Black Chickpea Curry (Kadala Curry)

Like a Marriage made in heaven the perfect combination with Puttu is the Black Channa Curry called in Malayalam as the Kadala Curry. This is a curry of black / brown chickpeas swimming in a spiced coconut based gravy.

Spices are key given spices from Kerala were traded across the world since the time of Vaso da Gama. This dish is a breakfast staple and is enjoyed with Puttu (a steamed rice / ragi / corn cake) or a fermented dough pancake called Appam. The dish packs a punch of flavors and is loaded with aromatic spices.

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 tablespoon coconut slices
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup brown chickpeas
2 dry red chilies
15 curry leaves
3 green chilies
Water as required
Oil as required
Salt to taste

Masala Paste:
1/2 teaspoon whole pepper corns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup grated coconut
2 pods of cardamom
1 Cinnamon stick
1 petal star anise
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves

  1. Soak & Cook Chickpeas: Soak the chickpeas overnight or for 6 - 8 hours, then pressure cook them for 4 whistles with sufficient water. Keep t
  2. Grind Curry paste: Roast the ingredients under the masala paste section. Cool the roasted ingredients and then grind them with a little water.
  3. Make the Curry: Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start  to split, add the curry leaves, dry red chilies and the sliced coconut chunks. Once the coconut chunks begin to change color, add the chopped onion and green chilies. Saute the onion till it turns translucent. Now, add the turmeric powder and the chili powder and mix well. The prepared ground curry paste and the cooked chickpeas can now be added. Also, add in water around 1 or 2 cups to make the curry runny. Then cook for around 10 - 15 mins in medium flame to reduce the curry to the desired consistency.
  4. Enjoy the curry with Puttu or Appam.

  1. If using tinned / canned chickpeas, there is no need to soak the chickpeas, you can make this dish instantly. 
  2. Coriander seeds and fennel seeds can be substituted with coriander powder and fennel powder respectively.
  3. To get the authentic Kerala taste, use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. 
  4. Once you boil the chickpeas, keep the water in which in the chickpeas were boiled and use it while making the curry instead of using plain water to add a flavor as well as to ensure that you do not loose the nutrients in the water.
  5. Check out our Puttu recipe.

Secret Tip: The trick to making a thick gravy is to soak and boil 1 1/4 cup chickpeas. Then grind the 1/4 cup of chickpeas while making the masala paste and add to the curry to get a thick consistency.

Recipe Courtesy: Maria's menu


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