Kadala curry or chickpea curry in roasted coconut and spices gravy/curry for appam, puttu, chapathi, dosa etc (popularly known as varutharacha kadala curry) is a a very popular and easy South Indin Kerala style kadala curry recipe or chickpea curry (usually made using black chana or kadala). In this recipe I used vella kadala or the white chana (chickpeas) to make the same traditional Kerala dish.
This is a South Indian Kerala style chickpea curry made in roasted gravy with spices, which is very popular in Kerala and its enjoyed with Kerala breakfast puttu and also enjoyed with other breakfast items like appam, chapathi, poori, idli etc.
This chickpea curry in roasted coconut gravy is also great with white rice or brown rice.
Kadala curry recipe means chickpea curry recipe in malayalam language and varutharacha kadala curry recipe means chickpea curry made with roasted coconut which is grind to blend with exotic spices.
The word nadan means its a regional recipe popular in Kerala and vella kadala curry means this is made using white chickpeas.
This is a South Indian Kerala style chickpea curry recipe which is made with a gravy of roasted coconut and spices which tastes absolutely delicious.
It makes a great side dish for rice or Kerala breakfast dishes like puttu, appam, chapathi, poori, dosa etc.
What Is The Roasted Coconut Masala Blend Used For This Kadala Curry?
As I mentioned earlier, the malayalam word “varutharacha” means roasted and grind (here it means roasted and grind coconut). See in the below picture, the ‘varutharacha masala’ or kootu for kadala curry prepared in the food processor, you may also add a little water to make a more smooth paste if you wish.
Basically, we roast the coconut and spices in a pan or kadai until light brown and grind the mixture together in a food processor. This is the masala that we use here to make this Kerala style kadala curry.
By the way, if you want to prepare the chickpea curry in coconut gravy, but do not want to go through the roasting of coconut and spices, here is an easy one pot coconut chickpea curry which is also very delicious!
The word “kadala” in malayalam means chickpeas. This kind of Indian chickpea curry recipe made with roasted coconut which is grind with spices to form an exotic blend is very popular in Kerala (southernmost state in India) used as the base for this Indian chickpea curry.
Authentic Kerala style chickpea curry is made using black chickpeas (known as black channa or kala channa in hindi language or karutha kadala in malayalam language), but nowadays we use different colored chickpeas for the preparation including white chickpeas (vella kadala) or even green chickpeas (green channa).
I used vella kadala or white chickpeas (white garbanzo beans) to make this chickpea curry.
You can buy dry chickpeas here.
What To Serve With Kerala Kadala Curry (Kerala Style Chickpea Curry/Chana Masala)?
This chickpea curry with roasted coconut and spices, known as varutharacha kadala curry recipe is very delicious and is used for breakfast as a side dish for popular Kerala breakfast items like puttu (steamed rice flour based dish), appam(pancakes made of fermented rice & coconut milk batter), idiyappam, dosa etc and also popularly served with chapathi, poori etc for breakfast or dinner.
Also you can enjoy this as a side dish with idli which is another popular Kerala breakfast, and I like this also with upma which is also another easy Kerala breakfast. This delicious chickpea curry can also be used as a side dish or gravy with cooked rice for lunch or dinner.
In fact, this Indian chickpea curry with roasted coconut in spices gravy is one of the most popular vegetarian curry recipes in Kerala state.
This South Indian Kerala chickpea curry is vegan as well as a very healthy vegetarian curry recipe as we use very little coconut oil and also very healthy spices for the preparation.
Also chickpeas is very healthy with lots of fiber content and protein in it and it makes a good source of protein especially for those who follow a plant based diet like vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
We make the base for the gravy first using the roasted coconut and spices and then we cook the chickpeas in it using a pressure cooker. And we make this dish using a pressure cooker which makes it easy to cook the lentils very fast.
You can either use canned chickpeas directly for this recipe or you can use dried chickpeas which needs soaking prior to cooking. I am using dried chickpeas here so let us see how to make this varutharacha kadala curry using dried chickpeas and coconut & spices from scratch at home.
How To Make Kadala Curry?
As I mentioned earlier, you can use black, white or green colored chickpeas to make this recipe. I have used the white chickpeas here for the preparation of this chickpea curry (this is also known as vella kadala curry).
Chickpeas need to be soaked at least about 6 to 7 hours which will make it soft and helps to cook faster, so I usually soak it in some water overnight so I can use the soaked chickpeas for cooking the next day morning.
If you are using canned chickpeas, you can skip the soaking part.
We need the following ingredients to make this easy Kerala style kadala curry or chickpea curry.
Ingredients To Make Kadala Curry
coconut grated or shredded
red chili powder
curry powder (optional)
garam masala powder
cumin seeds powder
dry red chilies
Steps To Follow (The Process)
Rinse the chickpeas very well and soak it in enough water overnight or soak it for 7 to 8 hours at least.
After the soaking is done, drain the water, wash the chickpeas again and keep it aside.
To make the masala
Heat a pan and dry roast the grated coconut in low heat, keep stirring so it won’t get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
Also add all the spices tothe pan, and roast for another few minutes or until its all roasted but not burnt.
Grind the mixture of roasted coconut & spices in a food processor. We are grinding the mix without any water here, so just don’t use the water yet but if its absolutely necessary, you may add a little water to help with the grinding.
To Make Kadala Curry
Heat coconut oil in the pressure cooker (make sure to use a large sized pressure cooker which is enough to hold the cooked contents). Add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the red chilies and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
Add the garlic and ginger, fry for couple of minutes.
Add the sliced onion and fry for few minutes until the onion slices are lightly browned.
Add the chickpeas also to the oil and mix the chickpeas with the seasoning and saute for few seconds.
Now add the prepared masala to the chickpeas saute for another few seconds.
Add the salt and water, mix everything well.
Close the pressure cooker with the lid (Make sure you have put the safety valve and followed all guide lines in the manual for safety reasons) and cook in medium heat for about 4 to 5 whistles or about 12 minutes in medium heat once the steam begins to come.
After about 12 minutes of cooking, switch off the stove, and wait for the pressure cooker to cool down.
Once the pressure cooker is cooled enough, you can open the lid and see if the chickpeas are cooked and soft. Mix well the contents and simmer for few minutes if needed, and the delicious chickpeas curry or Kerala style kadala curry is ready!
Can You Make This Kadala Curry Without Coconut?
The specialty of this Kerala style kadala curry is its masala which is prepared using roasted coconut and spices which adds much flavor to the recipe. If you wish to skip the coconut but want to retain some of the flavors, you may just roast the spices alone and make the curry. However it won’t have the exact same texture, flavor or taste without the coconut, but I am sure it still will be very delicious.
If you want to try more chickpea recipes that do not have coconut as an ingredient, here I have some other Indian style chickpea recipes you can try:
- kadala curry without coconut
- instant pot chana masala
- instant pot chickpea curry with canned chickpeas easy recipe
- best chana masala recipe
Below you can see the easy Kerala kadala curry recipe in detail.
Kadala Curry With Roasted Coconut (Easy Kerala Chickpea Curry)
- 2 cups dry chickpeas
- 2 cups coconut grated or shredded
- 1 small sized onion finely chopped
- 5 cups water (plus more water for soaking chickpeas)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust as needed
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons crushed ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 4 tablespoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 string curry leaves
- 5 dry red chilies
To prepare the chickpeas
- Wash the chickpeas and soak it in some water overnight or you can soak this for 7 to 8 hours at least.
- Once the soaking is done, drain the water, lightly wash the chickpeas and keep it aside.
To roast the masala ingredients
- Heat a pan, dry roast the grated coconut in low heat, keep stirring so it won't get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
- As you are roasting the coconut, add all the spices to the coconut in the pan, and roast for another few minutes or until the coconut is very well roasted. The coconut turns dark brown in color and become quite oily, but make sure it is not getting burnt in the pan. The roasted coconut (which looks brown now) along with the roasted spices gives a nice exotic aroma.
To Prepare The Masala
- Now let us grind the mixture of roasted coconut & spices in a food processor. We are grinding the mixture without any water here, so just don't use the water yet. However if really needed, you may add a little water to make the grinding easier.
To Make The Kerala Chickpea Curry (Kadala Curry)
- Heat oil in the pressure cooker (make sure to use a large sized pressure cooker which is enough to hold the cooked contents) and let us make the seasoning first. You may also add the seasoning at last instead of preparing it in the beginning, but making this ahead makes things more easier so I am doing it this way here but you can always make it at last and pour it over the dish which will look more appealing. So let us do the seasoning now.
- As the oil in the pressure cooker is heated enough, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the red chilies and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the garlic and ginger, fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the finely sliced onion and fry for few minutes until the onion slices are browned (or turn transparent in color).
- Now add the chickpeas (which is already drained and water content is removed) gently to the oil. You can use a long handled spatula to transfer the chickpeas gently to the hot oil without splashing the oil.
- Mix the chickpeas with the seasoning and saute for few seconds.
- Now add the prepared masala of roasted coconut & spices mix (which is made to a paste in by dry grinding the mix) to the chickpeas saute for another few seconds.
- Add the salt and water, mix everything well. Now this is ready to be cooked.
- Close the pressure cooker with the lid. Make sure you have put the safety valve and followed all guide lines in the manual as this is important for safety reasons while using a pressure cooker.
- Cook in medium heat for about 4 to 5 whistles or about 12 minutes in medium heat once the steam begins to come. Chickpeas need more time to get soft and cooked compare to most other small sized lentils.
- After 12 minutes of cooking, you can switch off the stove, and wait for the pressure cooker to cool down.
- Once the pressure cooker is cooled enough, you can open the lid and see if the chickpeas are cooked and soft.
- Mix well the contents, simmer for couple of minutes if needed and the delicious chickpeas curry which is ready to serve now!