Kadala curry is a fiery and utterly delicious South-Indian side dish, that is served along with delicacies such as Puttu, Aapam and more. There are many ways to make this dish but irrespective of the version, the principle behind the dish is the same, and that involves combining the wholesomeness of boiled black chana with the heady flavors of some choice roasted spices and the sweet and somewhat woody flavors of coconut.




  1. Black Chana – 1 cup
  2. Onion – 1/2 cup, chopped
  3. Corriander seeds – 3 heaping tbsp
  4. Kadala Paruppu – 1 tbsp
  5. Red Chillies – 3 -4
  6. Coconut – 1/2 cup
  7. Tomato – 1 , roughly chopped (Optional)
  8. Coconut oil – 2 tsps
  9. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Curry leaves – a handful
  11. Salt – as needed


  1. Soak the black chana overnight. Cook in adequate water for 4 whistles or until cooked. Keep aside.
  2. Toss the corriander seeds and the Channa Dal into a heavy-bottomed pan and dry roast them roast on medium-low heat until they turn a couple of shades darker and a good aroma emanates.
  3. Add the red chillies and roast for another minute.
  4. Add the roasted coconut and saute for a couple of minutes more. Turn off the heat and throw in the chopped tomato. Let sit for 5 mins.
  5. Grind into a smooth paste, the roasted mixture along with 2 tbsps of the cooked chana. Use water as required. (Note 1)
  6. In the same pan, heat the oil. Splutter the mustard seeds and throw in the curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and a sprinkling of salt and saute until the onions are browned. Add the ground paste and cook for 5 minutes or so. (Note 2)
  7. Now add the cooked black chana/Kadala along with the water. Add salt. Bring the gravy to a boil. Serve hot with puttu, aapam, dosa or ldlis.


  1. Just the paste can be made beforehand and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months. When it’s time to make the curry, follow steps 6 and 7. If making the paste beforehand, omit the cooked beans while grinding. Mash a handful of cooked beans and add to the gravy at the time of cooking.
  2. I’ve used coconut oil here, but you could use any neutral oil of choice.
  3. You could also freeze the fully cooked dish for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

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