Go Back
+ servings
Kondakadalai Kulambu

Kondakadalai Kulambu | Black Chickpeas and Brinjal Curry

Kondakadalai kulambu is black chickpeas and brinjal/aubergine curry cooked in a shallot, coconut, and tamarind base spiked with a spice blend. There's a little bit of sweetness and a mild sourness and some hotness; not to mention there's protein. This was how my grandmother used to make and this curry is perfect with cooked rice or millets or idli/dosa.
Course Breakfast, Dinners, Lunch
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Cuisine, Tamil Nadu
Keyword black chickpeas, Chickpeas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Niveditha


  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Sauce Pan (optional)


For the Ground Paste:

  • 3/4 cup Shallots , peeled
  • 1/2 cup Coconut , chopped pieces or loosely packed grated

For the curry:

  • 4 tbsp Sesame Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 5-6 medium-sized Shallots , if small pick 10-12, peeled
  • 8 medium Garlic cloves , peeled
  • 1 medium Tomato , chopped
  • 2.5 cups Brinjal , stalk removed, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5-2 tsp Sambar Powder , adjust to taste (based on the hotness/spiciness)
  • 1.5 tsp Sea Salt , adjust to taste
  • 2.5 cups Soaked Black Channa / Chickpeas , (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Extract , (thick)
  • 3.5-4 cups Water , as required


Cooking konda kadalai / black chickpeas:

  • Add 1 cup of dried black channa to a bowl. Top it off with enough water, cover the bowl and leave it overnight or for at least 8 hours. After soak time, drain the water and wash the chickpeas. Discard the water.
  • Put the kondakadalai/ black chickpeas in a pressure cooker with some water. Cook for 2-3 pressure releases (based on your cooker). Remove from heat and let it cool down.
  • If you have an Instant Pot. Cook it in PRESSURE COOK mode for 12 minutes. Let it natural release.

Makingn the paste:

  • Set saucepan on the stove. Add a teaspoon of oil, let it get hot. Add the shallots and fry until it begins to brown. Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
  • Transfer the fried shallots to a mixer grinder. Top it with coconuts and blend to a smooth paste by sprinkling some water if needed. Set it aside.

Making the kulambu / curry:

  • Set the same saucepan over flame. Add the sesame oil and let it get hot. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds. Wait until the mustard seeds splutter and the fenugreek seeds turn golden brown.
  • Quickly add the curry leaves, followed by the shallots. Sauté until the shallots turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté till it begins to brown a bit.
  • Now add the tomatoes, followed by the salt. Sauté until it is nice and mushy. Add the chopped brinjals and sauté until it gets roasted a bit, for a few minutes.
  • Next add the ground shallot-coconut paste, asafoetida powder, fennel seed powder, turmeric powder, and sambar powder. Mix it all thoroughly.
  • Trasnfer the cooked chickpeas to the saucepan. Add the tamarind paste and the water. Stir it well and cover the saucepan. Cook it for 15 minutes until the flavors come together. Keep an eye and stir often to avoid scorching.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer it to another bowl before you serve with hot rice!

To make it in Instant Pot:

  • Follow the same steps. Use only 3 cups water since this is pressure cooking. Pre-cook the channa for 12 minutes. Add it to the curry and PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes only.


  • You can make this curry in any pressure cooker or instant pot. It is preferred to have a manual pressure cooker at least to cook the chickpeas.
  • If you don't have a pressure cooker you can cook the soaked chickpeas in a vessel on the stovetop. It just would take a long time. Cook until you're able to press the chickpeas with the back of a fork.
  • You can swap bottle gourd for brinjals if you don't have any brinjals at home.