Kerala Kadala Curry

Kadala curry is made from black chickpeas or Kala channa. It is usually served with puttu (steamed rice cake with coconut layers) as breakfast in Kerala. You can also serve this curry with boiled rice and vegetables on the side.

Chickpeas are high in protein, fibres and minerals. A cup of chickpeas provides 1/3 of adults daily protein needs.

This Kadala curry is definitely vegan and gluten-free. In some recipes, they make use of adding Kerala garam masala, its nothing but your normal garam masala with addition of fennel seeds. The fennel seeds give a nice aroma and flavour to the curry. I have also used roasted coconut which adds that extra flavour and creaminess to the dish.

This kadala curry can be served with puttu, rice, chapatis or puris.

Kerala Kadala Curry

Preparation time:15 min

Cooking time:30 min

Total Time:45 min

Yield: 4-5 servings


  • 1 cup Kala channa (soaked overnight)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chillies, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • salt to taste

For tempering

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked chickpeas and water. Pressure cook the chickpeas for 4 whistles or until cooked.
  2. In a pan add grated coconut and saute on low flame till it turns brown. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Let it cool down and blend it in a blender with a little water until smooth. Keep it aside.
  3. In a pot, add oil, onion and green chillies. Saute till the onion turns brown. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell disappears.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, pepper powder and garam masala. Saute till the tomatoes become mushy.
  5. Add the ground coconut paste and the cooked chickpeas.
  6. Add salt. Simmer the curry for 10 minutes.
  7. For tempering: In a pan add oil, once the oil becomes hot add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle add curry leaves and asafoetida.
  8. Pour the tempered mixture over to the kadala curry. Give it a mix.
  9. Serve hot with puttu or rice.

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