kadala curry recipe or Kerala chickpeas recipe
for cooking the chickpeas:
- chickpeas or kala chana orkadala : ¾ cup black
- water for soaking chickpeas : 2 cups
- 2.5 cups water or the soaked water+fresh water for pressure cooking
for making kerala garam masala:
- fennel seeds : ½ tsp
- mace : 2 to 3 strands
- cinnamon : 1 inch
- cloves : 3
- nutmeg : 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
for coconut paste:
- grated coconut : ½ cup, tightly packed
- water for grinding coconut : ¼ cup to ⅓ cup
- pearl onions or sambar onions : ⅓ cup chopped
- ginger : ½ inch ginger, or about 1 tsp chopped ginger
- green chilies : 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped, about 1 tsp chopped green chilies
- curry leaves : 10 to 12
- mustard seeds : ½ tsp
- turmeric powder : ¼ tsp
- red chili powder : 1 tsp
- coriander powder : 1 tsp
- black pepper powder : ¼ tsp
- coconut oil : 2 tbsp
- water or stock : 1 to 1.25 cups
- salt as required
- First rinse and then soak black chickpeas in the 2 cups of water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. you can also use the white chickpeas instead of black chickpeas.
- Take the black chickpeas in pressure cooker. Add ½ tsp salt to it.
- Add 2.5 cups of fresh water or overall 2.5 cups of soaked water + fresh water. We should not throw away the soaked water of black chickpeas. Add water.
- Stir and pressure cook the chickpeas till you get 9 to 10 whistles or more till they are tender and cooked through. Reserve the stock and keep aside.
- Meanwhile at the time of chickpeas are cooking, take ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut in the grinder jar.
- Add ¼ cup of water and grind to the smooth paste. Add more water if required at the time of grinding. keep the ground coconut paste aside.
- In a small pan, dry roast the following 5 spices till aromatic –fennel seeds, mace, cinnamon, cloves & pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder. Just a light roasting. Do not over do.
- In a small grinder or coffee grinder or the mortar pestle, grind or pound these 5 spices to the semi fine or fine powder. keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan.
- Add ½ tsp of mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Add ⅓ cup of chopped pearl onions or shallots. stir and saute for the minute.
- Then add 1 tsp of chopped ginger, 1 tsp of chopped green chilies, 10 to 12 curry leaves and saute till the shallots turn translucent or to light golden.
- Then add 1 tsp of red chili powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, ¼ tsp of black pepper powder and the ground kerala garam masala. If you already have the kerala garam masala, then just add 1 tsp of it. 1 tsp of red chili powder, makes this curry spicy. so reduce it to ½ tsp for less spicy version. Tomatoes are not added in this recipe. but if you want, you can add 1 medium tomato.
- Stir the masalas very well on the low flame and saute for a minute
- Then add the ground coconut paste. Stir that very well.
- Sauté for about 4 – 5 minutes on the low flame.
- Add the cooked black chana or kadala. Stir that very well.
- Then add 1 to 1.25 cups water or chana stock or both. Stir it.
- Season with required amount of salt and stir again. Do add less salt as we have an added some salt when cooking the chickpeas.
- Let the curry come to boil.
- Simmer till all flavors and chickpeas are well blended. you will also see some oil specks floating on the top in curry.
- Serve kadala curry hot with puttu or appams or steamed rice or rotis or pooris.