Sunday, September 27, 2009

Black Eyed Peas Sundal

Expectations - the act or state of expecting - is the literal dictionary meaning.
Thoughts of "expectations" and how it affects life having been making the rounds in my head recently. Expectations in relationships, at work, from children, from material possessions and everything else in life. Unreasonable expectations and misery are intertwined.

Disappointment and sadness when expectations in a particular relationship do not pan out. Work place becames a punishment when it does not stand up to expectations. The expectation about how life should be and when it does not meet those expectations depression and sadness ensues.

It takes a certain maturity to pack away expectations and embrace life as it happens as anticipation is half the pleasure or half the misery.

Lets take the example of a newly married couple. If the expectation on Valentine's day is a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers or whatever (I wouldn't know because I had no expectations of DH being the gift giving kind) and if it does not materialize all hell breaks loose. This is the most simplest case.

A slightly more complicated case if an example of an educated woman on a satisfactory and rewarding career track throttling back her ambition because of young children. Instead of bringing joy at the opportunity of having time to spend with her children the heart feels sad because the goals and expectations that were set either by herself or society(perhaps not necessarily in writing but because of other factors like education etc.,)become harder to achieve. Same is true for men when the career path they are steadfastly climbing gets wobbly.

Most importantly the expectation that life has to be lived a certain way with possessions and accomplishments is what keeps us anxious and looking for that elusive definition of success and happiness.

If on the other hand there were no expectations we are better able to tackle what life throws our way. There are no disappointments and sadness because there is no perception of failure.

Approaching any relationships with no expectations make them more meaningful and lasts longer. Approaching life in the same way helps keep interest in the mundane everyday things that have to be accomplished day in and day out. When there is no expectation about how the day is expected to pan out, all is needed for the day to be great is to live in the moment.

Al Gore our Vice President is a good example of how undue expectations can hurt. It is too much of a burden to carry around. We have all seen how even very young children wither under the burden of undue expectations from parents.

It is easier to talk about it then practise but gets easier over time I presume. As for me I am in the very beginning stage of the process where I can think clearly but practising has been shall we say taking its time.

Now on to less weighty matters,

Yeseterday we were treated to a vast array of halwa/poori on the event of Ashtami. We celebrated Saraswathi Pooja with a simple preparation of black eyed peas sundal. Having forgotten to soak chick peas the previous day, these black eyed peas came in handy. They require soaking time of less than an hour. I avoided pressure cooking the black eyed peas as they result in mush which works for curries but not very suitable for sundal.

Black Eyed Peas Sundal
1. 1 1/2 Cups of dried black eyed peas soaked for about an hour
2. 2 tbsp grated fresh or frozen coconut
3. 4 red chilies broken in half and the seeds shaken loose
4. seasonings: 2 tsp of split urad dal, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp of cumin, seeds,curry leaves, a pinch of asfoetida
5. 1 tbsp of chopped corinader leaves
6. Salt to taste
7. 1 tsp of oil

1. In a sauce pan cook add water to cover the peas and let bring it to a boil. Let it cook till the peas are soft. Do not overcook. Takes about 10-15 minutes
2. In a wide mouthed pan heat oil and add the seasonings, the ural dal first followed by the cumin,asfoetida and mustard seeds followed by the curry leaves and red chilies.
3. Add the drained, cooked peas and give a good mix.
4.Mix in the coriander leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and mix, add the grated coconut and mix well. Turn off the heat.


  1. First time i had sundal was when i visited valiis home in chennai and i loved it, this looks yummy too.

  2. Oh, what brought this on, Indo? Now you've set me mulling about hope vs expectation.

  3. I agree-Expectations can hurt us ..It is much better to approach life/relnships with less or no expectations.But is it humanly possible,I wonder?!
    This is very profound for my brain he he he!But loved your post:)

  4. Just y'day I saw a program that spoke about how women are steadily getting unhappier - mainly because they try to juggle too many tasks and put pressure on themselves to be great at each one of them (kids, home, work etc). The study showed that the women who were truly happy were the ones that just went with the flow.
    Regarding expectations, I think it takes a very evolved person to approach life without having any. Dunno if I can do that ever! :)

  5. It really takes time to get there, to expect very little of life. Maybe once your expectations are not met you expect less & less but to start off with the none at the very beginning would indeed bring a lot of happiness.

    I just had this sundal at lunch, a co-worker had made this yesterday for the last day of Navrarti

  6. To me disappoinment comes with having expectations as you have said. There has to be a balncing act in whatever we pursue. Not everything we expect can be accomplished by us and it becomes more difficult when expected from others.
    Although it is also true that it is difficult to practise and also we cannot lead a life without any expectations...I try to avoid having expectations in most matters where it can create problems.

    BTW Happy Navarathri to you and your family. Sundal looks good. Never added cumin , will use it next time.

  7. So true re: expectations! I am getting a lot of flack from people who expect me to stay at home and look after my baby. But I love working and don't think I should be made to feel guilty, right?? Happy puja dear. Sundal looks delic.

  8. HC, I thought sundal was a common food item in all regions of India. They are a super tasty snack.

    Sra, it was only recently that I have been able to put aside some difference of opinion and go back to being normal with a friend who once was very close. The relationship fell apart because of expectations is my strong suspicion. I had to grow older to get this :)

    Shri, agreed it is in practise very hard but it is good for some things to be clear in the head correct?

    Vani, I have thought about that many times too. It is almost impossible for women to feel any sense of achievement because the bar has been set so high. Vani, we take incremental steps and to understand itself is a huge first step. The rest will take more than a lifetime perhaps.

    Sandeepa, exactly.

    Cilantro, you are so right, expectations is the root cause of unhappiness.

    Mallika, hugs dear. I know what you are going through. But once you stay home there is another set of expectations to deal with. No guilt live life. A happy mother is more important than a ever present unhappy mother. what say you?

  9. I did not know what Sundal was till I read your post.Anyway nice recipe.
    Dont worry about things etc they all pass off thats best way to heal.

  10. How true ISG! Another case will be when a woman sacrifices quietly and expects some acknowledgement .. and gets none. The negativity buildup is then super great. :-)
    I like the idea of not pressure cooking the beans ... thanks to you now I know why they get all mushy. :-)

  11. Indhu Life has really taught me to expect the least.. well i still have some mostly emotional from my hubby & immediate family. but i am really glad that i could push myself to this state to expect nothing from no one.. then when something good happens, even a little bit, it makes me very happy:-) .. it was a long tough road & sometimes i feel I have become less sensitive if seen in one way, but it really works better for me!

    the sundal recipe is easy & good. I wil try this, i love black eyed peas.. missed everything puja:-(

  12. I agree with your post about keeping expectations to a minimum.. but it is knind of hard to do it always...right? :)

    I love sundal - healthy and yummy and easy to make :)

  13. Many sundal recipes floating them in any form.

    It is easy to expect something from a relationship than to accept it as it is... Once we accept the person or situation the way it is, life becomes easier.

  14. Dear,


  15. Looks so good, wish I could taste it!


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