Kerala Style Chickpeas In Roasted Coconut Gravy/Thenga Aracha Kadala Curry

 Weekends are the perfect time for elaborate breakfast in my house.  Everyone looks forward for a Keralite breakfast.  I love to recreate my childhood memories tied to each one of these breakfast items.

Growing up in North India for some time gave me exposure to North Indian cuisines.  But when we moved back to Kerala, my Mom tend to favor Kerala dishes, as all the ingredients for Keralite dishes were either freshly picked from the yard or readily available. She would get up early morning around 5:00 am and make a Keralite breakfast for us.  Then prepare our lunch box for school.  Not sure how she managed to do all those.  As opposed to her, I am not a morning person and I prefer to cuddle under my blanket on those cold mornings by snoozing the alarm several times.    But on weekends, I get pumped up and will wake up early to make a good breakfast.  

Back in Kerala, we had lot of banana trees in our yard, which might had made my Mom to go for Puttu (steamed rice cake) and banana as one of our usual breakfast option.  I was never a big breakfast person then, and would end up drinking a glass of milk and rush for school.  Mom will save the Puttu mix for the evening.  She will make a batch of fresh Puttu for us in the evening when we are back.  She would then mix the ripe banana with the streaming hot Puttu and feed us.  She did the same for us even when we were in college.  Even though I preferred the Puttu and Kadala Curry combo, I enjoyed those tiny warm Puttu and banana balls my mom rolls in her hand and gives us.  The love and care she packed in each handful of Puttu tasted better than anything else.  Nothing tastes better than a meal prepared with a mother's love and affection.

Here is the easy recipe for the Kadala curry, that is cooked in the thick roasted coconut gravy and a blend of spices.  Its a perfect combo with Puttu or even with rice or appam.  Hope you will try this combo.

Theses measurements are using standard measuring cups and spoons.


To pressure cook

1 cup - dry brown chickpeas

2 cups - water

1/2 tsp - salt

Other ingredients

1/4 cup - shallots sliced

1.5 tsp - ginger chopped

6 big cloves - garlic sliced

1/3 cup - grated coconut

2 - medium sized tomatoes chopped

1 tbps - coriander powder

1 tsp - Kashmiri chili powder

1 tsp - chili powder

1/2 tsp - turmeric powder

1/2 tsp - garam masala

salt to taste

1.5 tbsps - coconut oil

2-3 sprigs - curry leaves

1 cup - water


1 tbsp - coconut oil

1/2 tsp - mustard seeds

2  tsp - shallots sliced

1-2 - dry red chili

2 sprigs - curry leaves


  • Wash and soak the dry chickpeas in enough water for overnight.
  • Discard the water and add the soaked chickpeas to a pressure cooker.  Add 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt; cover and cook till 6-7 whistles blows.  Turn off the flame and let the pressure subside completely.
  • In a separate pan, add coconut oil.  Add the chopped shallots, garlic and ginger and sauté till light brown color.  Add the grated coconut and roast on low heat till light brown color.  Now add the coriander powder, chili powders, turmeric and garam masala.  Cook on low heat till the raw smell goes away.  Add the chopped tomatoes to it and cook till it gets mushy.  Let the mix cool down.
  • Transfer the mix to a blender's jar, add 1/2 cup of water and blend it into a smooth paste.
  • Add this paste into the cooked chickpeas in the pressure cooker followed by additional 1/2 cup of water and curry leaves.  Adjust the salt and cook without the lid.
  • Once the gravy thickens to the desired consistency, turn off the flame.
  • For tempering, splutter the mustard in 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan.  Add the sliced shallots and dry chili.  Cook till light golden brown.  Turn off the flame and add the curry leaves.
  • Add the tempering into the chickpeas curry and immediately close the lid.  Let the flavors infuse for 5-6 minutes.
  • Serve the chickpeas curry with steaming hot Puttu/rice cake.

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