Experiments in Cooking

Black Eyed Peas Sundal in IP

Sundal is a traditional Tamil snack made with a variety of legumes during the festival season of Navarathri (Nine Nights) which occurs in late fall. It is most often made with chick peas, and occasionally with black eyed peas or boiled peanuts. I love black eyed peas, so I decided to make a batch of these, specially since the Instant Pot makes it so easy to cook beans without any soaking. With grated coconut, red chillis, and curry leaves, this is a truly nostalgic dish.

I had a single serving of leftovers after taking my sundal to a potluck, so I cleaned it out by pairing it with my leftover kare kare beef.


  • 1 cup black eyed peas (raw/dry)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tsp urad dal
  • 2 dry red chillis
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut. If using frozen shredded coconut, reconstitute with 1/4 cup warm water for 20 minutes. Drain.
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or ghee, or vegetable oil)
  • Pinch of asfoetida
  • Salt to taste

In the Instant Pot, pressure cook the beans with 4 cups of water for 60 minutes. Natural release.

Add 1.5 tsp salt to the pot and simmer 5 minutes. Drain the beans.

In a small pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds and wait till the first one splutters. Add the dry red chillis (broken into 2-3 pcs each) and urad dal. Mix with a spoon so the dal doesn’t burn.

When the dal just starts turning reddish, add the curry leaves and dash of asafoetida (hing). Immediately add the shredded coconut, mix and remove from heat.

Mix the drained beans with all the above tempered spices/coconut/etc. Salt to taste.

Your sundal is ready, and can be eaten as-is without accompaniments as a snack food.