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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunnundalu - The Two Versions and Poha Pongal

For the past one month, I was going through a 'No interest in blogging' phase. And also my busy life kept me away from blogging and blog hopping. I would like to thank all of you who kept visiting my blog. Hopefully, I would be blogging again as usual and visiting my blogger friends.

To me personally, the word 'sunnundalu' has the strong power to invoke memories, the pleasant memories of my grand mother. Sunnundalu are dear to me because they always remind me of maternal grand mother and her wonderful cooking. Also, they are the only sweets with a healthy tag attached to them, at our house. My mom never made them at home and we always got our supply of minapa sunni from our grand mother. Even at an old age, she painstakingly used to grind the uraddal in an old fashioned stone grinder and pack bottles of it to send them along with her children and grand children who visited her. The only thing her daughters had to do was adding jaggery and ghee to the ground uraddal whenever they felt like eating sunnundalu. She passed away a decade ago and the last bottle of minapa sunni she sent to my mom is still with her. My mom is holding on to it as a form of connection with her mother.

Sunnundalu belong exclusively to Andhra, I think. They are a power house of protein since the main ingredient used is uraddal - the black gram of India. This nutritious ball of uraddal flour coupled with jaggery and ghee, is a delightful dessert to kids and adults alike.
I am posting two versions of sunnundalu here. The first one is my grand mother's ofcourse. She used to use the uraddal with the husk.

Version 1 :
Ingredients to make around two dozens of small laddos:
Uraddal with husk - 1 cup
Jaggery powdered - 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer)
Melted ghee - 5 Tbsp

Method: Fry the husked uraddal on low-medium flame till it turns golden brown. Let it cool. Powder the urad dal into a coarse powder. It should resemble very fine sand. You can store it in a bottle and use it later too. This coarsely ground urad dal remains fresh for atleast a year (or more). Traditionally, urad dal is powdered using a stone grinder. I used my coffee grinder to achieve the required consistency.
Combine the powdered jaggery to it and mix it thoroughly. Add ghee little by little till the mixture comes together and you are able to form the balls out of it. Add more ghee if required. Take small portion at a time and make a round ball out of it using your hand. Repeat the same with the remaining mixture.

Version 2 :
Whole uraddal - 1&1/2 cups
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer)
Melted Ghee - 5 Tbsp

Fry the uraddal on low-medium flame till it turns golden brown. Let it cool. Powder the urad dal into a fine, coarse powder. Combine the powdered sugar to it and mix it thoroughly. Add ghee little by little till the mixture comes together and you are able to form the balls out of it. Add more ghee if required. Take small portion at a time and make a round ball out of it using your hand.

This goes to
'Favorite dessert / sweet' event hosted by Hima of 'Snackorama'.


My observation and experience has led me to believe that poha can be a good substitute for rice in most of the rice based, Indian dishes. Poha bisibele bhath, poha payasam, mosaravalakki (yogurt poha) are some of the examples where rice is replaced by poha with out altering the taste or texture of the dish. I was wondering lately whether replacing rice with poha works in pongal and I did experiment to find out. As usual, here too poha mingled humbly with nutritious moongdal, the fragrant, savory ginger and the spicy pepper for an aromatic, mouthwatering poha pongal.

Poha - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Ginger (grated /finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 4 tsp
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Few curry leaves (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Fry the moongdal on medium flame till it turns slightly red. Cook it along with the water and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker till you hear two whistles. Alternatively you can cook the moongdal in a pot adding sufficient water. Keep the dal stirring in between to avoid the moong sticking to the pot at the bottom and getting burnt.
  • Mean while, wash the poha twice with the water and drain all the water. Cover with poha with a lid and keep aside.
  • Do the tadka. Heat ghee in a small pan. Add ginger, cumin seeds, pepper corns, pepper powder, curry leaves in that order. When ginger pieces turn brown, turn off the stove.
  • Add this tadka mixture, poha and enough salt to the cooked moongdal and stir properly with a ladle. Again turn on the stove and let this mixture / pongal simmer on low flame for about 10 minutes so that it can absorb the flavors of the spices added and poha is cooked. Stir once again and turn off the stove.
  • Serve hot pongal with ginger gojju or chutney. Though it is optional, Pongal is usually served with a generous serving of ghee to make it more delicious.
  • This goes to 'Think Spice - Ginger', hosted by Sunita of 'Sunita's world'.

    Post a comment


    Redchillies said...

    Hey Suma welcome back. We missed you for a long time.

    I loved the story, your grandmothers love etc while making the urad daal ladoos.
    I have also tasted this poha pongal before but did not know how to make it. Thanks for sharing.

    Suma Gandlur said...

    Thank you. I had no idea that poha pongal is really prepared. I kind of experimented this. :)

    Lakshmi said...

    yumm sunnundalu. I like them. Had a lot during hostel days coz I had many andhra friends there. ;)

    Roopa said...

    hi suma the urad dhall ladoos are very nutrious i love them too :) the poha pongal looks like a very great idea!

    easycrafts said...

    urad dal ladoos sound great...intersting one

    KayKat said...

    Those sunnundalu look delicious! Think I favor the jaggery version, sounds more earthy :)

    And I really like the idea of using poha in pongal instead of rice, thanks for the idea!

    Nags said...

    that's so yummy! my roommate loves them so much and she buys them by the dozens!

    sunita said...

    Suma, those laddoos look scrumptious...and the poha pongal , lovely...thanks for sending the latter over.

    Happy cook said...

    Welcome back.
    I have never had this before, looks good

    Asha said...

    Long time no see!! I just returned to blogging too. Undais looks yum, Poha Pongal is mouthwatering! I will try. Hope you had a great TG weekend!:))

    TBC said...

    It's nice to see you blog again:-)

    Ash said...

    Hi Suma,
    I read your post on Shrikhand. Where do we get muslin cloth in US? I want to prepare that.

    Richa said...

    that plate full of ladoos looks so good, Suma!
    i've tasted the one without skin and it was soooo tasty :)

    Namratha said...

    Good to see you back Suma, it's been a long time!! :) The ladoos look yummy and so does the poha pongal, which is new to me..

    remya said...

    delicious looking laddoos...i havent tasted this before...wish to pick sme from that :-)))

    Kribha said...

    Nice to have you back dear. I've been looking at your post from the time you posted it but I wanted to read the recipe fully and then comment. That's why it took so long.
    Anyway, it looks absolutely delicious and drool worthy. Loved the way you have arranged it. One question. I see that in the first vesion the husk has not been removed from the urad dal. I was wondering what that tasted like and also could you tell me if the ghee has to be hot while adding it to the dry ingredients. Thanks in advance.

    Kribha said...

    OOPs..forgot about the pongal. That looks so good to. I couldn't guess from the picture that poha was used. Pongal with chutney looks so heavenly.

    Siri said...

    Wow, Suma, Sunnadalu nooru oorinchestunnayi.. I am a die hard fan of these and used to pester mom to make for every festival possible. Loved the story too..:)

    take care and cya

    ~ Siri

    Mandira said...

    Wow the sunnundalu looks delicious suma!

    Anonymous said...

    nice recipe... should we use the thick or thin variety of poha?

    Suma Gandlur said...

    Thank you very much. Both the versions slightly taste different. Addition of jaggery to the husked ones also makes that difference. I think the husked ones taste closer to sesame seed balls. I always liked the husked ones as those are the ones I grew up eating.
    Hot ghee need not be added but using melted ghee is safer. If you use the solid ghee, it melts with your warmth of your hand while shaping the balls but probably we would have used more than needed and shaping the balls become difficult.

    Suma Gandlur said...

    Thick variety of poha needs to be used.

    Inika iraP said...

    Do I need to ask for more. Just went back in the memory lane to the grandparents days. So true that Sunnundalu has a healthy tag associated with it and thus is enjoyed among all age groups. One sweet that has not lost its flavor till date from ages now.