Kadalai maavu curry – Spicy Chickpea flour & pepper curry


  • 1 number big onion (chopped)
  • 6 – 8 numbers capsicum or any pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour/ kadalai maavu in tamil, besan in Hindi
  • 1-3 tsp Red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Hing/asafoetida
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 2 tsp white urad dhal/skinned black gram


  1. Mix the chickpea flour with  the chili powder, turmeric, asafoetida and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide pan or a wok. Add mustard seeds. When they start to sputter, add the curry leaves and the urad dhal and fry until urad dhal turns a reddish brown colour
  3. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp of salt and saute until onions turn translucent.
  4. Now add the peppers, the remaining salt and saute until they are cooked, but not too soft. You should be able to cut it with just a little resistance to check if they are cooked.
  5. Now add the chickpea flour mix and continue to saute. At this point, keep the heat on medium, and stir constantly as the flour could stick to the pan. If the oil doesn’t look like it’s enough, you may add a tsp or so
  6. When the peppers glisten with the oil, and the flour has lost its raw smell, the curry is done.
  7. Turn the heat off, and transfer to the serving bowl
  8. Hands down, this curry is best with puris/rotis, along with a cup of thick yogurt

About Srilatha:

Her cooking is inspired by her amma, grandmother, and friends who adopted our young family and fed us all the time when her babies were little. She also heavily depended on the 3 volumes of “Samaithu Paar” (“Cook and See”) by Meenakshi Ammal, who created her books for the young women, decades ago. Cooking and feeding people is her way of expressing love. And what better way to show it than to leave the recipes my family has enjoyed, for posterity. Her recipes can are on her website – Rasaala

If you are looking for  heirloom recipes that have a story to tell, do watch this series ‘Ammavum Naanum’ that traces recipes to its origins. Click here:

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The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost

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