Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Kadala Curry. A dish from Southern India.

My heart is truly with Asian Cooking, particularly Indian cookery, as, over the years,  before I became vegan, it is how I learnt that meat and dairy are not necessary ingredients.


Whenever I visit my local Asian shop, I always come out with something I haven’t tried before. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave for me.

This time, it was Kala Channa.  Black chickpeas.   They are small, and dark brown in colour.  They are prized because of their high protein and fibre content.

When I finally got around to searching for what I might do with them, this dish came up again and again.

It’s a speciality of Kerala, Southern India.

Often eaten for breakfast.

It’s delicious.  The sauce is creamy, spicy, hot and mellow.

Kadala Curry with Steamed Basmati and Flatbreads

I hope you enjoy.


I soaked the chickpeas for 3 days (changing the water twice daily),  and then cooked them in one big batch.  What I didn’t use in this dish, I froze for future use.

Makes life easier…..



For 4


cinnamon, fennel, cloves, mace and nutmeg

Keralan Garam Masala:

  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground mace
  • 2 cm stick cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp.nutmeg

Prepare: Dry roast the spices in a small skillet for a few minutes.  Avoid burning.  Allow to cool then grind to fine powder.

Kadala Curry:

  • 2 tbs. hot oil, such as grapeseed oil, or vegetable ghee.
  • 500gms. pre-cooked  Kala Channa – Black chickpeas
  • 400ml. coconut milk
  • 40gms. desiccated coconut
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cm. fresh ginger
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 1.5 tsps. keralan garam masala
  • 750ml. warm water


  • Thoroughly combine coconut milk and desiccated coconut.  Set aside.
  • Peel and finely dice onion.
  • Peel and finely chop fresh ginger.
  • Finely chop green chillies.
  • Cut a cross in the top of the tomatoes, and then immerse tomatoes in just-boiled water for 10 mins, then remove skins.
  • Finley dice tomatoes.
  • Grind turmeric, chilli powder, coriander seeds and black pepper to a fine powder.
  • In a deep sided casserole dish, on med-high heat, add 2 tbs. oil.
  • When hot, add mustard seeds and fry until they pop and crackle ( 30 secs.?)
  • Add chopped onion and sauté for 3 mins.
  • Add chopped ginger and green chillies: sauté 1 min.
  • Reduce heat a little.
  • Add spices, including garam masala : sauté 1 min.
  • Add diced tomatoes: sauté for 2 mins.
  • Add chickpeas: saute 1 min.
  • Add salt.
  • Add coconut milk.   Combine.
  • Add warm water.
  • Bring to the boil, and boil rapidly for 8 mins.
  • Reduce heat to lowest setting ( use a diffuser if necessary), cover and simmer gently for 45 mins.

The longer the dish cooks, the more delicious it becomes. Cook for up to 90 mins.

Serve with flatbreads, steamed white basmati and sweet mango chutney.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s