Puttu(steamed rice cakes)-Kadala(Chick peas/Channa) curry forms one of the traditional breakfast dishes of Kerala cuisine and one of my favourites. In fact this is one of the speciality dishes of the cuisine and it has become so important that whenever I'm reminded of my homeland-Kerala, Puttu-Kadala comes to my mind! This is a common breakfast item in thattukadas(small roadside tea-shops).
The recipe which I have mentioned below is Kerala style kadala curry. Black chickpeas which have a rough outer skin are used in this preparation. There are two varieties of chickpeas- one that is lighter in colour, larger in size with a smooth outer skin and the other black in colour, smaller in size with a rough skin. Chickpeas is a good source of protein, folate and is very high in dietary fibre. Fat content is low and is a good source of calcium. Its even said that chickpeas has calcium content close to milk and yoghurt!
Black chickpeas need to be soaked in water for eight hours before cooking. The cooked chickpeas are then added to a tomato based gravy(sauce) prepared with sauteed browned onions, aromatic spices and roasted coconut. The combination of spices and roasted coconut imparts a unique flavour to this dish.
Raw chickpeas - 1 cup
Red onion - 1 chopped
Tomatoes - 2 chopped
Grated coconut - 1/2 -3/4 cup
Shallots - 2 sliced
Ginger garlic paste - 1.5 tsp
Chilly powder - 3/4 tsp(adjust according to your tolerance level)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Channa/Chole masala - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt to taste
Coconut oil for cooking
For dry roasting:
2 cinnamon sticks each about 2" long
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
2 star anise
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- Soak the raw chickpeas in enough water for eight hours prior to cooking.
- Cook the soaked chickpeas along with the water used for soaking, enough salt and more water in a pressure cooker till done. In the cooking method I followed, after the first whistle, heat was reduced to low and cooked for additional 20-24 minutes.
- In a pan dry roast the grated coconut at low flame for few minutes.
- When it starts to change colour add the sliced shallots and continue roasting till the coconut turns dark brown.
- This whole process may take about 25 minutes and the important point to be noted is that the heat should always be kept at low. Never hasten the process of roasting by increasing the heat, otherwise you wouldn't get the true flavour of roasted coconut.
- Cool and grind without adding water. The oil in the roasted coconut aids in grinding and water shouldn't be added. Keep aside.
- In the same pan dry roast the ingredients mentioned above at medium heat till the colour slightly changes and you get the aroma of freshly roasted spices.
- Cool and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
- Heat 1.5 tsp of coconut oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
- Add curry leaves and saute till it turns crisp. Do not allow the colour to change.
- Add chopped onions and saute till it turns brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook till it turns mushy.
- Add the ground roasted spices along with chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chole masala and enough salt. Saute till raw smell of spices go.
- Add water used for cooking chickpeas along with ground coconut mixture. You may also need to add additional water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked chickpeas and cook at low heat till the gravy(sauce) turns thick enough.
- Turn off heat and serve hot with Puttu.
Other Breakfast Items:
Other Vegetarian Dishes: