Kerala Style Kadala Curry / (Black Chickpea Curry Cooked In Coconut Gravy)

Kerala Style Kadalai Curry / Black Chickpea Curry in coconut gravy – a popular breakfast delicacy in Kerala usually served as an accompaniment with puttu, idiyappam or appam. The black chickpeas are cooked along with onion, tomato and freshly prepared coconut flavoured garam masala. The highlight of this dish is the freshly prepared kerala style garam masala paste that gives this dish a distinct and unique taste. The addition of coconut oil and coconut milk enhances the aroma, flavour and texture of the dish and gives a finishing kerala touch to this recipe.

I have adapted this recipe from renowned Chef Venkatesh Bhat from his You Tube channel Venkatesh Bhat’s Idhayam Thotta Samayal.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serving: 4 to 5


Black channa /Black Chickpea (cooked)2 cups (300 gms)
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Onion (medium size)1
Small onion / Shallotsaround 20
Tomato (medium size)3
Green chilli1 1/2
Gingersmall piece
Coconut oil2 to 3 tablespoon
Coconut milk1/2 cup
Saltto taste
Curry leavesfew
Coriander leavesto garnish

To roast & grind: (Kerala style garam masala)

Shredded coconut4 tablespoon
Fennel seeds1 teaspoon
Cloves4 to 5
Cinnamon1 inch
Black pepper corns10 (or 1 tsp if crushed)
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri chilli powder1 teaspoon
Coriander powder2 teaspoon
Nutmeg powdera pinch


  • Soak 2 cups of black channa / black chickpeas overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours. Pressure cook the black channa for 3 to 4 whistles. Drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Kerala style garam masala – Heat a pan, add 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut and dry roast it to golden brown colour. This will take approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Once it has changed colour, place it in a plate to cool down. To the pan, add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 4 to 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 10 black peppercorns and 1 maze. Dry roast all the ingredients for about a minute in low flame until it gives out a nice aroma. To this add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder, 2 tsp coriander powder and roast for 30 to 40 seconds in low flame until the raw smell of the powders go away. Switch off the flame and add a pinch of nutmeg powder (around 1/8th tsp). Mix well. Transfer this to the plate containing roasted coconut. Allow all the ingredients to cool. Transfer this to a blender and grind it first to a coarse powder. Add 1 cup water and grind it again to a paste.
  • Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. Chop the green chillies and ginger and mash the ginger and green chillies using mortar and pestle.
  • Grind 3 tomatoes in a blender and make it to a puree.
  • Heat a pan, add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon coconut oil. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and chopped regular onion. Sauté the onions. When the onions are half cooked, add the small onions / shallots. Sauté until the onions are transparent and well cooked.
  • Add the mashed green chilli-ginger paste and cook for few seconds or until the raw smell goes away.
  • Add the tomato puree and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Add 1 cup water, mix well and cook for few seconds.
  • Add the freshly ground kerala garam masala paste. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until all the masala is blended. Now add the pressure cooked black channa. Add salt. Add 1/2 cup water. Mix the contents well and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Before switching off the flame, add about 1/2 cup coconut milk. Mix well. Switch off the flame. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with puttu / Idiyappam / Appam

Check out my other recipe with black chickpea gravy:


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