Madra Channa is a Dhaam food from Himachal Pradesh. Dhaam food is inspired by Kashmiri Wazawan food. Dhaam food is Satwik food where there is no use of meat, ginger, garlic, or vegetables while preparing the food. Dhaam food is predominately made by using different types of lentils and beans. Madra Channa is a less known recipe of Indian cuisine. Because these are vegetarian meals, big amounts of ghee, yogurt, paneer and khoya is used to provide the required fat and nutrition for the body.
For this recipe, the chickpeas are cooked in a yogurt gravy and cooked till the fat from the yogurt is separated. To make this channa, you don’t need a lot of ingredients, you will only need a few basic ingredients. Traditionally, there will be trenches dug into the ground and the food would be cooked on an outdoor fire in narrow-mouthed, brass vessels. This way of cooking is done mostly for special occasions and religious celebrations.
For this recipe, you may use canned cooked beans for convenience.
Once you add the yogurt mixture to the ghee, continue to stir the mixture to make sure that it doesn’t curdle and it is cooked until it’s reduced by half and releases all the fat. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Traditionally, khoya (Mawa) is added to the gravy where the sugar from the milk solids of the khoya is caramelized and it adds sweetness to the gravy. I have not used Khoya while preparing the recipe instead I used honey.
Yields: 2 servings
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
You will need:
- 1 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt/ full fat Greek yogurt.
- 2 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp jeera/cumin powder
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp hing
- 1-2 tbsp of ghee
- 1 1/2 tsp of honey
- 2 tbsp of khoya (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 whole cardamom + 1 whole black cardamom+2 whole laung/ cloves + 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in 5 cups of water. The next day, drain all the water and pressure cook the beans in 3 cups of fresh water until it’s done and keep it aside.
- In a pot, heat the ghee. Add the whole spices (cardamom, cloves and cinnamon) and sauté till fragrant.
- Add yogurt and all the ground spice powder and cook until the yogurt releases its oil. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
- Add channa to the yogurt and cook it for 15 minutes with 1/2 cup water. Cook it until the water is reduced and gravy looks thick.
- Crush a few beans with a masher. This will thicken the gravy.
- When you see fat on the surface of the gravy, that’s when you know your gravy is ready.
- Serve with rice.