Make Ahead

Schezuan pepper spiced South IndianĀ 'sundal'

March  8, 2011
Author Notes

Oh boy, that recipe name almost qualifies as a tongue twister!,

'Sundals' are simple stir fries using lentils or beans as the key ingredient.
Primarily of South Indian origin, they are a staple holy offering during the Hindu festival of Navratri. While the choice of lentils & beans may be numerous, the basic seasoning is almost always a 'tadka' (mustard, a dried arbol & dehusked split 'Urad' dal, sputtered in smoking hot oil) and a pinch of asafetida powder. Certainly NOT toasted Schezuan pepper!
The inspiration for this dish comes from Merill who suggested this recipe
created by chezsuzanne.
Asafetida is a spice pretty much confined to Indian cuisine & it was pleasant to discover that it paired very well with schezuan pepper. The pepper itself lends a nutty aroma that complements the dish beautifully.
Thanks Merill & Chezsuzanne for helping me unlock the potential of this wonderful spice!


  • Serves 6
  • 28 ounces can garbanzo beans
  • 1 teaspoon schezuan pepper powder, toasted lightly
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon split dehusked Urad dal (optional)
  • 1 dried arbol chilli pepper crumbled lightly
  • 1 pinch Asafetida
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons juice of a lemon or lime
  • 2 sprigs chopped cilantro for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Drain & discard the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans. ( the precooked beans have sufficient salt to season the dish, but feel free to add more as per your personal taste)
  2. Heat oil till hot and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds sputter & pop, add the arbol chilli and asafetida. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the drained garbanzo beans, toasted schezuan pepper & turmeric. Mix well.
  4. Lower the burner to a simmer, cover the pan & cook for 5 minutes till the flavors blend.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with lime/lemon juice & garnish with cilantro.

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A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!