Kadala curry is a spicy black chickpeas curry from the Kerala cuisine. Gluten-free and vegan.
Course: main course
Author: Dassana Amit
for cooking the chickpeas
¾cupblack chickpeas(kala chana or desi chana or whole bengal gram or kadala)
2cupswaterfor soaking black chickpeas
2.5cupswateror the soaked water+fresh water for pressure cooking
for kerala garam masala
2 to 3strands of mace
3pinchesof grated nutmegor nutmeg powder
for coconut paste
½cupgrated coconut,tightly packed
¼ to 1/3cupwater for grinding coconut
other ingredients for kadala curry
1/3cupchopped shallotsor pearl onions (sambar onions)
½inchgingerchopped, about 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 or 2green chilieschopped, about 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
10 to 12curry leaves
1teaspoonred chili powder
¼teaspoonblack pepper powder
1 to 1.25cupsof 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. Here's a pic of the soaked black chickpeas. 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 1/2 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 1/2 cup tightly packed grated coconut in a grinder jar. Add 1/4 to 1/3 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 - 1/2 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 over do.
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.
making kadala curry
Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a pan.
Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add 1/3 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, 1/4 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 1/2 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 kadala curry again.
Let the kadala curry come to a boil and the gravy reduces a bit. The flavors 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.