03 December, 2011

Kadala Curry- Black Chickpeas in Coconut Milk

Kadala, generally refers to the Black Chickpeas or Kala Chana. Though I prefer the Garbanzo Beans, White Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana over the black ones, I've found that the Black Chana that we get in the north are smaller in size and doesn't taste as good as the ones we get in Kerala.

I prefer using fresh ingredients, but for this one I used ginger garlic paste to coconut milk, all store bought. Using fresh ingredients definitely enhances the taste.  I usually make a good amount of this curry, as it is too much work, so why not work once and enjoy it many times. It does taste better the next day. We usually don't make this curry with coconut milk. The first time I added coconut milk, it was purely out of necessity as I was serving the curry the second day with Puttu (steamed rice flour cakes) so it needed more gravy and I did not have much time at hand. Everyone just loved the curry with coconut milk. Now I prefer making it with coconut milk.

Serves 8 (don't worry you can always halve the recipe or cook once and refrigerate like I do)
Preparation time: 10mins
Soaking time: 8 hours
Cooking time: 30minutes

Ingredients I used:
  • 2 cups Kadala, Kala Chana, Black Chickpeas
  • 3 medium sized Onions
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • ¾cup Tomato puree
  • 9tbsp Coconut milk powder
  • 2tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1tsp Red Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp Fennel seed powder
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala 
  • 3tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

1. Soak the chickpeas in water for at least 8hours or overnight.

2. Cook the chickpeas with salt and water until soft. Drain and save the water.

3. Add the coconut powder to 3cups of the drained water and mix well.

4. Slice the onions and slit the green chillies.

5. Heat the oil in a pan, saute onion and green chillies, until the onion starts to brown on medium heat.

6. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to minimum and add coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, fennel seeds powder and turmeric powder.

 8. Stir for a minute and add tomato puree, mix well. Cover and cook it till the oil starts to separate.

9. Add the chickpeas to this and add salt and mix well.

10. Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Serve with appams, puttu or rice.

1. If you do not want to add coconut milk, just reduce the amount of masala and tomato puree a little, unless you really like spicy food.
2. You can totally avoid adding red chilli by adding more green chilles or vice versa.
3. If using fresh coconut milk, add it just before switching off the heat. Adding coconut milk will thicken the gravy after sometime so ensure enough amount of liquid in it.
4. I used large onions but you can use shallots/ pearl onions if you have the patience.

Health and Nutrition

  • Chickpeas are low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Dietary Fibers, Proteins, Coppers and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.
  • Coconut Milk is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Manganese. 
  • Coconut milk is very high in Saturated Fat.


  1. Excellent combination of black chickpeas with coconut milk. Looks simply delicious.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. This is one of my favorite and looks absolutely tempting!

  3. a next door Kerala aunty makes these & they taste awesome! lovely clicks! :)

    Please do participate in my ongoing events:
    Jingle All The Way &
    Microwave Easy Cooking
    Kavi (Edible Entertainment)

  4. OMG! am drooling here...love it!

  5. excellent combo of chick peas n coocnut milk..!!

  6. delicious and healthy recipe... looks fabulous..

  7. Delicious n excellent combo with puttu!!

  8. delicious kadla curry, looks yum..

  9. Your pics are too good!!!


  10. Thank you all for the the sweet comments.

  11. Hi Anisha, Kadala curry is one amongst my long list of favorites from Kerala.I note that you live in Perumbavoor. Is this your ancestral place or have you moved in recently? I too hail from Perumbavoor - my grandfather had moved in there from Koovapady/Thottuva(some 80 years ago).
    Have a great week end.Best Regards

  12. Just mouthwatering...looks so easy to prepare & delicious!

  13. Looks yummy.....Will try sometime.

  14. wow looks mouthwatering...Just hopped in here n went through ur blogs... loved the way u narrate..

    happpy blogging n enjoy cooking....

  15. Is there any substitute for coconut milk. I hate coconut :(


    1. I can understand your dislike towards coconut, at a point of time I couldn't stand it but off lately I love it.

      You can completely omit coconut milk, please refer to the notes. :)


  16. Amazing recipe and great photography. looks so tasty recipe. thankyou for shearing this information with us!chowringhee laxmi nagar

  17. 3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you actually kill fat by eating Coconut Fat (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from large medicinal magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!


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