Madra – Chickpeas in Yogurt Gravy

Himachal Pradesh, one of the north state of Indian subcontinent is such a beautiful state which offers a wide range of lip smacking as well as savory food items. The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh has a significant influence of the Punjabi and Tibetan style of food. The people of Himachal Pradesh prefer very spicy food items. However in their daily and regular routine most of the citizens have north Indian dishes that are easy to make and very tasty to eat.

The meals are mainly rich in lentils, rice, meat and green leafy vegetables. Nevertheless these are yummy treats, full of flavored, textured and cultured goodness. Himachali cuisine has a unique aroma and flavor due to the usage of a lot of ghee, yogurt, cardamom and of course, slow flame cooking style. Well, this is Monday again ! The theme for 129th Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as ‘Himachal Pradesh Cuisine’. So among all the delectable Himachali cuisine, I have contributed madra of Chamba district for the theme.

A most popular Himachali dish, madra comes from the high altitudes of the Chamba district. Basically chickpeas (kabuli chana) or kidney beans (rajma) are cooked slowly in a gravy of yogurt (hung curd). So madra is also known to be a kadhi like dish. It is one of the most widely-renowned dishes in the hills. The curry is full of pahadi flavors, mustard oil, onions, garlic and ginger. But I have prepared this madra without using any onion or garlic and mustard oil. Also another chickpea curry already I have posted in my blog using capsicum as Chole Capsicum Masala which is cashew based curry.

The yogurt play the key role in this dish, particularly always have to keep eye on not to cuddle the curd after adding to the dish. Some rice flour is also used in this dish to make the gravy a bit thick. This dish, madra is a perfect side dish for plain roti, paratha, poori or simple steamed rice as well. Madra is a must prepared dish in Himachal Pradesh’s traditional function named as dham. So lets go in details method of preparation of this most delectable madra, a delicacy of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.

Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins

Ingredients :        



Chickpea (soaked)

1 cup

Yogurt / hung curd

2 cup

Rice flour

1 tbsp


1 inch

Black cardamom

1 no

Black Pepper

4-5 no


3-4 no

Cumin seed

1 tsp

Asafoetida (hing)

1 pinch

Kashmiri red chili powder

2 tsp

Coriander powder

1 tbsp

Garam masala powder

1 tsp

Turmeric powder

½ tsp


3 tbsp


2 tsp


As needed


As needed

Method :

  1. First roughly crush cloves, black pepper, black cardamom, cinnamon and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add all the soaked chickpeas / kabuli channa, salt, water and cook until chickpeas are properly done.
  3. Now in a pan, heat oil.
  4. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and allow to splutter.
  5. Add all the roughly crushed whole spices and fry for 4-5 seconds.
  6. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and red chili powder. Give a quick stir.
  7. Then add boiled chickpeas, salt and mix everything well.
  8. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Turn off heat.
  10. Now in a mixing bowl beat curd and rice flour to form a smooth texture.
  11. Add this yogurt mixture to the cooked chickpea pan and mix everything well.
  12. Again turn on heat and place the pan over low heat.
  13. Add ghee, give a stir and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  14. Turn off heat and serve hot with roti or paratha or steamed rice !

Notes :

  • Rice flour is added to thicken the gravy a bit. But this addition is optional.
  • The chickpeas used here is the normal ones. If there is any hurry, then just used canned chickpeas.

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Hey there !

Myself Sasmita, a techie turns to a food blogger which is reflected in this space.

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  1. Priya Iyer

    This looks awesome! I've been wanting to make madra for quite some time. Should try it out now. 🙂

  2. Aruna

    I find myself enjoying Madra more than Chole at times. Your version looks so delectable.


    have had Chana Madra with Paneer!Yours looks so awesome,so delicious and fantastically presented!

  4. Poonam Bachhav

    Among all the dishes i tried from Himachal dham , Madra is my have presented it so beautifully Sasmita..making it all the more tempting !

  5. Mayuri Patel

    When I was searching for a dish to make for this theme, I wanted to make all the yogurt based curries… including this one. Your preparation looks very tempting Sasmita.

  6. Sujata Roy

    Chickpeas looks awesome Sasmita. Saving it to try later.

  7. Shobha

    Lovely and easy dish.. I had also seen it in Northern Flavours – Doosra Tadka show on Food Food Channel By Chef Ajay Chopra. Will surely give it a try soon.

  8. preethi'scuisine

    Channa Madra looks so inviting. Fab share dear. Bookmarking the recipe.

  9. Anonymous

    Delicious share 🙂

  10. Motions and Emotions
    Motions and Emotions

    I must say its an exotic recipe…

    Currently I am hosting MY LOVE LEGUME AFFAIR event at my page…I would request you to add this recipe there.

  11. Motions and Emotions
    Motions and Emotions

    Thank you for adding this lovely recipe

    1. Sasmita

      Thank you amrita 🙂

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