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Sprouted Black Chana Sundal

9 months ago / by Malathy Chandrasekhar

Healthier, tastier, this dish profits from the process of germination

Sprouted .black channa sundal
Sprouted .black channa sundal

Sundal aka chundal or usli is usually made during the festival seasons. Navratri or the nine nights of festivities comes along, and all homes that I visit for Golu (display of dolls) serve their own version of this deliciousness. But I am like – why wait for festivals to come around? Why can’t sundal become a regular during non-festive seasons?

In this version of black chana sundal, I’ve upped the game by simply sprouting the legume. What does sprouting do?? It takes the nutrition up several notches without compromising on the taste.

Let me briefly explain the science behind sprouting grains. Just as how humans build homes to protect ourselves from enemies, plants also have their own defense mechanisms. Legumes have lectins and phytic acid to make them unappealing and unappetizing to those seeking to consume them (think grazing predators). The digestive systems of some humans who consume these grains and legumes may not be able to fully absorb the nutrients and minerals in them.

Soaking and Sprouting

Soaking and sprouting grains and legumes is a great way to release and neutralize phytic acid and lectins. The process helps break down the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients and makes them more digestible. My grandmother used to soak lentils and rice for several hours before cooking them. She didn’t know the science; it was just ancient wisdom. It is only our generation that demands scientific data (not such a bad thing) before we implement something.

Germination not just eliminates or reduces anti-nutrients, it also changes the chemical composition of the grain/seed/legume, dramatically increasing vitamins C and B, and carotene.

It is super easy to sprout legumes with a sprouting jar. It is one of my best investments, one that does not bust my bank. Every week, there is one legume or the other sprouting in my jar.

Why Is This Healthy?

High in dietary fiber, kala chana (black chickpea) has a low glycemic index and little fat. Rich in vitamins and minerals (especially when sprouted), these black beauties may help lower cholesterol, aid with weight loss and provide cardiovascular benefits. You may also love this kala (black) chana spinach curry.

The recipe

Course: Appetizer, main course, salad, side dish

Cuisine: Indian, South Indian

Special diet: Gluten-free, Grain-free, no added sugar, nut-free, vegan, vegetarian

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Sprouting time: 2 days

Total time: 2 days, 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 112 kcal


  • 1 cup black chana – kala chana
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 green chili pepper. Or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt. Or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly powdered
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp lime juice


  1. Put black chana in a sprouting jar and add 4 cups of filtered water. Allow to soak overnight.
  2. Drain the water out and place the sprouting jar on its side.
  3. After 24 hours, rinse and drain the black chana and place it back in a warm and dark place. Depending on the temperature and the freshness of your black chana, you should see sprouts by Day 2.
  4. Pressure-cook your sprouted black chana in the Instant Pot for 30 minutes with 1 cup of water. Allow the pressure to drop naturally.
  5. Make sure the chana is firmly cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in a thick-bottom dish. Splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add asafetida (hing) and curry leaves.
  7. Add green chilis. Saute for about 30 seconds on medium heat.
  8. Add sprouted black chana (use the liquid in a rasam or soup), salt, turmeric powder, and black pepper powder. Mix well for 1 minute.
  9. Add chopped cilantro, fresh grated coconut, and lime juice. Mix well and serve.


*Use organic ingredients wherever possible.

For the full recipe, go to

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