‘Ghugni’ always brings lots of memories in my mind. When in school it was my daily treat. The Ghugni wala used to come with a large deep bottomed pan/Dekchi full with this yellow heaven everyday in our school. The other stuffs what he kept along with Ghugni was a bunch of Shalpata with a bunch of spoons for serving, a spcl.masala jar, a pot full with tamarind water and a plate of chopped green chillies and onions. When the bell rang for tiffin time we hurriedly rush to him for our regular Ghugni dose. He used to seat on the school floor, and a well knitted crowd gathered everyday around him. He took 50 paise for half plate and 1 rupee for one plate of Ghugni. And he left everyday with empty pan, that too got empty within 15 minutes. The balancing act of having Ghugni from a single piece of Shalpata with a squarish spoon made from Shalpata itself was quite a deal what we enjoyed most. Those were golden days.
Nevertheless to say it’s a popular street food of Kolkata and Bengal. During the Durga Puja days in Kokata and suburbs one Ghugni stall can easily be found among many other food stalls. And that’s a tradition, without this food hoping is incomplete.
It was our family favourite, Ma used to cook this very well. I’ve learnt this from my mom and I cook it regularly at home. This can be served with luchi/deep fried unleavened bread, paratha, roti or of course can be devoured alone any time. 🙂 As it’s a very popular food so the recipes may vary little bit from home to home. I’m sharing my version here.
Ghugni/Dried Yellow Peas Curry
- Ghugni motor/Yellow dried peas- 1½ cups
- Potato medium sized- 1
- Onion medium sized- 2 (thinly sliced)
- Tomato medium sized- 2 (chopped)
- Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
- Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste- ¾ tsp
- Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
- Sugar- 1 tsp
- Mustard oil- ½ cup
- Garam masala powder- ¼ tsp
- Black pepper powder- ½ tsp
- Few slit green chilies
- Lemon- 1
- Bay leaf- 2
- Whole dry red chili- 2 (broken)
- Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
Soak Ghugni motor/yellow dried peas in generous amount of water for 5-6 hours. Now add soaked yellow peas in a cooker. Pressure cook with enough water (water level should be 2″ high from the yellow peas). Check after 4-5 whistles. You need to cook the yellow peas with grains visible mostly and little mushy at the same time. So adjust the whistles accordingly. Open the lid after pressure has reduced.
Peel the potato and cut lengthwise. Then cut each half lengthwise again, and cut the wedges into cubes. Wash well and keep aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan/kadai. Add cubed potatoes, fry on medium flame until golden in color. Remove and keep aside. Now add the ingredients mentioned ‘for tempering’, sauté for few seconds. Add sliced onions, fry on medium flame until light brown in color. Next to add garlic paste, mix and sauté for few seconds. Add chopped tomatoes, ginger paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix and fry on medium flame until the masala starts leaving oil. Add boiled yellow peas, potatoes and green chilies into this. Mix well and cook for 10minutes on medium flame. Keep stirring in between to prevent burning from the bottom of the pan. Now add ¾ cup of water into this. Mix well and cook on low flame until the potatoes are done. Keep stirring in between. Check salt, add sugar, black pepper powder, garam masala powder. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Serve hot .While serving garnish with chopped green chilies and chopped onion, followed by a generous drizzle of lemon juice or tamarind water on top. Enjoy!
- The street vendors in Kolkata don’t use black pepper powder in Ghugni, they use red chili powder. This is my personalized addition into Ghugni, as I avoid red chili powder for health issues. If you are using red chili powder add this while adding other spices with tomatoes, as I’ve mentioned in the recipe.
- Use tamarind water for drizzling on top for the authentic street like taste.
- The consistency of Ghugni should be moderately thick, not very thick. So adjust water accordingly at the time of cooking.
- My Mom used to add small fried coconut pieces into this, it goes very well with Ghugni . If you want to add, check this to know how.