Friday, 1 June 2018

Channa Madra - Himachali Cuisine (Chickpeas with Yogurt gravy)

Himachal Pradesh is located in the Western Himalayas and is a beautiful scenic state. This state is well known for its natural beauty.

Channa Madra is a thick yogurt based curry from the Pahari region of Himachal Pradesh. Cooked chickpeas are cooked in yogurt to make this gravy. Recipe called for raisins but I did not use. The spice level of the gravy was mild and the first day I served it with rice. The second day, I added some chili powder, water and simmered it for few minutes. I served it with poori. This is an onion and garlic free recipe.This dish is made of chickpeas cooked in yogurt gravy along with spices & served along with rice & roti or chapati. The dish is also very rich (thanks the amount of Pure Ghee which goes into it).The original Himachali recipe calls for equal amounts of pure ghee and yogurt but I cook it with much less. 

This month Shhhh secretly cooking challenge concept is Himachal Pradesh cuisine.My partner is Sujata Shukla,blogs at Pepperonpizza (
She gave me two secret ingredients Mustard oil and Chickpeas.Being new to all these types of cuisines, finally I have attempted to prepare Channa Madra..That was lovely experiences to come across yogurt gravy with legumes. Thanks dear for the ingredients and we love the gravy.

Prep  time
Cook time
10 mins
5 mins
2  persons

Recipe type:  Side Dish for roti

Cuisine:  Himachali cuisine

  • Dry Chickpeas – ½ cup
  • Cinnamon  -1”
  • Cloves   -2 no’s
  • Cardamom   - 2 no’s
  • Mustard oil -2 tbsp.
  • Cumin seeds -1 tsp
  • Hing –pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Cilantro –few sprigs
Spice powders
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder -2-1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder -1 tabs
Rice mixture
  • Raw white rice -1/4 cup
  • Water -1 cup
  • Green cardamom -2 pods

1. If using dried chick peas. Wash & soak them over night. They yield to 1cup of chickpeas because they grow their size. Pressure cook with 1Cup water for 2whistles.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. mustard oil to smoking point on medium heat.Add a pinch of asafetida, 2 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, and 1 black cardamom seed. Add 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds. When cumin seeds are light brown and add asafetida if using and fry it for few seconds. Mix rice flour with water and keep aside.

3. Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, and chili powder, salt and mix properly and fry for 2-3 minutes until spices coat well. Stir for 30 seconds (do not let it burn or blacken.)Add the chickpeas and stir well.
Turn the heat to low, gradually add beaten yogurt while stirring the chickpeas. 

4. Keep stirring until yogurt mixes well. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking until yogurt starts to boil. All the while, keep stirring the mixture to avoid the yogurt from breaking up or curdling. Do remember the gravy thickens as it cools.If using raisins add them and fry for few seconds. 

5.When it comes to a boil add the ground rice/water mixture. Stir the mixture very frequently and let it cook for about 20 minutes.

6.Add salt to taste and iurn the heat on low and cook the Mandra on a slow fire for about 30 minutes stirring often until the entire mixture thickens.Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, puri or rice.

This recipe doesn't call for chili powder or garam masala. I had to add it to give a lift to the dish
While adding the whole spices keep the flame on low.


  1. Beautiful presentation...the dish looks delicious....even I made the same for the challenge

  2. The dish looks so delicious, adding spices makes it so different. Good to see you back in the group after a long time.

  3. Looks lovely. I had the same dish too for the challenge but yet I find so many new things in this post. Great share and yes, the ghee has to be liberal which I have not done in my version. This looks great Shoba.

  4. The Chana Madra looks delectable! I'm sure the dish tasted really lovely, too. :)
    ~ Priya Iyer from

  5. I am loving the look of Madra and it is such a welcome change from the usual Chole.

  6. The Chana Madra looks so delicious, nice to know about this dish.

  7. Protein rich Channa madra, cant take my eyes from that bowl. Irresistible.

  8. Wow.. Delicious and healthy curry with clear explanation. Lovely share !

  9. Chana madra with ghee sounds so flavorful.. wonderful share !

  10. Chana curry in yogurt is going to be a flavourful dish and I am going to try this..

  11. Chana Madra is such a delicious dish popular too.



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