Kerala Kadala Curry.

Kerala Kadala Curry Recipe / Kerala Puttu and Kadala Curry Recipe.

Puttu and Kadala Curry / Kerala Style Puttu Kadala Curry / Kerala Brown Chick Peas Curry.

Kadala Curry, something is missing with it for breakfast, isn’t it? Yes, that is our favourite Puttu, Kerala’s traditional and very popular dish prepared with Rice flour and Coconut and steamed in a metal Puttu Maker or Puttu Kutti. This combination is every Malayalees’ dream item for breakfast, and they confess by it.

Kadala Curry tastes great and it is so easy to make. Kadala curry goes well with Appam, Idiappam and even with Chappathi and Poori. It is cooked in a smooth coconut and masala paste, like Fennel seeds, Corriander and Chilli Powder etc. Keralites make kadala curry with black chick peas. But North Indians usually use Garbanzo peas.

There are two versions of making Kerala Kadala Curry, one with and the other without coconut. Onion and Tomato paste is the base of kadala curry without coconut. Today we go for Kerala Kadala Curry with roasted coconut. Either way it tastes great.

India is the world’s largest producer of Chick peas, where it is being called in different names as Bengal gram / Desi Chana / Kabuli Chana / Black chana / Kadala etc. Here people often get confused. Black chana / Kala Chana is small, dark brown in color with a rough coat. It is a power house of nutrients, rich in fiber, proteins and vitamins. Another variety is called Garbanzo Peas. It is bigger in size in comparison, beige colored with a smooth coat. Actually there is no much difference between the two; the only difference lies in their names, depending upon their country of production. Spanish people call it as Garbanzo, while in U K it is called as Chick Peas. It’s flour is used to make lot of dishes. Garbanzo beans are rich in fibre content, an excellent source of protein and good for treating blood sugar patients. Desi chana has far more anti-oxidants than kabuli chana or garbanzo peas. Both come from the same plant species called Cicer Arietinum.

It is often eaten as soups, falafel and salads with other items. It is a popular ingredient in Indian and Mediterranean diet for making curries.

The recipe of authentic Kerala Kadala Curry goes like this..

Servings: 6

Ingredients Required for Nadan Kadala Curry:

For Cooking Kadala:

Bengal Gram / Karutha Kadala – 1 ½ cup
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
Salt – to taste
For roasting and grinding:
Coconut (grated) – ¾ cup
Fennel Seeds – ½ tbsp.

Other Ingredients:

Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.
Onion (sliced finely) – 1 big
Green Chilly (slit) – 2
Tomatoes (sliced) – 2
Chilli Powder – 1 ½ tsp.
Coriander Powder – 1 ½ tsp.
Turmeric Powder – 1 ¼ tsp.
Homemade Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp.
Water – as required.

For the seasoning:

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp.
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp.
Dry Red Chillies – 1
Shallots (sliced) – 1
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig.

How to Make Kerala Kadala Curry:

Soak Chick peas in water overnight or at least for 5 hours. Wash it and drain it. Pressure cooks Chick peas with enough water on medium heat with ¼ tsp Turmeric powder and little salt for about 20 minutes. After the first whistle put it in simmer and wait for next 3 more whistles. It will take minimum 20 minutes. Switch off the stove and let the steam go all by itself. When steam go away, drain it and keep this water for mixing it with the gravy later.

Chop all veggies and keep it ready.

Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a wok and add fennel seeds. When color starts changing, add grated coconut. Dry roast it till it gets golden brown color. Now add all those powders and mix it well till the raw smell of spice powders leave. Switch off the stove and let it cool for few minutes. Now put it in the blender and puree it finely. Keep it aside.

Take a pan and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add sliced onions and sauté till onions are translucent. Add green chillies, crushed ginger and garlic and sauté it well for few seconds. Add curry leaves. Saute until everything turn light brown. Add tomatoes to this and cook it until it becomes mushy. Now add garam masala and mix it well. Now add water that you have reserved from the cooked chana. When it comes to boil, add the coconut paste into it along with cooked chick peas. Simmer it for 15 minutes until all the masala gets well coated on the chana and oil floats on top. Remove the pan from the stove and go for the final step of seasoning.

In a pan add 1 tsp of oil, 1 tsp of mustard seeds. When it splutters add dry red chilly and shallots. When it turns golden brown add curry leaves. Switch off the stove. Switch off the stove. Pour the seasoning in to the curry. Mix it well until everything gets blended well. Do the taste test and add salt if required. Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Now this mouthwatering Kerala Kadala Curry is ready for serving. Serve it with puttu, Kerala Palappam or Kerala Vellayappam.

My Recipe Notes on Nadan Kadala Curry:

1. Chana will get double in size while soaking.
2. Back home we add squared coconut pieces before adding veggies in oil for the other version of this recipe with just for onion and tomato paste.
3. If you add shallots or pearl onions instead of big onion, the curry will be more tasty.
4. To speed up the process, you can add little salt while cooking onion and tomatoes.
5. For getting the curry to be more reddish, add 1 tsp of Kashmiri chilly powder, in that case avoid using green chillies.
6. After cooking kadala in the pressure cooker, take 2 spoons of cooked kadala and smash it to a coarse paste. Add this to the gravy mix in the end so that the gravy gets more thick.
7. You can roast and grind whole spices, 2 cardamoms, 1″ cinnamon, 3 cloves while roasting coconut instead of adding garam masala powder in the end.
8. Also you can substitute garam masala with meat masala or chicken masala powder as well.
9. Adjust the liquid accordingly while cooking, because the gravy tends to thicken after some time.
10. While grinding coconut its better not to use water. If needed you can use the reserved water from the cooked chana.
11. It is better to be served on the same day, but it lasts in the fridge for a couple of days.

Happy Cooking.. Cheers.. Seena.


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നാടൻ കടല കറി റെസിപ്പി.

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 40 mins Calories: 452 / 44 grams


Kadala Curry is one of the famous dishes from Kerala. Here we explain how to make homemade Kerala Kadala curry. It goes well with Puttu and Kerala Palappam.

Keywords: Kerala, kadala curry, nadan, black chick pea, homemade, lentil, authentic, breakfast, side dishes.

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