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Kadala Ularthiyathu | Kadala Mezhukku Puratti

Kadala ularthiyathu | Kadala varattiyathu - Traditional Kerala Preparation With Bengal Gram

Bengal gram or Black Bengal gram is a widely used pulse In Kerala. The so called chana dal or karutha kadala is extensively used in Kerala as a side dish for many Kerala breakfasts. Kadala curry and Tamil Kadalai sundal are need to be remembered due to its popularity. When you call for the best combination for Puttu, people will ask Kadala curry ,where the black bengal gram is stewed in spicy coconut gravy. A very tasty combination and you will find this in small street shops to five star hotels of Kerala.  Due to the rich protein content of Kadala, the kadalai sundal is widely prepared in Tamil Nadu and is given to children regularly to assure the protein intake among vegetarians in Tamil Nadu.

When we talk about the Kadala ularthiyathu, this can be made in so many different ways. But today, I am sharing that recipe which my mother used to make at home. In the beginning, she used to add only the sauteed spices in cooked Bengal gram, later suddenly she starts to prepare in this way. This became so trendy in my house that she never tried the older version any more. I am sharing the same  technique with some alterations. I prefer this for Kids lunch box along with poori as she and her friends are fond of this delicious Bengal gram stir fry and demanding more.

So let us start preparing the recipe - ginger, onion and garlic are unavoidable ingredients. Spices should be adjusted according to your taste. So the step by step pictorial explanation and the recipe is as follows.


 Kadala Ularthiyathu or Kadala Varattiyathu Recipe || How To Make Kadala Mezhukkupuratti At Home || Esay And Tasty Black Bengal Gram Stir Fry 

Kerala Style Bengal Gram Stir Fry

Preparation time: 8 hours | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Total time: 8 hours and 10 minutes



  • 1 cup black Bengal gram / karutha kadala or kala chana
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2" piece ginger
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  •  1 tablespoon hot chili powder
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


Direction of preparation of Kadala ularthiyathu

The Bengal gram which we call black kadala in Malayalam is available in the market as the dried version with a long shelf life period. So this need to be soaked overnight or at least eight hours before cooking. So soak 1 cup of dried Bengal gram in normal water and keep aside for one night. By the next day, it will absorb water and will turn soft. Wash at least three times with fresh water and drain and keep aside. 
  1. The pressure cooking is best for Bengal gram as it has a long cooking point. So Transfer all the soaked and cleaned Bengal gram into a small pressure cooker. The pot method is time consuming and if you prefer, you can go for the pot method too.
  2. Put the spices like onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. You can add up to two medium sized onions as onion improves the taste and texture of this dish. The ginger and garlic not only influence the taste, but also give helps to resolve the gastric problems. Adjust the amount of green chilies to your taste, but we will use chili powder at the end, so not more than two should be added. 
  3. Pour enough water to the cooker. The water level should be at least one inch above the Bengal gram level. Then pressure cook for one whistle for high flame and three to four whistles on high flame. 
  4.  Once the pressure settles down, open the lid and check where the Bengal gram is soft or not. If still hard, you have to pressure cook again. Make sure there is enough water left in the cooker if not, add enough hot water and cook again. To check the Bengal gram, press one cooked bengal gram with your fingers, soft means cooked.
  5. Transfer the entire content into a wide wok and put enough salt, curry leaves and chili powder to taste. While adding chili powder, do a taste test and add to your taste as we have already put two green chilies while cooking the bengal gram. 
  6. Switch on the flame and cook till all the water evaporates. This dish tastes good in both thick and semi-thick consistency. So stop cooking when you get the desired consistency. 
  7. Drizzle some fresh coconut oil and close the lid for next ten to fifteen minutes so that the flavors infuse nicely into the curry. 
  8. You can do the same recipe with white bengal gram or vella kadala also. But I recommend the black one for best taste. Serve with poori, chapathi, uppumavu or puttu. Enjoy.
Happy cooking

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