Bengali Niramish Ghugni/ Yellow Pea Curry No Onion No Garlic
Presenting here a very popular and iconic street food from Bengal, Bengali Niramish Ghugni. Which has survived generations and still holds good on its own. Ghugni is pure love, the essence of our food culture. A perfect evening time snacks that can enliven the endless adda sessions with friends and neighbours. Or it could be a part of morning tiffin for kids as in ghugni -pauruti (bread), and could even a hearty short meal hack for the office goers as luchi-ghugni.
In short, ghugni is extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Ghugni is a life saviour for many too, . When nothing seems to work, a simple bowl of piping hot spicy ghugni can bring comfort to any distressed soul. Ghugni is our comfort food, our soul food.
Come Bijoya Dashami, a bowl of niramish ghugni and luchi -kosha mangsho will inevitably grace each table, warming up our heart as we bid adieu to Ma Durga on Dashami.
What Is Ghugni ?
Bengali niramish ghugni is a delightful light and spicy yellow pea curry cooked without onions , garlic, and tomatoes and with few chosen spices.
Ghugni is however not a dish but a class of dish and can be made with black chickpeas , yellow chickpeas, as well as with even fresh green peas. Each of this dish hails from Eastern region of India and very popular there. Bengali ghugni is however made with yellow dried peas.
The street style ghugni is made with onion-ginger -garlic combinations and with the usual set of Indian spices. It is more like a runny curry which is usually served with luchi or poori.
When having the ghugni just as a snack I like to keep the yellow peas as whole as possible in slightly slurpy gravy. But as a side dish to go with roti, paratha or poori, I slightly mush some of the peas so that it taste more like a well made curry. As this recipe is without onions, garlic and tomatoes.
What Is Bengali Ghugni Chaat?
Bengali ghugni chaat is nothing but a recent makeover of humble ghugni in recent decades as chaat is one dish that is extremely popular through out India. The plethora of flavours in chaat – a melange of sour, tangy, sweet and spicy flavours all beautifully blended together in perfect harmony can elevate our olfactory senses. Hence a well made chaat sounds extremely appetizing so as the ghugni chaat.
Ghugni chaat is made with ghugni which is then dressed up with finely chopped onions, cucumbers, coriander and mint leaves. A generous sprinkle of Bengali bhaja masala (roasted spice blend), a dash of lime juice with a splash of sweet tamarind chutney and spicy mint chutney. Sometimes little bit sprinkle of sev does not hurt too much.
Special Bengali Bhaja Masala For Ghugni
Bhaja Masala brings a unique touch to many Bengali dishes and ghugni is one of them . I can not imagine having ghugni without bhaja masala. My version of bhaja masala includes – dry red chillies, black pepper, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. There are other versions too but this version works fine with all the vegetarian dishes like bhaja masala aloo dum, street style aloo kabli, phucka and so on.
In some version cloves, cinnamon are added too but I try to keep it simple with a different flavour profile. Bhaja masala is not Bengali garam masala.
What To Serve With Ghugni?
Ghugni is extremely versatile dish and I particularly like to have it as ghugni chaat. With range of flavours added to it, it taste just scrumptious and looks so appetizing. However, depending upon the occasion or time of the day ghugni can be served with bread-ghugni for breakfast, luchi ghugni for light dinner or lunch or simply plain with no frills attached as an evening snack.
Bengali Niramish Ghugni / Yellow Pea Curry is popular street food from Kolkata.
- 200 gm Dried Yellow Pea / Vatana
- 1 Potato boiled and cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup Coconut, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp Cumin paste (made from freshly roasted cumin seeds)
- 1 tsp Coriander paste (made from freshly roasted coriander seeds)
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Green chilli paste
- 3 tsp Bhaja Masala (Roasted Spice blend, See note)
- 2 Bay leaves, 3 Cardamom, 4 Cloves, 1 stick Cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1/4 cup Tamarind water
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Tomato , Chopped
- 1 Cucumber , chopped
- Sweet Tamarind Chutney, as required
- Mint Chutney, as required (optional)
- Freshly chopped cilantro and mint leaves
Soak the dried yellow peas with enough water (filled up to the brim of the container) for overnight or 12 hours.
Next day, wash and pressure cook the yellow peas with enough water, pinch of salt, chopped ginger, green chilli paste and coconut pieces.
The peas should be just cooked, soft and tender, should be whole but not mushy.
Drain the yellow peas and reserve the liquid.
In a kadhai or dekchi heat the mustard oil till smoking point.
Add bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. If you want you can add 1 or 2 dry red chilli too.
Add the ginger paste with pinch of salt and fry till the rawness of the ginger disappear.
Next add all the spices including turmeric powder, cumin and coriander paste, red chilli powder. Fry for 3-4 minutes . Once the masala paste is nicely browned, add the boiled and cubed potatoes.
Saute it and mix it well.
Stir in the tamarind juice.
Next add the boiled yellow peas - coconut and give everything a nice stir.
Add the reserved liquid. Adjust the consistency as per your choice.
Adjust the salt and other seasonings.
Once done (everything comes together in a perfect consistency) sprinkle 2 tbsp bhaja masala (roasted spice blend).
Ghugni is ready and can be served as it is with luchi, roti or paratha.
Pour ladle full portion of ghugni in a bowl. Garnish it with llittle bit of chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, a dollop of sweet tamarind chutney, drizzle of lime, bit of mint chutney if using. And serve immediately.
Bengali Bhaja Masala / Roasted spice blend
Dry roast 1-2 dry red chill, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Grind it to fine dust.
Mangsher Ghugni / Ghugni With Minced Meat Or Keema
Bengali Mangsher ghugni or ghugni cooked with minced meat / keema is a very popular and worthy of special occasions. Keema ghugni is usually enjoyed with puffed up pooris / luchi or triangle paratha.
Here is how to make Mangsher Ghugni /keema ghugni / ghugni with minced meat.