Sundals are quick & simple South Indian snacks traditionally made with beans or dal. They are commonly eaten during the various festival seasons, but I think they are delicious enough to enjoy anytime. Most Hindus abstain from eating onions or garlic on holy days, so traditional sundals are often made without these particular ingredients. Although I do observe the holy traditions during festival months, I will also make sundals with onions & garlic during the rest of the year. So my recipe does contain onion & garlic but feel free to omit them if you wish.
Fava Beans (aka broad beans) are one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, with origins dating back over 5000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. Fava beans are an important staple throughout the Mediterranean & the Middle East. They are a rich source of protein & also high in iron, dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin A & Vitamin C.
I love fava beans, they have a delicious flavor and a wonderful creamy texture. If you can find fresh fava beans, I highly recommend using them for this recipe but canned or even frozen will always work in a pinch. If you cant find fava beans, feel free to substitute edamame (fresh soy beans) or canned chickpeas instead.
FAVA BEAN & SWEET CORN SUNDAL
1 cup fava beans (fresh, frozen or canned is fine)
1 cup corn (frozen is fine but thaw completely before use)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1-2 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
5-6 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida
juice of ½ lime (or lemon)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
¼ cup freshly grated coconut (optional)
pinch of smoked paprika for garnish
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
If you are using canned or frozen fava beans, they are usually cooked and basically ready to use. If you are using canned fava beans, rinse & drain well before use. If you are planning to use frozen fava beans, make sure that they are completely thawed before use. If you are lucky enough to have fresh fava beans, then there is a bit of prep & cooking involved but totally worth the extra little effort. First, remove all the beans from their thick outer pods. Each pod may contain anywhere from 5-8 fava beans. Then either steam the fava beans for about 5 minutes or boil them for about 8-10 minutes (or until they look wrinkled and gray in color). That’s ok, just remove their outer layer. The inner fava bean will be bright green, smooth & now - ready to use.
In a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, quickly add the green chilies along with the asafetida & curry leaves. After about 30 seconds or so, add the onion & minced garlic. Stir & let cook for a few minutes until the onions have slightly softened. Then add the fava beans & corn. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients and let cook for a few more minutes. Lastly, add the lime juice, coconut and season with salt & pepper. Mix well and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the paprika, garnish with the cilantro leaves & serve warm.
Feel free to add some cherry or grape tomatoes to the dish, just slice them in half and throw them in along with the fava beans & corn. You could also add some toasted/unsalted peanuts, cashew pieces or even pine nuts to the dish as well for both flavor & texture.