Himachal Pradesh, a state in the North of India have some delicious vegetarian dishes despite being non-vegetarian over all. This is a dish that is very common, especially at festival time. Chickpeas are simmered in a beautiful sauce of yoghurt and warming spices.
Similar recipes include Roast Eggplant with Crushed Chickpeas and Herbed Yoghurt, Vadai with Yoghurt, and Kadhi.
Chana Madra | Chickpeas in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce
1.25 cups desi (Indian) yoghurt
2 tspn chickpea flour
2 – 3 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
2 Tblspn ghee
pinch or two of asafoetida
2 cm piece cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 brown cardamom pod, bruised
0.5 tspn coarse black pepper
1 tspn cumin powder
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn finely grated ginger
sea salt to taste (if needed)
0.25 tspn white sugar
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder
Mix the chickpea flour with the yoghurt and whisk it well.
Melt the ghee over a low-medium heat and add the spices. Saute for under a minute, then add the yoghurt. Mix well, bring to a simmer and cook for 4 – 5 mins.
Add the chickpeas with salt, if using, chilli powder and sugar. Mix well, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10 mins.
Serve with naan, chapatis, pulkas or with rice and kachumber.
recipe notes and alternatives
Paneer and/or cashews can be added with the chickpeas.
In this recipe the sauce just coats the chickpeas. For more sauce, increase the yoghurt to 2 cups.
Mustard oil can be used in place of ghee.
Add 2 or 3 green chillies with the spices. Also a little coriander powder can be added.
Add some garam masala at the end.