Ghugni is an iconic vegetarian Bengali snack made with dried yellow peas and served with luchi or pauruti

Ghugni is one of the most beloved of Bengali snacks. It is a dish of curried whole-yellow peas or motor (matar) dal. A good ghugni is one in which the motor dal is well-cooked, but remains whole. The key is to not overboil the dal. The consistency also needs be just right—slurpy but never watery. With just about 180 kcal per serving, you’d be hard-pressed to find an evening snack more filling, healthy and delicious than this.


COOKING TIME 60 minutes
YIELDS 6-8 servings


Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200 g Motor dal (whole yellow peas)
15 g Mustard oil
5 g Ghee
1 pc Cinnamon
2 pcs Cardamom
2 pcs Cloves
2 pcs Bay leaf
2 pcs Dried red chilli
½ tsp Cumin seeds
50 g Potatoes (1.5 cm cubes)
10 g Coconut (thinly sliced)
50 g Tomatoes (diced)
100 g Onions (thinly sliced)
40 g Ginger paste
4 g Garlic
7 g Green chillies
4 g Turmeric powder
3 g Kashmiri red chilli powder
3 g Cumin powder
3 g Coriander powder
22 g Salt
20 g Sugar

FOR THE GARNISH

  • Bhaja masala
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped green chillies
  • Tamarind pulp

Equipment

  • Boiling pot
  • Jhuri | colander
  • Kadai | frying pan
  • Khunti | long spatula

Appliances

  • Stove

Method

  1. Rinse and soak the dal in water overnight (at least 12 hours). Drain it from the water and transfer it to a saucepan.
  2. Add 800 g water, 10 g salt, and 20 g onions to the the saucepan. Cover and boil the dal on low heat. The dal should be soft but remain unbroken. So be sure to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t disintegrate. Once done, strain the dal and reserve the water for later.
  3. Cut potatoes into 1.5-cm cubes, onions and coconut into thin slices, and roughly chop the tomato. Also crush the garlic and green chillies into a paste using a mortar and pestle.
  4. Set a pan on medium heat and add 15 g mustard oil with 5 g ghee. Once hot, add the coconut slices and fry them until they are golden-brown. Remove them from the oil and set aside. Temper the oil with dried red chillies, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seeds.
  5. Once the whole spices are crackling, add the onions and fry them until brown. This should take about 6 minutes. Next add the potatoes and fry for 3 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they are soft (about 2 minutes).
  6. Add the garlic-and-green-chilli paste, and ginger paste. Fry these for about 3 minutes. During this time, make a paste of turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, and 100 g water. Add it to the pan.
  7. Fry until the smell of raw spices is gone. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes. If the spices dry out, add a splash of the dal water that we reserved earlier and continue frying.
  8. Once the spices have started releasing their oils, add the boiled motor dal to the pan. Fold it with the spices and cook for 2 minutes before add the reserved water.
  9. Add the remaining salt and sugar and turn up the heat. Bubble on high flame for about 6 minutes until the curry loses its watery consistency. Stir in two slit green chillies and the fried coconut. Cover and rest for 2 minutes.
  10. Before serving, garnish with Bhaja masala, chopped onions, chopped green chillies and tamarind pulp. Serve piping hot.

Served with

  • White quarter pound bread loaves toasted over an open flame
  • Luchi