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Chana paneer Madra Himachali recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Himachali Chana Paneer Madra | How to make Chana Madra

Himachali Chana Paneer Madra recipe a thick and creamy yogurt based gravy is a popular delicacy from Himachal Pradesh. Chana Madra is mild and delicate flavoured chickpeas cooked in aromatic yogurt sauce. Madra is extremely simple to make and absolutely delicious to eat.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking8 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Himachal Pradesh, Himachali, Indian
Keyword: Chana madra recipe, Chana paneer Madra recipe, Chickpeas in yogurt sauce, Himachali madra recipe
Servings: 6


  • pressure cooker
  • Thick bottomed pan


  • 1 cup Chickpeas (250gms) soaked over night or at least 8 hours
  • 1 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Gram flour/besan or maida/plain flour (this is optional. mix with the yogurt to avoid curdling)
  • 125 gma Paneer (cottage cheese) cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp Raisins (optional)
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1-2 Dried red chillies
  • 1 large blach cardamom
  • 4-5 Green cardamoms
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Rice flour mixed with 2-3 tbsp of water and keep it aside
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 tsp Mace powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Ghee (to add it in the end)
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp Mustard oil /ghee/veg/oil (for cooking the madra)
  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped


  • Firstly pressure cook the soaked chickpeas for 2 to 3 whistles or until the chickpeas are cooked through but still retains the shape. Drain the chickpeas and keep 1 cup of the chickpeas stock water for later use.
  • Heat mustard oil until smoking point and then reduce the heat to low. Temper the oil with bay leaves, dried red chilli, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and hing and sauté for 1 minutes until you can smell the aroma of the spices.
  • Now add the boiled chickpeas and mix everything well and sauté for a minute or 2. Reduce the flame to the lowest.
  • Slowly add the yogurt to the chickpeas, stirring continuously so the the yogurt doesn't curdle. (If you are worried about the yogurt getting curdled, simply whisk in 2 tsp gramflour/besan or maida/plain flour to the yogurt).
    Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and mix everything well.
  • Cook on medium to low heat stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes.
  • Now add the paneer pieces and raisins and mix. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the rice powder paste and the nutmeg and mace powder and mix everything well. the madra will get very thick at this point. You can slightly thin it out by add 1/2 to 1 cup or the chickpeas stock. bring it to a boil and cook for 2-3 mins more.
  • Finally add 2 tbsp of ghee and give it a mix.
  • Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and take it off the heat. Serve it with naan or rice.


You can also use canned chickpeas.
Adding besan or maida to the yogurt helps avoid its curdling. 
Authentically Madra is cooked in mustard oil, but if you can not find mustard oil cook it in ghee or vegetable oil. Cooking in mustard oil definitely makes a difference.
If you have tried this recipe, I would love to see your wonderful creation. simply click a picture and tag me @gastronomicbong or #gastronomicbong on Instagram.