Kadala curry is a Kerala delicacy served alongside traditional breakfast dishes like puttu, idiyappam and appam. Boiled black chickpeas is simmered in a delicious coconut gravy and the result is a yummy and filling side which goes even well with Malabar paratas. There are several variations of this curry but almost all of them have coconut, which is integral to Kerala Cuisine. You can use white chickpeas in case you don’t find the black ones to make this delectable vegan side.
1 cup black chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 pearl onions, roughly chopped
3 Thai green chilies, minced
5-6 curry leaves
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dried red chilies
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 cup grated coconut
1.5 tablespoons coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 green cardamom
1 one-inch piece cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 star anise
1. Soak chickpeas overnight in water. Pressure cook for 4 whistles the following morning with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and little salt. Drain and reserve the water.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Roast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns and star anise until well roasted and fragrant. Add pearl onions and grated coconut. Roast till coconut turns reddish brown. Grind the coconut, onions and spices to a smooth paste, adding little water and set aside.
3. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add dried red chilies and curry leaves. Let it cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add finely chopped onions, green chilies and red chili powder, cook till onions turn soft.
5. Add 1/2 cup of reserved water and bring it to a boil.
6. Add ground coconut paste, cooked chickpeas and salt. Mix well and cook till curry reaches desired consistency. The curry usually thickens after a while, use more reserved water if necessary.