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Kadala Curry

Kadala Curry is a side dish for Puttu, a traditional Kerala breakfast. The curry goes well with many dishes like Idiyappam, Appam, Chappati, Parotta and Dosai too. Idiyappam and appam are generally served with sweetened coconut milk or Stew and this curry is a good option as spicier side dish.


Ingredient you’ll need:

1.5 cups Black chickpeas, immerse in hot water in hot pack (this method helps in reducing the soaking and cooking time) for least 5 hours.

1 tbsp Oil
1 purple Onion, finely chopped
2 Green chilies, slit length wise
1 tsp Ginger – garlic paste
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chili powder or to taste
1/2 tbsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 cup lite Coconut milk
1 Sprig Curry leaves
Salt to taste

Roast and grind to a paste:
2 tsp oil
2 Cloves
1″ cinnamon stick
6 peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
4 Shallots – sliced
3 tbsp grated Coconut


Discard the water in which the chickpeas soaked. Pressure cook the soaked black chickpeas in 4 cups of water with 1 tsp salt up to 5 whistles.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp of oil, add 2 Cloves, 1″ cinnamon stick, 6 peppercorns, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 4 Shallots (sliced) and 3 tbsp grated Coconut. Roast and grind the ingredients with 2 or 3 tbsp of water to make a thick paste.

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil and add chopped onions and green chilies. Saute them for a couple of minutes and add ginger-garlic paste.

As the onions begin to cook and raw flavor of ginger and garlic is gone, add:  turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder. Stir a couple of times to prevent the spices from burning. Add chopped tomatoes, optional ingredient: store-bought tomato paste (if the tomatoes aren’t tart and juicy). Let the tomatoes deglaze the onion and spice powder mixture and cook in its juice for 5-6 minutes.

Once the chickpeas is cooked, Add them along with the water in which they cooked. Let the chickpeas cook along with the onion-tomato and spice mixture for 7-8 minutes for the spices to blend into them.

Add the ground paste and garam masala powder, adjust salt. If the curry is too thick, add 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of water. If the curry is too thin, continue to cook till they reduce in quantity. The curry tends to thicken after coconut milk is added and sits for a while.

Add the coconut milk and roughly torn curry leaves simmer for 5-6 minutes and drizzle a tbsp of coconut oil before removing from heat.

Serve with Idiyappam, Puttu, appam, chappati or Dosai.

The Below pic is the same recipe but used thicker coconut milk and a pulpier variety of tomato.


Happy cooking.

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November 2017
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