Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bengali Ghugni(Yellow pea curry)


I haven’t been on the blogging scene for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking or eating new stuff, sole reason of my absence was too much travel and then I got caught in the whirlwind of work. Travelling is terrific for the sensory as well as olfactory nerves (nose for the uninitiated!), but a week out of home and I was salivating for the known tastes. Indeed the recipe is a dear friend-Swati’s request, and the dish is Bangali ghooghi/ghugni (Bengali matar curry-sounds like a cross between Punjab and West Bengal!!) and though I’m not sure, but I think the ‘Bengali garam masala( five spice blend) may have been put on Earth for the sole purpose of rendering a terrific eastern aroma to this ghooghni... Yummmmm!


Bengali Ghugni

"Puritans" enjoy the ghooghni loaded with kheema (minced and fried red meat ) and greased with ghee. Only if their arteries could speak, they would have loved this Low cal Bengali vegetarian concoction!

What I used:

1 cup soaked and boiled peas
2tsp vegetable oil (this dish tastes better when the base mixture is sautéed in ghee, but then…)
1 potato(boiled and cubed)
2 onions (chopped fine)
1 tomato (de-skinned and chopped fine)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp ginger paste
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 dry chilli
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp bengali garam masala powder
2 tbsp coconut scrapings
½ tsp black salt
green chillies
Salt to taste

How I did it:

Like the popular chole recipe, you need to soak dry peas overnight in water, pressure cook with a teaspoon of salt. Do not overboil. Heat oil in a pan, and add a bayleaf, cumin, and cinnamon. Sauté till it splutters.

Add the chopped onions and stir fry till light brown. Add tomato, ginger paste, green chillies. Stirring briskly for a minute. Now add turmeric powder, and salt. Lastly add the boiled dry peas, potatoes and grated fresh coconut and let it all boil for 5-10 minutes on low heat, or till the consistency is thick with flavours flowing into each other and ingredients well cooked. Sprinkle garam masala powder on top, stir and remove from heat.
Sprinkle lemon juice and Serve piping hot.

Serving suggestion: white rice /phulkas or just have it as a tea time snack with fried alu bhujias on top.

Calories per serving : 125(without the fried bhujias on top)
Vegetarian Mangshor Ghugni

Oh! What a contradiction, but yes a low calorie and healthier version of the trans fat loaded mangshor ghugni is here: so if you are the longing for the same pujor diner Mangshor Ghugni aar Luuchi, then here’s what you can do:

Keep the Ghughni recipe same as above, and to the above ingredients add 1 cup soaked, drained and refried soya granules. While you are adding the boiled peas to the masala paste add them as well. You can avoid the coconut here and top it with lime juice and shredded coriander leaves.

Add a huge dollop of hot ghee on top (if you must!)


Bengali garam masala

This is something my mother prepares in large batches and couriers to me. On pestering her for the recipe, she shared hers here:

Ingredients:

3 tblsp Black Pepper corns
1 tblsp whole Cloves (Lavang)
2-3 Cinnamon (Dalchini)
20 green bruised Cardamom pods (choti Elaichi)
6-7 brown bruised Cardamom pods (Badi Elaichi)
1 tbsp Shahi Cumin Seed (Jeera)
1tsp Jafran

How my mom does it:
Dry roast all ingredients in a dry pan and heat over a very low fire, shaking the pan time to time.When a beautiful fragrance stars enveloping your room, know its done. Allow to cool slightly, then grind finely in an electric grinder. Or grind using a mortar and pestle and fine sieve afterwards. Store it in an airtight container.
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