Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kadala Curry / Black Chickpeas (Kala Channa) Curry

Kadala Curry is from traditional Kerala cuisine. Boiled black chickpeas or kala channa are cooked in a spicy, roasted coconut based gravy. It is easy to prepare and goes well with appam, puttu, dosas or rice.


Black Chickpeas/Kala Channa - 1 cup
Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Green Chilli - 2, slit vertically
Ginger, minced - 1 teaspoon
Garlic, minced - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 1 large, thinly slices
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder  - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1  teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

For Masala:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon - 1 inch long piece
Cloves - 6
Cardamom - 4
Fennel - 3/4 teaspoon
Green Chilies - 3
Shallots - 8, peeled (or use 1 medium onion, chopped)
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1 heaped cup

For Seasoning:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds -  1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 8 to 10
Dry Red Chillies - 2 to 3
Onion - 1 medium, chopped

  1. Wash chickpeas and soak in enough water for 7-8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Pressure cook the chickpeas for about 3-4 whistles, until they are soft but still firm and hold shape. If have forgotten to soak or have no enough time in hand, you could pressure cook the chickpeas with enough water for at least 7-8 whistles, depending on the size of your pressure cooked.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a pan. 
  4. Add slit green chillies, saute until they turn slightly whitish in color.
  5. Now add minced ginger and garlic. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  6. Next add slices onion and saute until they turn translucent in color.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt. Cook on medium flame until the tomatoes soften and the spice powders are well cooked.
  8. Mix the cooked chickpeas along with the water used for cooking. Simmer on low flame.
  9. Meanwhile, to prepare the masala, in another pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil.
  10. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fennel seeds. Saute for 5-6 seconds.
  11. Next add slit green chillies and saute until they turn whitish in color.
  12. Add shallots and saute until they turn soft. 
  13. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and grated coconut. Roast on medium flame until the coconut turn slightly brown.
  14. Using little water blend all the sauteed masala ingredients into a smooth paste. Add this paste to the cooking chickpeas. Mix well and continue to simmer on low flame for about 10 minutes more. Check salt and water, adjust accordingly. The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin.
  15. Meanwhile to prepare seasoning, in a small pan, heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil.
  16. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds stops spluttering, add chopped onion and saute until they are slightly brown. Season this on the cooking gravy and turn off the heat.
  17. Serve hot.

  1. Using coconut oil gives the authentic taste. If you do not have a liking for the oil, you can use any other cooking oil that has a neutral flavor.
  2.  It is very important to cook the chickpeas right. They must be soft and al dente. If they are over-cooked, they will turn mushy and not give the desired taste and consistency.
  3. Using fresh coconut or frozen coconut is advisable as dessicated coconut will not give the desired taste.