Speedy recipe (under 15 minutes) for spicy black chickpeas curry (കടല കറി) from Kerala

Here is a quick and easy recipe for spicy black chickpeas curry that my mom, Sarala, taught me.

Utensils needed:

Pressure pan (~3 L capacity, preferably with a weighted valve)

Frying pan

Blender

Ingredients:

¾th of a cup of black chickpeas (soaked overnight for ~8 to 9 hours)

¾th of a cup of grated coconut

15 mL coconut oil

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp red chilly powder

¼ tbsp mustard seeds

½ tbsp turmeric powder

A small onion (½ cup of finely chopped onion)

A pinch of salt

Cooking time: ~12 to 15 minutes (Need ~8 to 9 hours of overnight soaking of the black chickpeas)

Injury warning: There is a significant risk of scalding or severe burn injuries if the pressure pan is not handled properly. Always make sure that the pressure pan lid, the rubber O-rings and the pressure valves are functioning properly and there are no leaks. Never attempt to open the pressure pan when it is hot. Always make sure that the pressure pan is at room temperature before attempting to open the lid.

Recipe:

¾th of a cup of black chickpeas. Soak the black chickpeas in a strainer immersed in a pan of water overnight (~8 to 9 hours).

Rinse the black chickpeas thoroughly to remove any dirt or contaminants. Make sure to remove any discolored (blackened) chickpeas.

Add the overnight soaked black chickpeas and 2.5 cups of water to the pressure pan.

Close the lid of the pressure pan and start cooking the black chickpeas in low flame.

When the steam starts to vent ever so slightly, place the weight on the weight valve nozzle of the pressure pan.

Cook for ~8 to 10 minutes after the placement of the weight on the weight valve nozzle.

While the black chickpeas is cooking in the pressure pan, add 10 mL of coconut oil into a frying pan

Heat the oil in the frying pan in low flame. When the oil is sufficiently hot, add ¾th of a cup of grated coconut to the oil and fry it until the coconut gratings are light brown in color.

Add 1 table spoon of coriander powder (മല്ലിപ്പൊടി) to the fried coconut gratings and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds. Turn off the flame under the frying pan. Add 1 table spoon of red chilly powder and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds. To prevent the blackening of the red chilly powder, make sure that the stove is turned off before adding the chilly powder to the frying pan.

Pour the coconut gratings mixed with coriander powder and red chilly powder, along with a cup of water, a dozen curry leaves and ½ cup of finely chopped onion, into a blender. Grind the mixture to a paste like consistency in the blender.

Let the pressure pan with the black chickpeas cool down to room temperature. Do not attempt to open the pressure pan when it is hot. Attempting to do so can result in severe burn injuries.

Add the paste in the blender to the cooled down black chickpeas in the pressure pan. You can rinse the blender with ½ cup of water to salvage any ground paste in the blender jar.

Fry ¼th tablespoon of mustard seeds (കടുക് ) in 5mL of coconut oil. Make sure the frying pan is covered to prevent any oil spatters.

Add half a tablespoon of turmeric powder and cook everything together in low flame, while stirring thoroughly, bringing it to a boil. Remove the curry from the stove. Add the fried mustard seeds along with a pinch of salt to the hot curry and stir thoroughly.

The Kerala style black chickpeas curry is ready to serve.

How to serve:

Traditionally this dish is served along with steamed rice cakes (പുട്ട്), rice, chapattis. Also, this dish can be served on its own, akin to a spicy soup.

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