Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Kadala Curry/Ghughni (Black Chickpeas&Coconut Milk)

Black chickpeas are another type of legume, which I frequently add to the regular sautรƒยฉ curries. Compared to white chickpeas, black ones – we call them ‘kaala chana’, like all other colored ingredients, have an earthy taste and a more robust nutty flavor. They not only bring color to the dish and also fill that essential, guilt free protein need. They are the wonder food, that taste good.

Raw black chickpeas, Soaked overnight in water-black chickpeas, Pressure cooked black chickpeas
Black Chickpeas – Raw, Soaked in water and Pressure-cooked

I learned by reading other food bloggers recipes that, black chickpeas cooked in coconut milk based sauce is Keralas favorite dish – ‘The Kadala Curry’. Cooked in tomato-onion sauce without the coconut is Bengalis favorite dish – ‘The Ghughni’. Last weekend I prepared – ‘Kadala curry’ with coconut milk.


1 cup black chickpeas, overnight soaked in water
½ cup coconut milk (homemade watery kind)
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes,
1 medium sized red onion or 4 to 6 shallots
1 tsp of g-g-c paste (Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro)
1 tsp of c-c-c-c powder(Cumin-Coriander seed-Cloves-Cinnamon)
½ tsp of red chilli powder and turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tsp of each, mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves

1. Take black chickpeas in a pressure cooker, add ¼ tsp of salt and 2 cups of water. Pressure-cook them till they are just tender. (Take caution not overcook them.) Drain and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile – roast tomatoes and onions in half teaspoon of oil. When they are little bit cool, grind them to smooth paste. Also prepare coconut milk and g-g-g paste and c-c-c-c powder.
3. Cook 1 and 2 together. In a big sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil, toast popu or tadka ingredients, add the sauce and seasonings and half cup of water. Cover and cook them for about 10 minutes. Stir in black chickpeas and coconut milk and simmer them, stirring in between until the curry reaches the thickness you desire or for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
Serve hot with roti/nan or with rice.

Variation: If you are calorie conscious, you can make this curry without coconut milk. Just increase the amount of tomatoes and onions for sauce – you’ve prepared a traditional Bengali dish ‘Ghughni‘.

Kadala Curry and Roti
Kadala Curry and Roti

Recipe Source: Priya’s Kitchen and Kadchi Ki Kamal.
For Ghughni and its different variations try Google search.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas-Black,Coconut (Fresh) (Tuesday February 14, 2006 at 9:56 am- permalink)
Comments (17)

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17 comments for Kadala Curry/Ghughni (Black Chickpeas&Coconut Milk) »

  1. Oddly enough, I made kala chana yesterday and that was going to be my next post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Shammi — February 14, 2006 @ 11:48 am

  2. Indira, that looks great. Lovely photo too! I spent about 7 years in Calcutta as a child and whenever anyone from Bombay visited us aloo tikki with ghugni was a must try!

    Comment by Ashwini — February 14, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  3. Shammi..This curry caught our(Indian food bloggers) fancy, thanks to Priya. I always liked these black chickpeas and I usually add them fistfuls to curries. Now I can make a curry with them as main ingredient (two versions- Kerala and Bengali).
    Looking forward to your post, Shammi.:)

    Thanks Ashwini.Is my interpretation(cooking without coconut) of ghugni correct, right?
    You asked me about some new camera and site a while back, did you find the information I provided, useful?

    Comment by Indira — February 14, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  4. I love your chickpeas photo! Ingenious idea ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve had an eye on the kadala curry recipe too, but need to wait until the next grocery store trip to pick up some of those black peas.

    Comment by GaramMasala — February 14, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  5. I have heard about ‘kadala curry’ but the ‘ghugni’ is totally new to me.Ok the next time i get black chick peas iam going to try this recipe because each time I end up making sundal with this channa…..

    Comment by BDSN — February 14, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  6. Last year, when I posted my recipe for channa masala, I used kala channa in it, because that is what we had.

    I think I liked them even better than the regular chickpeas. They are chewier, meatier, and they have a delicious earthy flavor that I thought went really well with the tomatoes, cilantro, ginger and onion.

    So, now, I keep both kinds in the house, so depending on what I am making, I can have one or the other.

    Comment by Barbara — February 14, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

  7. Kadala and ghugni are both different things. Kadala curry is what we call kabuli chana in hindi and ghugni is made up of dried green peas.

    Comment by vibz — February 15, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  8. รƒยขรขโ€šยฌร‹ล“Ghughni” for Bengalis is usually made with dried green peas. My mother used to make that atleast once a week to be had with Luchis or Parathas ( the triangular ones) and we loved it

    Comment by Meenakshi — February 15, 2006 @ 2:13 am

  9. Hi Indra
    I’ve been lurking into ur blog 4 quite some. Find it very interesting together with beautiful pixas well. May I ask ur permission to add ur a link to ur blog in mine?

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Puspha. Please do and thanks for the request.

    Comment by Puspha — February 15, 2006 @ 9:12 am

  10. Hi Indira…cool picture. Quite an original idea.

    Comment by Gini — February 15, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  11. I am yet to decide what is my fav. thing about this site, its sensible down-to-earth recipes or its fantastic photos.
    lovely blog!

    Comment by reshma — February 16, 2006 @ 9:14 am

  12. Hi Indira,

    Been really a while since I posted a comment here I guess. But to be frank I am here every day to check out your recipes. I just love your blog and you inspire me to cook different veggies,that too the healthy way :-). Anyway since you tried out a Kerala Kadala curry recipe Kerala girl had to just post a comment on it ๐Ÿ™‚ There is another variety of Kerala Kadala curry which you may like Indira. Just thought will share it with you ๐Ÿ™‚
    In some oil(usually in Kerala they use coconut oil:-) ) saute slices or powder of coconut with little turmeric powder,red chilli,black pepper corn, jeera if u like, 2-3 small onion, 2-3 garlic piece. Once its cool grind this mixture with little water. Put this mixture in boiled Kadala along with salt and let is cook properly .Then u can do the popu with mustard and curry leaves and add to Kadala curry. This goes well with Puttu(breakfast item in Kerala) and Chappathis too.

    Indira replies…
    You know I was looking for feedback from Keralites, like did I do justice? or bastardize the recipe? :).
    I like your recipe… without tomatoes, balck chickpeas cooked mainly in coconut sauce, right? I’ll definitely give it a try with chapatis. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    Comment by Kerala Girl — February 17, 2006 @ 9:25 am

  13. Indira, Coooool! Another kadala curry recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve heard of ghugni made of dried white peas. Apparently, it’s made of garbanzo beans as well. That’s interesting to know. Thank you!

    Comment by Kay — February 18, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  14. This is an interesting Kerala Kadala recipe and the pictures are awesome as always.

    Comment by Sailaja — February 21, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

  15. i just love this website… ! love the pictures! this is awesome, makes my mouth water.

    Comment by dee — February 21, 2006 @ 6:11 pm

  16. Hi Indira,

    I’ve been trying your recipes for the past few consecutive days & we’ve been enjoying everyone of those.. today I made Kadala Curry & moongbean with plantain curry for lunch with hot whole wheat phulkas… the kadala was excellent… i skipped the water in the 3rd step & also I used lowfat coconut milk purchased at the local Trader Joe’s… result was great ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I’m a li’l disappointed with my attempts at the moong bean & plantain curry… the plantains took a really long time to soften.. as a result the moong beans got all mushy & pasty… though the curry still tasted good it didn’t look as presentable as the one you pictured… I guess it was all my fault.. i bought these plantains a few days back & as I couldn’t get round to cooking them the same day I put them in the refrigerator… do you think this was why the plantains took longer to cook?? is it ok to leave the plantains out for a few days b4 cooking ?? would they start turning ripe if I do so ??

    thnx for the gr8 recipes… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Indira replies:
    I am so sorry to hear about your plantain problems Meera. Usually plantains cook very fast. Perhaps for your next try, try adding them little bit earlier and see. First try at a recipe – sometimes the result is uncertain, I know.
    Storing plantains for longer periods in refrigerator – might not be the reason, I don’t think so, because I had prepared this curry with plantains purchased a week ago. They are starchy veggies and they store well, for longer periods.

    Comment by Meera — May 12, 2006 @ 12:50 am

  17. Indira,
    Friday vachina senagalu tho ee kura chesanu, chala bagundi, thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Sreelu — August 26, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

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