Sunday, February 23, 2014

Himachali Madra

Here is a simple Himachali Madra recipe. The first time I ate madra was at a dhaam (feast), during a wedding. Wedding madras are fatty with thick gravy, chickpeas and lots of dry fruits. It tastes brilliant, though. I've cooked it at home twice but considering my weight, I can't afford to make it too often. Haha.

This is a madra that Himachalis cook at home as part of a meal and it is quick and easy to make. Also, it isn't fatty at all. This recipe serves two.


2 medium potatoes, parboiled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 cups of plain yogurt (or more depending on how much curry you want)
4 tbsp oil 
1 black cardamom
2 cloves
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tbs coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 cup chopped cilantro for garnish 
3 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
Salt to taste


1. Heat oil in a kadai (large pan). Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

2. Now add cumin seeds and asafoetida.

3. Once the cumin starts turning brown, add coriander powder, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook for 30 seconds. If you let it cook too long, it'll turn black and all the spices will burn. So really watch out to make sure you don't burn anything.

4. Now add parboiled potatoes and cook it until the potatoes are soft enough to eat. It's just faster if they have been parboiled but if you can't be bothered, throw in regular potatoes. It'll just take longer to cook. I usually keep parboiled potatoes in the fridge to use whenever I want. It just makes life easier.

5. While the potatoes cook, take two cups (or more) of yogurt and mix it vigorously so it looks nice and smooth. 

6. Once the potatoes are cooked, splash the pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water just to cool the vessel a little bit. Bring the heat to the lowest point. Once the vessel is cooler than before, pour all the yogurt into the pan and keep stirring vigorously. If you don't keep stirring, the yogurt will curdle before you know it and you won't be able to eat the curry. Just make sure that once you put the yogurt in, you keep stirring non-stop on medium heat.

I clicked this picture while stirring. 
7. Now the rest of the part is tedious. You just have to stand there and keep stirring until the curry starts to boil. This may take up to 15 minutes.  Just be patient. At no point (until it boils) can you stop stirring. It may look like there is some curdling in the beginning even if you were stirring the whole time, but don't worry. As the curry thickens, it'll even out. If the curry begins to look a little too thick, you may add some water to adjust the consistency. This madra isn't supposed to be thick.

8. Once the curry begins to boil, you can stop stirring. Your work is done. Let it boil for a few minutes, then add some salt and throw in the cilantro.

9. Now serve with steamed rice and enjoy :)

Have a nice Sunday! 

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