Ghugni: Spicy And Sublime Snack From Bengal
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It should come as no surprise that India loves "chana," or chickpeas. In most Indian regional cuisines, you'll find that these simple ingredients occupy a unique position. Whether it's the iconic Matra-Kulcha from Amritsar or the well-known Kadala Curry from Kerala, every region of the country pleasantly surprises you with creative and flavourful chana preparations. There is one more such chickpeas dish which is  exceptionally yummy and extremely tongue tingling named ‘Gughni’.  Ghugni, or curried white or yellow peas, is a popular street food snack in Eastern India served in a disposable “shaal” leaves bowl & garnished with generous amounts of chopped onions & green chilies. Especially in Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar. Contrary to other street foods, it is quite a healthy dish to indulge in.

This lightly flavored dried yellow peas gravy is an evergreen favourite that has spread its wings throughout Bengal. Ghugni is made by cooking white or yellow matar (peas) and potato in a variety of spices (specially the Bengali garam masala), then topping it with onion, chilies, and coriander to make sure you keep coming back for more. It is a semi liquid curry which is neither too watery nor too dry in texture with intact boiled matars. It is light, fulfilling, yummy, and quite easy on the pockets as well.

Additionally, it is low in fat and abundant in protein, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B1, zinc, phosphorus, and iron. Yellow peas are a better choice for weight loss. Additionally, it benefits diabetics and people with heart disease. 


Ingredients to make Ghugni-

        1 cup Dried Yellow/White Peas  , soaked for 4 hours

        1 inch Ginger , grated

        1/2 teaspoon Kalonji (Onion Nigella Seeds)

        1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)

For serving-

    1 Lemon , to be used when serving

    2 Green Chillies , finely chopped

    3 inch Ginger , thinly sliced

    3 sprig Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , finely chopped

    Salt , to taste

For Bengali Garam Masala-

    1/4 cup Cumin seeds (Jeera)

    1/4 cup Coriander (Dhania) Seeds

    1/8 cup Rock Salt

    1/8 cup White pepper powder

    1/8 cup Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)

    1/8 cup Red Chilli powder

    10 Bay leaves (Tej patta)

Procedure for the preparation of Ghugni :

To begin making the Bengal Style Ghugni , firstly we will make the Bengali garam Masala.

    To make the Bengali garam masala, roast the cumin and coriander seeds until browned well, Roast on low heat, so it does not burn and turn black then remove from heat and keep it aside 

    Next roast the bay leaves until crisp combine all the roasted ingredients with the rest of the remaining ingredients and blend into a fine powder 

    To next step is to make the Ghugni for which we will first pressure cook the soaked yellow peas along with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt for about 3 whistles, after 3 whistles turn the heat to low for 15 minutes and turn off the once the peas are soft and mushy

    Allow the pressure to release naturally 

    Once the yellow peas are cooked, stain it and keep it aside

    Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan

    Add in the grated ginger, turmeric powder, the cooked peas and just 1 or 2 teaspoons of the above Bengali garam masala, adjust the salt as required 

    Give the Ghugni a quick boil, then add and stir  the chopped coriander leaves and turn off the heat 

    Serve the Ghugni along with thinly sliced ginger and more green chillies on the top 

It's important not to over-boil the peas. The consistency should be perfect—slurpy but never watery. Served both as a snack and accompaniment this dish is loved by everyone irrespective of their ages.