Bengalis absolutely love their ghugni. They can relish it with freshly fried fluffy luchi or have it as a snack garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves and grated coconut or the most decadent version of this dish, i.e., Mangsho Ghugni. It simply means yellow peas curry with minced (keema) chicken or mutton. This protein-loaded Bengali culinary fare is a staple during the Bijoya period when family members, friends and guests keep visiting each other. The simple recipe is easy to prepare and scores high on taste. 

There are several varieties of this versatile dish. On the one hand, it embodies street food, but on the other, it is an incredible meal that is a staple of niramish (vegetarian) Bengali cuisine. No onion or garlic is added during the cooking process, and a small amount of bhaja masala (roasted spices powder) is added to the dish to enhance the aroma. Mangsher Ghugni is made with yellow peas and minced meat (preferably mutton). The niramish version is a part of the Durga Pujo menu. The non-vegetarian ghugni is prepared post-Dashami or during Bijoya phase. The addition of keema makes it richer, flavorful, and more distinctive.

Ingredients:

To cook the peas

  • 1 cup dried white or yellow peas
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Minced chicken marination

  •   250 grams of chicken keema 
  •  ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  •   ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  •   ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  •  1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •    ½ tablespoon mustard oil

For paste

  •   1 large onion, diced
  •  2 inches ginger, peeled and diced
  •  5-6 large cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water

Rest of the ingredients

  • 1 large potato, medium diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 2-3 green chillies, whole or half slit
  • 1 bay leaf 
  •  4 green cardamoms
  •  2 inches cinnamon stick 
  •   ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  •  ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  •   ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  •   ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder
  •  1 teaspoon bhaja masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  •  2 cups boiled peas stock for the gravy
  • 3 tablespoons mustard oil for cooking
  •  2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped (for garnishing)
  •  1 green chilli, finely chopped (for garnishing)

   

Method

Mangsho ghugni, Image Source: Zomato

  1. Wash the yellow peas thoroughly and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Ensure to use a large bowl and add enough water. 
  2. Clean and wash the keema and discard excess water.
  3. Marinate the minced meat with ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of oil
  4. Give all the ingredients a thorough stir, cover the keema bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, drain the water and rinse the soaked white peas for a few times
  6. In the pressure cooker, pour the peas and stir in the salt, turmeric powder, and water 
  7. It should be pressure cooked for three whistles with the lid closed, keeping the flame medium 
  8. Turn off the flame. Allow the cooker to cool down and let the pressure release on its own
  9. Open the lead and take out the boiled peas. 
  10. Separately store the stock for later use.
  11. Add onion, garlic cloves, ginger cubes, and fresh green chillies in a blender and grind them to a smooth paste
  12. Heat mustard oil in a pan, and once it reaches a smoking hot level, introduce the diced potatoes
  13. Fry them potatoes till they get a golden colour evenly and turn a bit crispy
  14. Transfer them to a separate plate and keep them aside
  15. Into the same pan, add bay leaf, cumin seed, cardamoms, and cinnamon stick, and let them crackle
  16. Now blend in the chopped onion and mix it thoroughly
  17. Cook over medium flame for about 5-6 minutes.
  18. Introduce the grounded paste and stir all the ingredients
  19. Keeping the flame medium, cook it for 10-2 minutes.  The masala must release oil
  20. Cook the spices for a few more minutes on the lowest heat after adding turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder.
  21. Cook the masala with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water until the oil is released.
  22. Afterwards, add the tomato pieces to the masala and simmer them until they are tender. Once this is done, stir the cumin and coriander powders into the pan.
  23. Pour in the marinated chicken keema and stir well. For 10 minutes, cook it with the lid on a medium-low burner until the oil comes to the surface
  24. Mix in the tomato ketchup and garam masala powder in the pan
  25. For another two to three minutes, cook it on low heat.
  26. Toss the fried potato chunks and cooked yellow peas together in the pan
  27. For five minutes, cook it in low heat with the lid on
  28. After adding the stock from preserved peas, stir the mixture well
  29.  Mix in the green chillies and bhaja masala. 
  30. Cook it by covering the pan over a high flame until the gravy begins to boil
  31. Simmer it for a further few minutes on low heat. Now turn off the flame

Mangshor ghugni is ready to devour