Video guide to making Kerala-style spicy Kadala or black chickpea curry

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serve: 4


200 gms kadala or black chickpeas (soaked)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 cardamom

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp ginger (crushed)

1 tbsp garlic (crushed)

1 cup onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

1 ½ tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp red chilli powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp garam masala

1 sprig curry leaves

2 cups of water

one pinch of asafoetida

1 tsp coriander leaves


To temper

1 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 tbsp diced coconut

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 shallots (chopped)

2 dried red chillies

1 sprig of curry leaves



Step 1:

Rinse black chickpeas and soak them for four hours. Drain the water and rinse them again. Keep it aside.


Step 2:

Heat two tablespoons of coconut oil in a pressure cooker or pan over a medium flame.


Step 3:

Add cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaf, and sauté for a few seconds.


Step 4:

Add crushed ginger and garlic, and sauté over a medium flame until the raw smell dissipates.


Step 5:

Add chopped onions and salt. Sauté until the onions become translucent.


Step 6:

Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. Sauté over a low flame until the raw smell dissipates.


Step 7:

Add chopped tomatoes. Sauté well until the tomatoes soften. Add garam masala and mix well.


Step 8:

Add the soaked chickpeas and a sprig of curry leaves. Cook them over medium flame for 5 to 6 minutes without adding water. This process enhances the colour and taste of the curry.


Step 9:

Add water and mix well. Pressure cook the chickpeas for approximately 3 to 4 whistles or until they are tender and cooked. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure to release naturally.


Step 10:

Open the lid and stir the curry well. Boil the curry again until the gravy slightly thickens or until it reaches the desired consistency. Add a pinch of asafoetida and mix well. Turn off the flame and remove it from the stove.


Step 11:

Finally, heat coconut oil in a pan, splutter the mustard seeds, add diced coconut, and fry them until they become light brown. Add cumin seeds and chopped shallots. Sauté for a few seconds. Add dried red chillies and curry leaves. Sauté until the dry red chillies are brown, then pour it over the curry.

Garnish the curry with coriander leaves, ready to be served.

Recipe courtesy: Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes.

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