Kadala Curry or Kerala Style Chickpea Curry is a quintessential dish in every Malayalee household. It’s a very popular dish to serve with puttu, appam and dosa and also eaten with idiyappam or string hoppers, paratha and boiled red rice for lunch or dinner.
Drooling already? Here is how to make it.
South Indian cuisine is so vast, and the food differs in every region of South India, be it Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, or any coastal area.
A few years back when I was staying in Bangalore, we decided to do a long weekend trip to Kerala.
And it turned out to be the best impromptu trip ever!
Greenery all around, scenic views and the best part, its food, I literally didn’t want to leave.
That trip was the first time I had one of their popular combinations Puttu and Kadala curry.
It is a delicious Kerala Style curry that is made with black chickpeas and is served with Puttu which is made with ground rice and coconut.
Oh, the flavors were so amazing, that I had it 3 times in my 4-day trip.
So, when I came home back, I knew that I had to try my hands on this oh-so-delicious curry.
So, I prepared it at home and I was literally in a food coma.
I never thought that my curry would come out so delicious the first time I try it.
And since that there is no looking back, it has become a regular at home nowadays.
What is Kadala Curry?
It is a delicious black chickpea curry that is made in all the Kerala households.
This recipe requires some preparation as the black chana or kadala has to be soaked in water for a few hours.
The chana is then drained and cooked in the pressure cooker until nicely cooked and then mixed with an array of spices.
It has a tomato-onion base that has an impeccable taste from the flavor roasted coconut paste that is added in the curry at the end.
Once the base is cooked along with the chickpeas, this curry is tempered with mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and red dry chillies.
This tempering really adds to the taste of this traditional curry.
Traditionally, this mouthwatering curry is enjoyed with Puttu or Appam for breakfast.
But, you can also serve it along with Steamed Rice or Ghee Rice for your everyday meals.
Can you use other chickpeas instead of Black Chickpeas?
Well, the authentic curry is made only with Black Chickpeas or Kala Chana.
You can substitute it with other chickpeas but it won’t be called as Kadala Curry then.
But other chickpeas will surely taste as good as black chickpeas in this curry.
How to make it without Coconut?
To make this curry without coconut, you can follow the same process as mentioned below but just skip adding the coconut in the recipe.
The dish comes out quite good without coconut as well and you have a different version too.
To make another version of kadala curry, heat coconut oil in a pan. Add onion and ginger and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add fresh grated coconut and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool down.
Grind the mixture along with some water to make smooth paste.
Heat some more coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add shallots and green chillies. Add the ground masala paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the dry spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add boiled chana and some water and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Slightly mash the chana with the back of a ladle.
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Step by Step Recipe
Wash the black chana and son in enough water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water and add the chana in a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water and 2 tsp salt. Pressure cook until chana is nicely cooked. (Cook it for one whistle on high heat and then 2-3 whistles on low heat)
Roast the fresh coconut until is it nicely browned.
Add it in a blender along with water and make a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
Add onion and fry until it turns translucent.
Now add tomato and green chilli and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add dry spices and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add some water if required.
Next add the coconut paste.
Add the cooked chana along with the water in the masala.
For tempering, heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard, hing, curry leaves and chilli and fry for a few seconds.
Pour the tempering over the curry.
Kerala Kadala Curry Recipe
- ½ cup Fresh Coconut (Grated)
- 1 cup Kala Chana / Kadala / Black Chickpeas
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Ginger Paste
- 1 tsp Garlic Paste
- ½ cup Onion (Chopped)
- ½ Cup Tomato (Chopped)
- 2-3 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- ½ tsp Kerala Garam Masala Powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp Hing
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- 2-3 Dry red chillies
- Wash the black chana and soak in enough water for 6-8 hours.
- Drain the water and add the chana in a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water and 2 tsp salt.
- Pressure cook until chana is nicely cooked.
- Dry roast the fresh coconut until is it nicely browned.
- Add it in a blender along with ½ cup of water and make a smooth paste.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add ginger paste and garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- Add onion and fry until it turns translucent.
- Now add tomato and green chilli and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add some water if required.
- Add the coconut paste and cook for a minute.
- Next add the cooked chana along with the water in the masala.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
- Add more water if the gravy is too thick.
- Mash a few chana with the back of a ladle.
- It will make the gravy creamier.
- For tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and dry red chilli and fry for a few seconds.
- Pour the tempering over the curry.
- Serve hot with Puttu or Appam.