Kadala curry - Kerala recipe

Kadala curry in Kerala is an amazingly spicy dish made with desi channa or kala chana or dark variety of kabuli chana or also known as kadala in south India which is mixed with aromatic Indian spices, curry leaves and cooked in exotic and spicy roasted coconut based freshly ground masala. The kadala curry is traditionally served during breakfast with puttu. Kadala curry or the black channa curry can also be eaten with roti, chapatti, naan etc.

In Kerala there are some food that has unbeatable taste especially the fish curries, mutton stews, egg roast or kadala curry and naturally the list still goes on and on.. Traditionally puttu (steamed rice balls) tastes exceptionally best when served along with kadala curry and this combination is a very popular breakfast dish all over the state of Kerala. Puttu with kadala curry is truly an irresistible dish, divine and scrumptious to taste.

Kadala curry prepared in Kerala has a unique and distinctive taste and flavour. It is made with a wonderful freshly ground masala made with fresh grated coconut which is roasted until brown with some coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala powder, chopped tomatoes and ground to a fine paste. This masala enhances the taste of the desi chickpeas giving the chanas a wonderful and spicy taste.

The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a great legume of the family Fabaceae. Its seeds are high in protein and fiber content.  There are actually two main kinds of chick peas, one is the desi which is small, darker seeds and a rough coat which is cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran. Second is the kabuli which is lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat mainly grown in southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chile also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent.

Desi means country or local in Hindi and is also known as bengal gram or kala chana. This has a very low glycemix index which makes them suitable for people with blood sugar problems. Generally pulses are low in fat & cholesterol, high in dietary fiber and rich in protein making them an excellent heart healthy food choice with various health benefits. Kadala curry or Chana masala is best eaten at breakfast or lunch times so that it gets digested by the time you go to sleep as it is a bit heavy on digestion during dinner.

For preparing this luscious and mouth-watering Kadala curry, firstly soak the kadala or kala channa overnight in water and cook in a pressure cooker for about 3 to 4 whistles. Cool and drain the water and keep aside for making gravy.

Heat a pan and add very little oil. Add fresh grated coconut and mix. Cook till the color slightly changes and leaving out a nice fragrance. Switch off the flame and add red chilli powder, coriander powder, Kerala garam masala, turmeric powder and few chopped tomatoes. Grind all ingredients to a fine paste.

In another pan, add some oil and when it becomes hot, add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, sliced coconut, hing, chopped onions, salt, curry leaves, garlic and ginger slices. Mix well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes and then add the roasted coconut masala, green chillies and cook for 2 mins. Add boiled chana or black chickpeas and cook for 10-15 minutes. Once done, add chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Tip: Generally the gravy tends to thicken a bit after sometime, so adjust the gravy accordingly.

I am sure the taste of this curry will linger your taste buds for a long time and shall intense your craving for more. Do try this recipe and enjoy the authentic flavors from Kerala cuisine.

For viewing the making of Kadala curry, click on the link below:


Enjoy Cooking!