 
  4. Switch off and stir in the grated coconut. You may squeeze some lemon juice before serving.  Serve warm with chai
Chickpea Sundal

I would love to know if you have tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you!