Few things to keep in mind before starting:

A short video of Himachali Chana Madra
  • Chana madra is a delicious creamy curd based gravy infused with whole spices, adorned with dry fruits and is a popular Himachali cuisine served during their festivals along with various other dishes.
  • The trickiest part in this recipe is that while cooking curd, it should not curdle.
  • To avoid curdling of your curd: 1. use the curd which is at room temperature, 2. Whisk the curd well before adding it to the sauteed masala in your pan, 3. switch off the fire and mix the curd again properly to the sauteed masala and then switch on the fire, 4. keep on continually whisking the curd masala mix in the pan on high heat till it comes to boil, & finally 5. add salt only after the dish is ready and you are about to switch off the flame.
  • Some people also add maida to curd before adding it to sauteed masala to avoid curdling but as in authentic recipe, flour is not added, so I have done the same to get the authentic taste.
  • Always add a few drops of refined oil to the ghee while sauteeing anything in desi ghee to avoid burning of the ghee.
  • As this is a curd based recipe, use rock salt(sendha salt) instead of normal salt as per ayurveda.
  • Enjoy this creamy & delicious recipe with steamed rice or naan or lachha parantha or tandoori roti!

Ingredients: (3-4 servings)

  • Chickpeas (White Chana) – 1 cup
  • Curd – 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel powder – 1 tsp
  • Whole spices – cinnamon(1 inch),Black cardamom(2),Green cardamom(4),Black Peppercorn(6),Cloves(2),Bay Leaves(2),Dry red chilli(1)
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Desi ghee – 2 tbsp + few drops of refined oil
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam masala (all spice mix powder) – 1/2 tsp
  • Desi khand – 2 tbsp
  • Cashews, raisins, dry coconut(sliced) – 2 tbsp each
  • Fresh Coriander leaves – a few to garnish(finely chopped)


  • Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water. Boil them with salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder in enough water on high flame for first whistle and then on low flame for the next 30 minutes the next morning and keep aside.
  • Take curd at room temperature and add 1 tsp turmeric, coriander powder, fennel powder & red chilli powder to it. Whisk these together properly. Keep this curd-dry spice mix aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee with a few drops of cooking oil in a big vessel. Saute cashews first on low flame till golden brown and then saute raisins & sliced dry coconut on low flame only for a minute. Remove these in some plate and keep aside.
  • In the same vessel, heat 1 tbsp ghee with a few drops of cooking oil again. Saute asafoetida, add bay leaves, cinnamon, peppercorn, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, dry red chilli and saute these well. Switch off the flame and let it cool down for a minute.
  • Now add the curd-dry spice mix to the the vessel and whisk it well. Switch on the flame and continuously keep on whisking the mixture on high flame to avoid the curd getting curdled. Whisk till it comes to a boil.
  • Now add sauteed dry fruits with boiled chickpeas(without the water in which they are boiled) to the gravy and let it come to a boil on high flame. After a boil, switch the flame to low, cover the vessel and let the chickpeas simmer in the gravy for 15-20 minutes on low flame. Keep on stirring in between.
  • Finally, add salt, garam masala, desi khand & fresh coriander leaves to it. Switch off the flame. The dish is ready.
  • You may adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding the water used for boiling the chickpeas.
  • Enjoy the delicious creamy chana madra with steamed rice or naan or lachha parantha or tandoori roti!
Himachali Chana Madra

‘Cooking for our loved ones with love!’