Kadala curry (black bengal gram curry)

Nutritious and tasty, Rasheed's gram curry makes a perfect partner with puttu, a classic rice and coconut dish
Kadala curry (black bengal gram curry)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: medium



  • 150 g whole black Bengal gram lentils, soaked in water overnight

For the spiced coconut paste

  • 75 g grated coconut
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 100 ml water

For the curry base

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 3 green chillies, shredded
  • 1 piece ginger, (3cm)shredded

Tips and Suggestions

Bengal black gram is sold from Asian grocers and health food shops.


1. Drain the soaked Bengal gram and place in a pressure cooker. Pour in water to cover and pressure-cook for about 20 minutes until the gram is tender. Alternatively, boil in a saucepan with water for about an hour. Leave to cool in the cooking liquid and set aside while you make the coconut paste.

2. Toast the coconut, coriander seeds, red chillies and fennel seeds on a griddle over a moderate heat until golden. Grind the coconut mixture in a food processor with a dash of water until it becomes a smooth paste. You could also use a mortar and pestle.

3. In a separate pan, heat the coconut oil and toss in the curry leaves, shredded coconut, chillies and ginger. Stir and fry for about a minute before tipping in the cooked gram along with about 150ml of its cooking liquid.

4. Stir in the toasted coconut paste, bring the curry to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes before serving it with puttu (a steamed ground rice and coconut staple from South India).

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