Kadala Curry – Bengal Gram or Kala Chana Curry with Coconut and Spices. Brown Chickpea Coconut Curry from South India (Kerala). Serve with rice, appams, dosas or make a bowl with roasted veggies and grains. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Indian Recipe
Brown Chickpeas – Kala Chana or Bengal Gram are the earthier nuttier cousin of white chickpeas. White Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans are generally more easily available. Brown Chickpeas have slowly started getting the shelf spots they deserve in many stores now. These beans are hardy and have high fibre, protein and iron content. These beans cook quickly when pressure cooked. If the beans are old, they will take a long time if cooking in a saucepan.
This Kadala Curry has brown chickpeas that have been cooked to tender in a Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot or Saucepan. The sauce uses onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, coconut and spices that would make a kerala garam masala(spice blend from the state of Kerala). The curry is finished with a mustard seed tempering and served with rice or flatbreads from the southern Indian region. I serve the curry as a soup by itself, or over rice or as a part of a bowl with veggie sides and sliced radishes or cucumbers. It has an amazing flavor profile. Do try it and let me know how you like it in the comments.
Kala chana is also the bean which makes up Besan while the Garbanzo beans make chickpea flour. They are slightly different and behave differently depending on the use.
More Chickpea Recipes
- Mushroom Chickpea Greens soup. GF
- Kala Chana Masala – Sprouted Brown Chickpea Curry – GF
- Masala Chickpea Bowl – GF
- Shawarma Chickpea Buddha Bowl – GF
- Chana Masala – My Chickpea curry – GF
- Curry Leaf Pepper Chickpeas. GF
Serve the chickpea curry as a soup garnished with coconut and crackers. So Good!
- 3/4 cup uncooked brown chickpeas optionally soaked for 4 hours
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut fresh(thawed if frozen) or dried + more for garnish
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 6 curry leaves optional
- a good pinch of asafetida / hing optional, use certified gluten-free if needed
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/3 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 3/4 tsp or more salt
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 dried red chilies
- Bring the brown chickpeas to a boil in 1 cup of water. Discard the water.
- Pressure cook the chickpeas with 2 cups of water for 20 minutes in stove top and 25 to 30 minutes in electric (Manual 30 minutes in the Instant Pot). Let the pressure release naturally.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and toast for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Blend with 2 tbsp of water until most of the coconut breaks down and set aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mustard seeds and let them start to sputter. Add curry leaves and asafetida and cook for few seconds. They will sputter, so be careful.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and cook until translucent.
- Add the ground spices and mix well. for half a min. Add tomatoes and a splash of water and cook until the tomatoes are tender. 5 minutes. Mash the larger pieces.
- Add this mixture, salt and the coconut paste to the brown chickpeas (or vice versa depending on the pan size) and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and heat. Add more water if needed.
- Garnish with coconut. I also usually add a fresh tempering before serving. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 1/4 tsp mustard seeds and 2 chilies and cook for a few seconds. The seeds will start to pop. Drizzle this over the chickpea curry. Serve over rice, cooked grains or with flatbread, appams, dosas etc.
- To make the Chickpea Curry in a saucepan: Soak the brown chickpeas for at least 4 hours in warm water. Drain and add to a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Partially cover and cook over medium heat for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender to preference. Make the Curry mixture and add to the simmering chickpeas and continue.
If using cooked brown chickpeas, use 2 cups.
Nutritional values based on one serving