Sri Lankan Kadala Recipe: A Flavorful Journey into Island Cuisine

If you’re in search of a hearty and exotic dish to tantalize your taste buds, Sri Lankan Kadala Recipe (Chickpea) Curry is an absolute must-try. This savory and aromatic dish hails from the paradise island of Sri Lanka, where the cuisine is a delightful blend of spices, coconut, and tropical flavors. Join us as we explore the tantalizing world of Sri Lankan Kadala and guide you through the steps of preparing this mouthwatering curry that’s sure to transport you to the heart of Sri Lanka.

The Essence of Sri Lankan Cuisine

A Fusion of Flavors

Sri Lankan cuisine is renowned for its complexity of flavors, where spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves dance together with coconut, creating a symphony of taste and aroma. It’s a cuisine deeply rooted in tradition and influenced by various cultures, resulting in dishes that are as diverse as the island itself.

The Significance of Curry

Curry holds a special place in Sri Lankan cuisine, with countless variations that cater to different tastes and preferences. From mild and creamy to fiery and spicy, Sri Lankan curries are a reflection of the country’s rich culinary heritage.

Kadala Curry: A Culinary Gem

A Chickpea Delight

Kadala Curry, also known as Chickpea Curry, is a vegetarian dish that’s both comforting and nutritious. It’s a staple in Sri Lankan households, often enjoyed with a side of rice or traditional flatbreads like roti or dosa.

The Unique Blend of Ingredients

What makes Kadala Curry stand out is the unique blend of ingredients. Chickpeas, simmered to perfection in a coconut-based gravy, are infused with a medley of spices that provide depth and character to the dish. It’s a balance of creaminess, nuttiness, and spiciness that’s simply irresistible.

The Kadala Curry Recipe

Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of creating your very own Sri Lankan Kadala Curry:

Ingredients You’ll Need

Gather the following ingredients to get started:

  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas: Soaked overnight and drained.
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil: For that authentic Sri Lankan flavor.
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped: Adds a sweet and savory base.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced: For a gentle hint of garlic.
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated: Adds warmth and depth.
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced: Adjust to your preferred spice level.
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves: Infuses the dish with a citrusy aroma.
  • 1 cinnamon stick: For a touch of sweetness and warmth.
  • 3-4 cloves: Adds depth and aroma.
  • 2-3 cardamom pods: Fragrant and flavorful.
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds: For a nutty undertone.
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder: Adds earthy notes.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder: For a vibrant yellow hue.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder: Adjust to your spice preference.
  • 1 can (400ml) of coconut milk: Creamy and rich.
  • Salt to taste: Enhances the flavors.
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish: Adds a fresh touch.

Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté until the onions become soft and translucent.

Step 2: Spice Infusion

Now, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the spices release their aromatic flavors.

Step 3: Chickpea Addition

Add the soaked and drained chickpeas to the pan and stir them well to coat with the aromatic spices.

Step 4: Creamy Coconut Bath

Pour in the coconut milk, and add enough water to cover the chickpeas. Season with salt to taste and stir everything together.

Step 5: Simmer to Perfection

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the Kadala Curry simmer gently for about 30-40 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender and the flavors have melded beautifully.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

Once the curry is ready, garnish it with fresh coriander leaves. Serve it hot with steamed rice or your choice of flatbreads.

Tips for a Flavorful Kadala Curry

Creating an authentic and flavorful Kadala Curry is all about the details. Here are some tips to ensure your dish turns out perfectly:

1. Soak the Chickpeas Overnight

To ensure that the chickpeas cook evenly and become tender, soak them overnight in plenty of water.

2. Adjust the Spice Level

The number of green chilies and red chili powder can be adjusted to your preferred level of spiciness. Start with less if you’re not a fan of heat.

3. Fresh Curry Leaves

If possible, use fresh curry leaves for a more authentic flavor. They add a unique citrusy aroma to the curry.

4. Coconut Milk Quality

Use good quality coconut milk for a rich and creamy texture. If using canned coconut milk, give it a good shake before opening.

5. Customize Your Garnish

Feel free to customize the garnish with freshly grated coconut, chopped cilantro, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice for added freshness.


Sri Lankan Kadala Curry is a flavorful journey into the heart of island cuisine. It’s a dish that encapsulates the vibrant and diverse flavors of Sri Lanka, from the nuttiness of chickpeas to the warmth of spices and the creaminess of coconut milk. Whether enjoyed as a comforting family meal or served to guests, Kadala Curry is a testament to the rich culinary traditions of this beautiful island nation.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure that will transport you to the sunny shores of Sri Lanka, one delicious bite at a time.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Nile Ethiopian.

FAQs About Sri Lankan Kadala Recipe

Q1: Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried ones?

A1: While dried chickpeas are preferred for their texture, you can use canned chickpeas for a quicker preparation. Just be sure to rinse and drain them before using.

Q2: Can I make Kadala Curry with other legumes?

A2: Absolutely! You can experiment with black-eyed peas, lentils, or other legumes to create variations of this curry.

Q3: Is Kadala Curry traditionally served with a specific side dish?

A3: Kadala Curry is often enjoyed with rice, roti (flatbread), or dosa (rice crepes). It pairs beautifully with coconut sambal and pickles.

Q4: Can I make Kadala Curry in advance?

A4: Yes, Kadala Curry can be made in advance and reheated. In fact, it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld.

Q5: What can I do to reduce the spice level if it’s too hot?

A5: To reduce the spice level, you can add more coconut milk or a dollop of yogurt to the curry. Dairy helps temper the heat.