Black Chana Curry

Black Chana Curry is a popular dish from Kerala that is usually served with Puttu. In our household this dish is usually prepared and served with idlis as we rarely make puttu. There could be many variations that use Kerala Garam Masala but this recipe is followed at home. Give this variation a try if you haven’t, definitely worth it ☺

Though Black Chana Curry is not Vysya Cuisine, I love to have it with idlis, dosa, appam and idiyappam other than Puttu. It is fondly called as kalla masaal at home. Now, to this yummy recipe ☺!!

Serves: 3-4


Kadala (a) Black Chana: 1 cup
Salt: as required

To Fry & Grind:

Dhaniya: 3 tsp
Red Chilli: 5
Cinnamon: 1” piece
Poppy Seeds: 2 tsp
Pearl Onions: 15
Coconut: ½ cup
Oil: 1 tsp
Cooked kadala: 1/3 cup


Rinse and soak the black chana i.e. kadala in water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Pressure cook adding little salt and required water for at least 5 whistles or until cooked.

Drain the excess water and keep the cooked Kadala aside.

Reserve the water too.

Peel the skin and rinse the pearl onions and keep this ready.


In a pan add oil and fry dhaniya, red chillies and cinnamon for few minutes until it turns aromatic.

Then add poppy seeds and fry for a couple of minutes.

Next, add pearl onions and sauté until the raw smell goes.

Switch off the flame and sauté coconut for a couple of minutes.

Allow everything to cool.

In a mixie add the cooled mixture and 1/3 cup of cooked kadala and grind to a smooth paste adding required water (You can use the reserved water too)

In a saucepan add the cooked, drained kadala, ground paste, required salt and required water(according to your preferred consistency, I added 1.5 cups of reserved water) and allow everything to cook.

Switch off the flame once it starts to boil.

Quick Peek:

Black Chana Curry Collage

Serve with hot steamed idlis or puttu. Enjoy!!

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