Recipe: Himachali Chana Madra

Chana Madra is a Himachali-style thick yogurt gravy dish, that’s mildly spiced.

Made with kabuli channa or white chickpeas, it is best served with steamed rice and kachumber or cucumber-tomato-onion salad.

Chef Varun Inamdar gives his own twist to it by incorporating walnut milk.

Himachali Chana Madra

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kabuli channa or white chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled 
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise and sprinkled with salt
  • 2 cups curd or yoghurt, beaten till smooth
  • 1 cup walnut milk, available in gourmet food stores and online
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 2 tbsp red chilly oil
  • ½ cup walnut halves

For the dry spice mix

  • ¼ tsp hing or asafoetida
  • ½ tsp long or cloves
  • 1 inch dalchini or cinnamon stick
  • 1 kala elaichi or black cardamom
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder

Method

  • In a blender jar combine all the ingredients of the dry spice mix and blend. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the curd, walnut milk and rice flour until there are no lumps.
  • In a heavy-bottomed kadhai, heat the mustard oil over low heat till it reaches smoking point.
    Take off heat and let it cool.
    Reheat the oil along with the green chillies.
    Allow the chillies to blister.
    Stir in the curd mixture and dry spice mix.
    Allow it to simmer on medium-low heat for 8 minutes.
    Add the boiled chickpeas and walnut halves.
    Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
    Drizzle chilly oil and add salt.
    Serve warm with rice and kachumbar or cucumber-tomato-onion raita.
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