Kadala Curry a Kerala Dish
Kerala Kadala curry is a very popular and traditional dish of Kerala. Kadala curry and puttu are made for each other. Kadala curry goes well not only with appam and puttu but also with dosa, idiyappam, poori and chapati. It is so easy to prepare and tastes great.
PREP TIME:8 hours 30 mins COOK TIME:25 mins TOTAL TIME: 8 hours 55 mins
RECIPE TYPE: Side dish CUISINE: Kerala SERVES: 4
Kadala curry – spicy black chickpeas curry from the Kerala cuisine. gluten free and vegan recipe.
(measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
For cooking the chickpeas:
- ¾ cup black chickpeas/kala chana/desi chana/whole bengal gram/kadala
- 2 cups water for soaking chickpeas
- 2.5 cups water or the soaked water + fresh water for pressure cooking
For Kerala garam masala:
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 to 3 strands of mace
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
For coconut paste:
- ½ cup grated coconut, tightly packed
- ¼ cup to ⅓ cup water for grinding coconut
- ⅓ cup chopped shallots or pearl onions/sambar onions
- ½ inch ginger, chopped, about 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 or 2 green chillies, chopped, about 1 tsp chopped green chillies
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 to 1.25 cups of water or stock
- salt as required
Pressure cooking chickpeas: (check notes on cooking chickpeas in a pot/pan)
- First rinse and then soak the black chickpeas in 2 cups water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. You can also use white chickpeas instead of black chickpeas.
- Take the black chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Add 2.5 cups of fresh water or overall 2.5 cups of the soaked water + fresh water. I usually do not throw away the soaked water of black chickpeas. Add ½ tsp salt.
- Stir and pressure cook the chickpeas for 10 to 12 whistles till they are tender and cooked through.
Preparing coconut paste:
- Meanwhile when the chickpeas are cooking, take ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut in a grinder jar. Add ¼ to ⅓ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
- Keep the ground coconut paste aside.
Preparing Kerala garam masala:
- In a small pan, dry roast the following spices till aromatic – ½ tsp fennel seeds, 2 to 3 strands of mace, 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder. Just a light roasting. Don’t overdo.
- In a small grinder or coffee grinder or a mortar pestle, grind or pound these five spices to a semi fine or fine powder. Keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a pan.
- Add ½ tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Add ⅓ cup chopped shallots. stir and saute for a minute.
- then add 1 tsp chopped ginger, 1 tsp chopped green chilies, 10 to 12 curry leaves and saute till the shallots turn translucent or a light brown.
- then add 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, ¼ tsp black pepper powder and the ground kerala garam masala. if you already have kerala garam masala, then just add 1 tsp of it. 1 tsp of red chili powder, makes this curry spicy. so reduce to ½ for a less spicy version.
- Stir the masalas very well and saute for a minute on low flame.
- Then add the ground coconut paste.
- Stir very well.
- Saute for 4 to 5 minutes on a low flame.
- Then add the cooked black chana or kadala. stir very well.
- Then add 1 to 1.25 cups water and stir.
- Season with the required amount of salt and stir again.
- Let the curry come to a boil and the gravy reduces a bit. The flavours and chickpeas should also be well blended.
- Serve kadala curry hot with puttu or appams or steamed rice.
For cooking chickpeas in a pot. add the soaked chickpeas and 2.5 to 3 cups water in a pot with the salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Later on a medium to high flame, cook the chickpeas till they are tender.