Some pictures that are stored in memory never fade away, irrespective of the time or place since you last saw them…..
The joy on the faces of hardworking Sundal vendors on the beach at the end of the day, strolling along the shore while the gentle waves touch their feet and go, their distant laughter merging with the sound of the ocean, their daily struggles to live a life, gently merging with the ocean breeze.
There comes the Sonpapdiwala, pushing his cart against the ocean breeze, hoping to make his profit margin better than yesterday, wishing there will be many more kids who would ask for his paper thin sweet flakes of Sonpapdi ( a kid friendly dessert).
The fishermen have long gone home, the waves lapping the sides of the colorful boats now on shore…..early, the next morning they must float on the ocean , carrying their masters and their dreams.
Then there is the familiar sight of the “Kizhi Josiyam” guy who uses his parrot to predict our future. Yes, the parrot knows all! His phone lines are always busy ,of course who doesn’t want to know what their future holds and to trust the parrot to hold the keys to the future, simply means that there has to be a whole lot faith with that fortune/tarot card picking ! The lantern beside his work station is a must for enlightening predictions, coz’ towards dusk the predictions become a little hazy .When there are no clients, the parrot does get to take some time off,to enjoy the ocean breeze !
Then are these flower vendors who most often make a kill, with their fragrance filled jasmine flowers, it is customary in the land I grew up in, for a man to get his lady love flowers .Jasmine, the Queen of flowers, is believed to holds magical aphrodisiac properties too apart from their enchanting fragrance .So there is no telling that the flower sale is always a hit on the beach side in the evenings. After the day’s work is done, the flower vendors get sometime to catch up on life’s happenings at home.The holy ash on their forehead is the proof, that their faith in the Divine’s role in giving them a peaceful life is unshakeable.
So when I make Sundal, in a land far away from the land I grew up in, all these people pay a major role in the flavor of my sundal. For any dish to be a success it has to be made with love and as for me, I have never had sundal any other way !
Since this land does not have Sundal or flower vendors, and beach was definitely on my mind for this weekend, weather permitting ……I decided to make my own. Something about sitting on the beach with the breeze blowing and the salt & sand landing on your newspaper wrapped sundal made it so delicious that these memories linger so many years even after the taste is long forgotten. It is packed with joyful memories !
So here goes my version of a Sweet Corn Sundal, a twist from the regular chick pea one.
- 2 packets of frozen sweet corn kernels
- 4 tbsp of grated coconut
- 4 dried red chillies
- 2 green chillies
- 1 teaspoon urad and channa dal
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- a pinch of asafoetida
- salt to taste
- a sprig of curry leaves or curry leaf powder
- 3 tsp of coconut oil
- Clean and wash the frozen sweet corn kernels after thawing it , since they are soft, one need not pressure cook the kernels unlike if you are using directly from the corn cob itself, in which case the kernels who be hard.
- Warm oil in a thick bottomed vessel and temper with mustard seeds, urad, channa dal, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida
- Add green chillies, dried red chillies along with the sweet corn and mix well.
- Add salt to taste and stir a bit
- Let the flavors merge within. Keep the pan closed.
- Remove from flame & set aside.
- Add the shredded coconut when you are ready to serve.
- Relive the memories of the beach days as the sundal stirs your taste buds . Enjoy!
For my Chickpea Sundal recipe, please click on the link here :