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Himachali Chana Madra in a lunch box with a spoon in it and cinnamon sticks on the side

Himachali Chana Madra | Chickpeas in Yogurt Gravy

Chana Madra is a vegetarian dish from the Himachali cuisine. Chickpeas are cooked in a mildly spiced thick & creamy yogurt gravy. Serve it with bread/rice.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Himachal, Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • You need cooked/boiled chickpeas for this recipe. The best way is to first soak chickpeas overnight and then boil them in salt + turmeric water. Alternatively, you can also cook them in an Instant Pot where you need not soak them the night before. Simply add the dry chickpeas, cover it with 3-4 inches of water above it, then add salt and turmeric powder and cook in manual mode for 24 minutes with natural pressure release. Once the chickpeas are cooked, strain (use the water to make aquafaband keep them aside for now. In a bowl add yogurt, all-purpose flour or maida, chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin powder. Whisk it all together until smooth. Heat oil in a pan and fry cumin seeds along with asafoetida for 30 seconds. Then add cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and cardamon along with minced ginger and garlic. Continue to fry for another minute. The actual Chana Madra recipe doesn't call for any greens in the recipe but since I had some beet leaves, I decided to add that as well in my curry to make it more nutritious. You can skip this step if you wish to.Also add half of the chopped cilantro along with the beet leaves and cook it for 2 minutes or until the leaves turn soft. Then lower the flame and add the prepared yogurt mixture to the pan. Mix it immediately. This is an important step, you have to make sure that you stir continuously and do not allow the yogurt to curdle. Cook this curry for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Then add the boiled chickpeas along with salt. Mix and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. To thicken the curry, make a paste of rice flour and water and add to the pan. Stir and garnish with chopped cilantro and ghee. Chana Madra is ready. Serve with any Indian bread/rice.