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Himachali Rajmah Madra Recepie

This is a guest blog post by Arpit Awasthi. Born in Tikkari Village (Baijnath, Kangra), he had his schooling in Palampur and Dharamshala
An IT engineer by profession Arpit is a complete foodie and nurtures his passion for food by discovering and sharing traditional Himachali recipes. He also writes for  “Khabar Now”, a weekly magazine from Himachal.

You can catch more recepies by Arpit on his Facebook page.

Rajmah Madra

Madra is an essential part of the Himachali Dham and a real treat to your tastebuds. The Madra a dish native to Chamba is cooked and enjoyed all over Himachal. Madra is mostly cooked using curd and spices without onion and garlic. 

Here is a recepie to cook Rajma Madra.

Kidney Beans (Rajmah) boiled - 100 Gms 

Fresh tomato puree - 01 cup 
Cream or hung yoghurt  - ½ cup 
Aamchur (dry mango) powder (for sourness if cream is used) - ½ tsp 
Garam Masala - 01 tsp 
Turmeric powder - 01tsp 
Green chilies as preferred
Red chilies powder - 01tsp 
Cinnamon stick – ½” pc 
Black cardamom - 02 pcs  
Salt to taste
Oil – 02 tsp
Coriander fresh chopped – 01 tbsp

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai on a medium flame. Add black cardamom and cinnamon and cook till aromas are released. Stir in the fresh tomato puree and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes. 

Add in the powdered spices and green chili, also the aamchur if using cream later. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Fold in the hung yoghurt or cream and mix well. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes. 

Add the boiled rajmah and water as desired. Simmer further to achieve gravy of desired consistency. Adjust seasoning and finish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve hot accompanied by Chapati (traditional Indian flatbread) or steamed rice. 


  • Mustard oil or ghee can also be used to cook. 
  • Heat the mustard oil and let it smoke. This helps remove some of the pungency and raw flavor of the oil improves.
  • Adding salt after the yoghurt has cooked helps the yoghurt from curdling. 


Bhaturu a traditional fermented bread from Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is still one of those states of India which hasn't lost all of its culture, food habits and traditions. Most Himachali's still prefer to have traditional Himachali food and celebrate functions, marriages the traditional Himachali way. Himachali cuisine has its own uniqueness of taste, way of preparation, way of serving, use of spices. Most of these dishes have local ingredients and vegetables. For example Dhaam still has its own style of preparation, serving and traditional menu.

Here is one such unique recipe from Himachal and it is called Bhaturu or Bhatooru. Don't confuse it with Punjabi Bhatura (of famous Chole bhature) which normally has Maida (purpose flour) as main ingredient. Bhaturu or Bhatooru is a kind of bread (Roti) which is cooked by fermenting wheat flour.

Wheat flour
Khameer/ Malera/ Yeast

Method of preparing dough
Mix wheat flour and water along with  Malera/Khameer (40-50 grams should suffice for 1/2 Kg of flour). In case you don't have Malera/Khameer, you can buy yeast powder from shop and use that. Mix and knead it well to turn into dough. Leave this dough for fermentation for next 4-5 hours. In winters or places with low temperature it can take 7-8 hours for fermentation. In winters you should wrap the dough with some thick blanket/bedsheet so that temperature (25-30°C) is maintained and fermentation doesn't take long.

Method of cooking
Bhaturu's are relished baked as well as fried. Since it's been part of staple food in most parts of Himachal, mostly it is baked on tawa/pan. For special occasions like festivals, marriages bhaturu's are deep fried in oil. From dough make small even balls of the same size. For ages people of Himachal have been shaping these small dough balls into Roti with hands, but you can use a board and rolling pin to shape them as Roti's. Bhaturu shouldn't be thin like normal chapati/phulka.  The thickness of Bhaturu should be around 0.5 to 1cm. Leave these Roti's for next 10-15 minutes wrapped under a cloth. After 15-20 minutes either you can bake these or deep fry them in oil. For baking put the raw Bhaturu on hot pan/tawa. When it is baked on both sides, put it directly on gas burner or fire to have that soft and puffy Bhaturu's. Serve them hot with seasonal vegetables, daal or curry. Bhaturu's are best when baked in earthen oven (Chulha).

Bhaturu's also has a variation known as bharwan Bahturu (stuffed bread). Before baking, the dough balls are stuffed with a grounded mixture of soaked daal,rice etc. You can even use boiled potatoes to stuff them. Bhaturu is known as Suhaalu or Sumkeshi roti in other parts of Himachal Pradesh.

How to prepare Khameer/Malera?
1 Cup of wheat flour
2 tbsp of sour yogurt or curd
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stir it well for sometime and keep in an airtight container. The Malera (yeast) will be ready to use. Refrigerate this and should be good for use for next 4-5 weeks.

Nutrition facts about Bhaturu:
A study at CSIR by Savitri and TN Bhalla has found that traditional fermentation adds quality to Bhatooru by way of enhancing their protein content, vitamin and essential amino acids. Study also shows that Bhaturu has better nutritional value as compared to chapatti/roti prepared from non-fermented dough.

Plan a vacation to Renuka ji for serenity and lush green nature

The holy Renuka ji is in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India above 672 mt. from the sea level. Renuka ji is famous for Renuka lake. It is the largest natural lake in Himachal Pradesh, with a circumference of about 3214 mt and 15,000 year old history.

This lake was named after the goddess Renuka. It is believed that Lord Parshuram's mother Bhagwati Renuka Ji jumped in the Ram sarovar and took Jal Samadhi (water burial). Puranas narrate that Ram Sarovar immediately took the shape of a lady and since then it is known as Renuka Ji lake. Every year in November, a fair is held to celebrate the immortality of Renuka and her son legendary Parshuram.  

Renuka lake is surrounded by lush green hills, a lion safari, a zoo and a temple of goddess Renuka. On the periphery of lake there is a small road leading to zoo which you can also use as a jogging track or for a stroll if you stay near Renuka lake.  Don't miss feeding the fish as it would be great fun for kids. You can also enjoy boating in Renuka lake. Do watch out for big turtles roaming freely in the lake.

Renukaji is just 36 Km from Nahan in Himachal Pradesh,  95Km from Chandigarh and about 315 Km. from New Delhi. Best way to travel to Renuka ji is by own car or taxi beyond Nahan.

Where to stay?
Best place to stay at Renuka ji is HPTDC's Renuka hotel. It is the only hotel situated on the bank of Renuka lake. Make sure you have advance booking before you leave for Renuka ji.

There are other hotels as well like Devicos Plaza but they are 1 km away from Renuka ji at Dhadol village. If you're looking on to go for a religious retreat or on a holiday to some calm, green and pure place in nature's lap with your family, Renuka ji is the place. Renuka ji is far away from hustle and bustle of city life and will offer a refreshing retreat in your budget.



Portfolios of Cabinet ministers of Congress led Himachal Govt.

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh has allocated portfolios to nine new ministers in his government:

Designation Portfolios
Shri Virbhadra Singh Chief Minister Finance, General Administration, Home, Planning, Personnel and all other departments
Smt. Vidya Stokes Minister Irrigation & Public Health and Information Technology Departments
Shri Kaul Singh Thakur Minister Heath & Family Welfare, Revenue and Law & Legal Remembrance
Shri G. S. Bali Minister Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Transport, Technical Education and Vocational & Industrial Training
Shri Sujan Singh Pathania Minister Multipurpose Projects and Power (MPP), Non-Conventional Energy Sources and Agriculture
Shri Thakur Singh Bharmouri Minister Forests and Fisheries
Shri Mukesh Agnihotri Minister Industries, Labour and Employment, Parliamentary Affairs and Information and Public Relations Department
Shri Sudhir Sharma Minister Urban Development, Housing and Town & Country Planning
Shri Prakash Chaudhary Minister Excise & Taxation and Printing & Stationary Department
Shri Dhani Ram Shandil Minister Social Justice and Empowerment and Sainik Welfare
Shri Neeraj Bharti Chief Parliamentary Secretary
Shri Rajesh Dharmani Chief Parliamentary Secretary
Shri Vinay Kumar Chief Parliamentary Secretary

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