Kerala Kadala Curry
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: KERALA CUISINE
It is truly sad that Mother Nature can create so much destruction in a beautiful part of the world. Kerala had its share of disaster when it got flooded due to excessive amount of rainfall. It is believed that it was the worst flooding in over a century in this state that is known as God’s Own Country. Many people died and about a million had to be evacuated. I cannot image what they must have gone through to lose their homes, to leave places they are familiar with and to lose loved ones. It is believed that it will take nearly 2 years for Kerala to recover from all the damage that the floods caused. It will result in loss of tourism as the infrastructure has been destroyed. Aid has been pouring from so many organizations and people in general but to build a state back to its former glory is going to take a lot of effort, dedication and zeal. However, it is possible as we’ve seen time and again the people of India rebuild their lives, homes and states from disasters.
For this month’s theme of Kerala Cuisine my partner was Archana Gunjikar Potdar who blogs at The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen. Her blog has many healthy recipes and what I like is the menu planner. She gave me curry leaves and cinnamon as my secret ingredients and I gave her coconut oil and tamarind.
Archana made a delicious, lip smacking dish Avarakka Theeyal (Broad Beans in Coconut Tamarind Sauce), something that I’d love to try out. Please check out her recipe.
I decided to make Kerala Kadala Curry. Kerala is a state that is rich in spices so I wanted to make a spice blend to use for a curry. Ideally I would have loved to try out avial but that will have to wait till another time. As I was browsing for recipes where I could use cinnamon, I came across Kadala Curry which is basically brown chana or chickpea curry cooked with a special Kerala spice blend. Ideal to have with some rice, appam or with dosa, I decided to serve it with rice flour rotis. It definitely tasted so different from the usual Gujarati style masala chana I make.
KERALA KADALA CURRY
1 cup brown/red chana (chickpeas)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ cup finely chopped onion
1-2 green chilis -slit into halves
1 tomato, finely chopped
½ cup grated fresh coconut
¼ tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1-1½ tsp Kerala Garam Masala
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chillis
1 sprig curry leaves
For Kerala Garam Masala:
1 one inch cinnamon stick
8 green cardamoms
2 tbsp fennel seeds
¼ piece star anise
¼ piece nutmeg
¼ tsp mace powder (javantri)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Preparation of Kerala Garam Masala:
- Roast cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and fennel seeds over low heat till it gives out a fragrant aroma.
- Let it cool down.
- Grind the roasted spices and nutmeg to a fine powder.
- Add mace powder and mix well.
- Keep on the side till required.
Preparation of Kerala Kadala Curry:
- Soak the chana overnight in warm water.
- Next day drain out the water and wash the chana in water.
- Put the chana in a pressure cooker with 1-1½ cups of water. Add 1 tsp salt and pressure cook the chana of 3 whistles over medium heat or till done.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Roast the coconut in it till it becomes a bit dry and pinkish in colour. Remove the coconut from the pan.
- Add the remaining oil. Add mustard seeds.
- Add chopped onion and saute till it becomes soft and begins to turn light brown in colour.
- Add ginger, garlic and the green chilis. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and remaining salt.
- Mix well, cover the pan and cook till the tomato becomes soft.
- Put this cooked tomato mixture, ¼ cup cooked chana and coconut into a food processor and process to a paste.
- Add the paste back into the pan along with the cooked chana or chickpeas.
- Mix well. If it is too thick add about ½ cup of water. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add Kerala Garam Masala according to your taste. Mix well, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over low heat.
- Add mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves.
- Add the tempering to the curry.
- Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with kallappam, rice, or rotis.
- I added the water that the chana was cooked in to the curry.
- This curry is usually thick based.
- Its best to use freshly ground spices for extra flavor, however if you have ready made Kerala Garam Masala you can use that.
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Shhh Cooking Secretly a group started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes, is where every month food bloggers are paired up and give each other 2 secret ingredients to cook with according to the theme chosen. If you’re interested in joining this exciting group then please leave a message in the comment section. Thank you.