Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kadala Curry (Kerala style)

Srinivasan uncle was one of my dad’s very good friends.  We used to visit him occasionally during summer vacations.  His wife, Vanaja Akka, is a wonderful cook.  She made the best puttu I have ever had.  In fact, she introduced me to puttu and kadala curry.  On one of my recent visits, she came home and made it again for me.

Kadala Curry
I don’t have a puttu maker (a long tube like contraption) and so have never attempted to make it.  I make the kadala curry quite often though, and serve it with idiyappams.

I was telling my friend the menu for my party and the things I was making- vazhapoo vadai, baby idlis, idiyappam, ishtew, and kadala curry.   She wanted me to make everything for her on her next visit, except the kadala curry.  I realized that she did not know what it was.  In tamil – kadala means peanuts.  So I was sure she was thinking that this is a peanut dish. I sent her pictures after I made it.  She has now added this to her list also.

I like to sprout my kala channa for this dish.  So three days before I need the channa, I soak it in water overnight.  Then I drain out the water, put the channa in a colander, cover it with a wet paper towel, place the whole thing in another bowl with a little bit of water in it and let it sprout.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups kala channa (brown chick peas), either sprouted or soaked overnight
  • ½ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 6 – 8 red chilies
  • 1” piece of cinnamon
  • 3 - 4 cloves
  • 1 cup grated coconut (I used frozen)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (or any other oil)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • salt to taste

Here is how I made it:

  1. Boil the chana in a pressure cooker with a little bit of salt and hing.  Set aside.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies cinnamon and cloves for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the coconut and keep stirring till the coconut turns golden brown. This takes a little time, especially if you are using frozen coconut.  Let this cool for a bit.
  4. Grind this to a smooth paste with a little bit of water.  Set this also aside.
  5. Heat oil in a big pot.  Add the mustard and cumin seeds.
  6. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the curry leaves and onions.  Turn heat to med-low.
  7. Keep stirring this till the onions are nicely browned.
  8. Add the turmeric and fry for a couple of minutes.
  9. Now add the ground paste.  Fry this on low till the moisture is gone.
  10. Add the cooked channa and water if necessary.  Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary.
  11. Let this simmer for a while till the channa absorbs all the flavors.

Serve hot with idiyappams, appams, or puttu.

This is another great crock pot recipe.  Once I added the channa to the pot, I took it off the stove and stored it in the refrigerator.  About an hour before my guests arrived, I put it in a crockpot and set it on low.  It had simmered perfectly, just in time for dinner.

Sending this flavorful Kadala Curry to  the "My Legume Love Affair" event hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The MLLA's 61st edition happening this month was originally conceptualized by Susan and is being managed by Lisa.

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