Kerala Kadala Curry

September 30, 2018mayurisjikoni



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.

kadala curry 3

kadala curry 2

kadala curry 1


Serves 4

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)

For tempering:

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

4-6 cloves

2 tbsp fennel seeds

¼ piece star anise

¼ piece nutmeg

¼ tsp mace powder (javantri)

For garnish:

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Preparation of Kerala Garam Masala:

  1. Roast cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and fennel seeds over low heat till it gives out a fragrant aroma.
  2. Let it cool down.
  3. Grind the roasted spices and nutmeg to a fine powder.
  4. Add mace powder and mix well.
  5. Keep on the side till required.


Preparation of Kerala Kadala Curry:

  1. Soak the chana overnight in warm water.
  2. Next day drain out the water and wash the chana in water.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the remaining oil. Add mustard seeds.
  6. Add chopped onion and saute till it becomes soft and begins to turn light brown in colour.
  7. Add ginger, garlic and the green chilis. Saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and remaining salt.
  9. Mix well, cover the pan and cook till the tomato becomes soft.
  10. Put this cooked tomato mixture, ¼ cup cooked chana and coconut into a food processor and process to a paste.
  11. Add the paste back into the pan along with the cooked chana or chickpeas.
  12. Mix well. If it is too thick add about ½ cup of water. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  13. Add Kerala Garam Masala according to your taste. Mix well, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  14. Take the pan off the heat.
  15. Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over low heat.
  16. Add mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves.
  17. Add the tempering to the curry.
  18. 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.


A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


You may want to check out the following recipes:

idiyappam with vegetable stew
appam or hopper


Sending this recipe to the following event:


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.




  • The Girl Next Door

    October 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    This looks really good! Very inviting recipe, and beautiful presentation too. 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 3, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Rafeeda – The Big Sweet Tooth

    October 8, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I love that you made your own garam masala for this curry! Looks so well made… it goes really well with puttu and with plain rice too! Love how your gravy looks…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks Rafeeda, will definitely try out this curry with puttu next time.

  • shobhakeshwani

    October 8, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Kerala style kadala curry looks so delicious, specially the coconut and spices bring out the taste. Our style is just with caramelized onions and basic spice powders.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Shobha and yes this was also so different for me as we add a bit of chana flour and make it without onions or garlic.

  • Vidya Narayan

    October 8, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Freshly ground masalas with kadala is the key to a good curry. Flavourful and the perfect breakfast treat with appams, dosas or idiappams. Filling, healthy and delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 8, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks Vidya.. yes we enjoyed it thoroughly but for lunch and you’re right love using freshly ground masalas.

  • Amrita

    October 9, 2018 at 7:32 am

    This looks so amazingly delicious! Freshly ground masala makes it even more awesome!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 12:39 am

      Thanks Amrita.

  • Priya

    October 9, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    classic kadala curry..full of proteins too…very nice

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Thank you Priya.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    October 10, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Mayuri the kadla curry is so delicious. I liked the garam Masala you have made. It sounds so very aromatic. Thanks to your the Masala I will definitely enjoy the kadla curry. This is so different from the general curry I make. It was a pleasure interacting with you.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks Archana and getting to know you a bit more is a good feeling.

  • Priya Suresh

    October 10, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    You guys are killing me with these delicious, nutritious and protein rich kadala curry, feel like finishing that bowl.. Irresistible to the core.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Sujata Roy

    October 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Kadala curry looks absolutely delicious Mayuri. So flavourful and mouthwatering. Loved your click. Red chilli over the curry looks gorgeous. Lovely share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you so much Sujata.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    October 12, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Kadala curry looks super yum and delicious. Love your detail explanation. Yes we do come back after the disaster but unfortunately it leaves a lot of bad memories

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Renu and yes disasters leave a bad memory but then one has no choice but to move forward.

  • Anu Kollon

    October 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Adding freshly ground masala with enhance the flavor of the curry to a different level. This curry looks amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much Anu.

  • poornima

    October 15, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Kadala curry looks delicious. I always fall for the gravy made by freshly ground masalas. Loved it!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you so much Poornima.

  • Kalyani

    October 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I thought I commented here, earlier:-) anyways…
    Kadla curry and puttu is somethign that my sister makes very well. I loved ur recipe Mayuri and bookmarking to try it soon !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 17, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you so much, next time will have to try it with puttu.

  • Aruna

    October 17, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Kadala Curry is so synonymous with Kerala and there are so many variations of the recipe out there; each great it in its own right. As you know, I made a no-onion, no-garlic version in honour of Navratri and will try your version soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Yes I read your no onion and garlic version and also realised that there are so many versions. I tried the one with onion and garlic as usually the Gujarati style I make we don’t use either.

  • jayashreetrao

    October 18, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    I often make black chana at home. Shall try this version sometime as the masala recipe too is given. Looks tasty.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    October 22, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I love the authenticity with wich you have first created the masala podi and then the curry itself. To this date I too follow the same recipe

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 22, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks Seema, I love making fresh masala at home.

  • poonampagar

    October 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Freshly ground masala surely adds more flavors to any dish. Love this recipe and the gorgeous color of the keraka kadala curry.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 22, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam.

  • PepperOnPizza

    October 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    This is the prettiest Kadala Curry I have seen, Mayuri! The recipe is very interesting and flavourful, with the addition of the paste of roasted coconut, cooked kadala and tomatoes and the fresh roasted spices. The aroma must have been heady when you were making the curry!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 22, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you so much Sujata, the smell was definitely very good. The curry flavor was very satisfying as it had a variety of spices.

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