Making of Himachali Dish- Chana Madra (Recipe Inside!)

Since our last post on Himachali Dham was so loved. I thought to myself- why not share some more of it with your guys? So here is one amazing dish from the state of Himachal that you will absolutely love! Presenting to you- Chana Madra.

Dish- Chana Madra

Course – Main Course

Preparation Time – 12 Minutes

Cooking Time – 25 Minutes

Total Time for the Dish – 37-40 Minutes

Calories – 73 Kcal/ serving

Have you ever tried the combo of Chana, also called chickpeas, with yoghurt? It might seem like an absurd mix at the initial glance but give this Himanchali delicacy a try and you will understand what the fuzz is all about for this fantastic combination. Chana Madra, a Himachali curry, is a dish in which chickpeas are cooked in a yoghurt sauce, along with the addition of spices.

It is a very popular dish in Himachal Pradesh and on your next vacation there, don’t forget to try this one out yourself! Till then you can try your own hand at making this one and bring to tastes of Himachal to your table.

Chana is very versatile as a cooking ingredient and is a very good flavour absorber and works the same magic with the curry here as well. To make the yoghurt based creamy chickpea curry, you first have to wash the Chana and soak it in water for a few hours. Once it is soaked well, drain the water and cook the Chana in a pressure cooker with a mix of salt and water. Once it has been cooked well enough, keep it aside after removing from the heat. Also, don’t forget to mix some rice flour with water and keep it away for a while. Take some mustard oil and heat in a pan and before the smoking of oil, add in some heeng and cumin seeds and let them crackle a bit.

To the mix, add loads of spices like cloves, peppercorn, cardamom and cinnamon and fry along for a few seconds. Now, whisk the yoghurt with Maida and a host of powders like coriander, turmeric and red chilli and cook for a few minutes. Once it is cooked, the rice flour mixture that was prepared before, add it to the mix and mix well. Finally, add salt and Ghee and let the whole Chana Madra mixture cook for a while, a few minutes would suffice. Garnish it with a few coriander leaves and serve it along with naan bread or some rice.

Chana Madra

The rich variety of ingredients for the dish can be picked off from any grocery store, our pick would be the Big bazaar, considering a lot of big bazaar offers available that would certainly save you enough money on the dish. Chickpeas are a brilliant source of fibre, and help a lot in moderating blood sugar levels, while they also provide optimum amounts of plant-based proteins. The Chana Madra is a tasty yoghurt based creamy curry and the blend of yoghurt and all-purpose flour that is Maida gives it a very thick consistency.

Although, while cooking this Himanchali Dish, you need to be extra careful, once you have added the yoghurt, as you need to make sure that it does not curdle during the cooking process. The flavours of the various spices that are used, blend well together and come together to give a unique and delicious taste. It is a not so normal style of making curry and could certainly be a special treat at the next family gathering. The creaminess of the thick curry is what attracts people the most.


  • Golden Harvest Kabuli Chana – a cup and a half
  • A tablespoon of Rice Flour according to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of Mustard Oil
  • A quarter tablespoon of Heeng
  • 1 tablespoon of Cumin Seeds
  • Crushed Cloves – 3 to 4
  • 2 Crushed Black Cardamom
  • Crushed Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Curd – about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons of Maida (Added to avoid curdling of curd and is recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons of Coriander Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • Salt – according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Ghee
  • 2 tablespoons of Fresh Coriander Chopped

Steps To Make Chana Marda:

  1. After washing the Chickpea(Chana), let it soak in water for 7-9 hours.
  2. After draining the water, take the chickpea to a pressure cooker, add two to three cups of water and three tablespoons of salt.
  3. Cook the mixture in the pressure cooker until the Chana is soft and well cooked.
  4. Remove the pressure cooker from the stove and let it cool down as the pressure releases.
  5. Mix the rice flour with two tablespoons of water, cover it and keep it aside for some time.
  6. In a pan, heat some mustard oil.
  7. Once you feel that the oil is hot enough and just starts smoking, add heeng and cumin seeds and let them crackle well for a few seconds, about ten to twelve.
  8. Now is the time to add the spices to the heating mixture of oil and seeds. Add in all of the crushed black cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorn and cloves and fry for about 10-15 seconds.
  9. An important ingredient for the curry, take some curd and whisk it with Maida (to keep it from curdling), turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder and add it to the heating mixture in the pan.
  1. Cook the mix for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Now decrease the heat, add the cooked Chana to the mixture and cook again for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add rice flour mixture, salt to taste and ghee and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Garnish the Chana Madra with some coriander leaves.
  5. Serve the Chana Madra with some rice or naan bread. It tastes delicious with both and it is totally up to you.

Nutritional Facts:

This delicious meal from Himachal is not only delicious but also very healthy. It offers loads of Vitamins like Vitamin A and C, calcium and Iron in fairly impressive quantities. The Chana Madra also offers fat and potassium in moderate amounts while having low Cholesterol and Sodium content. The dish is very rich in Protein and on the healthy side.

If you also decide to give making Chana Madra a try, do make sure to get the best of ingredients to get the most authentic taste. Shop from Big Bazaar and save a lot with discounts on your final amount thanks to big bazaar offers and get top quality ingredients for cheap. The dish is an exquisite delicacy and is a gift from the Himachal people and definitely worth a try.


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