Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Black Chickpeas / Kadala Curry

Innu (today is) Kerala Piravi Dinam. Keralites or Malayalees around the world celebrate November 1st as "Kerala Piravi", which in my mother tongue means the day Kerala was formed on the face of earth. So today's post is for God's own country, my very own Kerala.

One of the most popular breakfast variety in Kerala is 'Puttu & Kadala curry'. Kadala curry is a gravy of sorts with black chickpeas often made in earthen ware. Puttu, a form of rice cake was traditionally steam cooked in coconut shell. When I was a child my mother used to prepare the dish in this manner. It was a wonderful experience and brings back fond memories. Though the cookware may have changed over time, the fondness I share for this dish lingers on. At home back in Kerala we often pamper ourselves with this super breakfast. Over our stay in UK, this dish rarely made it to our dining table, as ground coconut is not quite easily available. 'Puttu' along with fish or chicken curry is also a much loved combination!

Yesterday when Nikhil saw that I had soaked some kadala (Black Chickpeas) in water, he was very happy. With a grin he asked if I was planning to cook puttu and kadala the next day. Later in the day, I had finished cooking the curry, we had an unexpected visitor from an agency for a routine check of the building. As soon as he stepped in, the whiff of well roasted ground coconut and spices caught his attention. He said the aroma from kitchen is too inviting :). Below I have detailed a simple recipe and here's hoping that the aroma in your kitchen turns heads and hearts both...

Black Chickpeas/ Kadala Curry 

Black Chickpeas/ Kadala Curry with Puttu

1 cup Black Chickpeas/Kadala
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Green chillies, slit
1 cup Grated coconut 
Fennel seeds, few
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilly powder
3 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Curry leaves, few
Mustard seeds, few
Dry red chillies, few
Coconut oil, as per need
Salt, to taste

  • Soak the Black Chickpeas/Kadala overnight and cook in a pressure cooker till soft . (I wait for two whistles and then on reduced heat cook further for 3 or 4 more whistles. Let it cool completely before opening.) Drain the water and save it for later. Use it while grinding the roast coconut and boiling black chickpeas/Kadala again.
  • Heat some coconut oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and brown the dry red chillies and then add the curry leaves. Remove this from pan and add it into the cooked black chickpeas/Kadala.
  • Heat around 1 tsp of coconut oil in the pan again and add the finely chopped onions. Saute it till done and add the green chillies. Saute for few more seconds. Remove this as well from pan and add it to the cooked black chickpeas/Kadala retaining some chopped onions in pan.
  • Now add the grated coconut to it (pan with some sauteed onions). Roast until it turns reddish brown.  
  • Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, crushed black pepper and saute for a few seconds. Let the mixture cool. Add fennel seeds and grind it to a paste.
  • Meanwhile bring the cooked black chickpeas/Kadala with some water (reserved earlier) to a boil and then add the ground coconut mixture. 
  • Mix well and cook until the gravy achieves your desired consistency.  Add salt as per your taste.
Notes : Serve hot with puttu or rice. The gravy tends to thicken a bit over time, so adjust the consistency of gravy as per choice.  If you want to add a hint of tanginess, you could add a finely chopped tomato along with roasted coconut mixture to the cooked black chickpeas/Kadala. 

                                  ♥ Thank you ♥


  1. I tried this over the weekend... Came out well ... :) goes well with dosa and chapathi also... :) Thank you Namu... do post many recipes... ;)

  2. hey thank you Gayu :D more n more recipes coming sooon :)

  3. Tried this recipe...came out very well....thanks Namitha

    1. happy to know that Renjana :D I also wanted to add two updates to this recipe.
      1. To roast few sliced pearl onions/shallots along with the grated coconut.
      2. To brown coconut slices (thenga kothu)along with mustard seeds, dry red chillies & curry leaves.


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