The most important step in making Madra is when you add the yogurt. You have to make sure that you stir continuously and do not allow the yogurt to curdle. This is a really crucial step or else you may have a disastrous gravy on your hands. If the yogurt seems to have curdled just a little bit, continue stirring the gravy and it will eventually thicken up and be fine.
Channa Madra: A Himachali Recipe (Chickpeas with Yogurt Gravy)
3 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled (or use canned chickpeas)
Asafoetida (hing), a pinch
2-3 cloves (laung)
1 stick cinnamon (dalchini)
2 pieces of black cardamom (moti elaichi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 cups yogurt ( beaten till smooth)
2-3 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter)
¼ cup raw white rice
1 cup water
1-2 pods of green cardamom
• Soak ¼ cup rice in 1 cup of water and cardamom.
• Grind this mixture and set aside.
• Heat 2 tbsp. mustard oil to smoking point on medium heat.
• Add a pinch of asafoetida, 2 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, and 1 black cardamom seed.
• Add 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds.
• Stir for 30 seconds and add the coriander powder and turmeric powder.
• Stir for 30 seconds (do not let it burn or blacken.)
• Add the chickpeas and stir well.
• Add the yogurt to pot and keep stirring continuously.
• Do not stop stirring or the yogurt will curdle. (Even if it curdles slightly don’t worry as the gravy will even out as the dish thickens eventually)
• Stir continuously on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
• When it comes to a boil add the ground rice/water mixture.
• Stir the mixture very frequently and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
• Add 2 – 3 tbsp. of ghee (clarified butter)
• Turn the heat on low and cook the Mandra on a slow fire for about 30 minutes stirring often until the entire mixture thickens.
• Add salt to taste and serve hot with white rice.