Chickpea & Coconut Curry (kadala)

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 55 mins
  • Servings: 6


    • 2 cups dried garbanzo beans (400g) or 4 cups of cooked or canned chick-peas, drained
    • 1 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon thinly sliced and chopped fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon of ground pure red chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 6 fresh curry leaves (optional)
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • cilantro, for garnishing


  1. If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight in plenty of water, then drain.
  2. Place soaked chickpeas in a large pot with plenty of fresh water, bring to the boil for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour, or until chickpeas are tender.
  3. Alternatively you can pressure-cook the dried chickpeas according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. When the chickpeas are cooked, or if you are using canned chickpeas, put them aside.
  5. Next, heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat, and dry-roast the desiccated coconut, reducing heat as necessary- it is important to stir continuously, as the coconut will readily catch and burn.
  6. As soon as the coconut starts to brown remove the skillet from the heat, and immediately place the coconut in a blender bowl- if left in the skillet it will become dark brown and bitter.
  7. Add ginger, turmeric, chilli, coriander powder and a little water to the blender bowl and grind to a fine paste.
  1. Heat the oil in a clean pan and saute mustard seeds until they start to pop and release their aroma.
  2. Add onion and curry leaves and saute and stir a further minute or two.
  3. Add coconut paste and cooked chickpeas, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.
  4. Add 1 cup coconut milk and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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