Remembering those days while writing this blog post today, when I used to call ‘Ghugni’ as “BHOOGNI” followed by everyone at home hilariously laughing at my silly food pronounciations, as a child growing up it was always embarrassing !!!Although Ghugni is not an everyday Bengali item we make in Mumbai but in Kolkata you can expect Ghugni with moodi or parathas or luchi on every alternate days.
In Kolkata along with all the mouth watering street food , ‘Ghugni’ is a very popular snack item in Bengal , Orissa; and in Bihar it is called “ghughri”. Wait let’s not just consider Ghugni as an unhealthy street food now because If you are, then you are getting me all wrong !! Ghugni is one of the healthiest , hygenic and spiciest veg snack you can ever enjoy in Kolkata. Just like we Mumbaikars have our famous fast food vada pav and pani puri , the Bengalis have Ghugni , Chicken Mughlai , Chowmein(noodles) , phuchka(pani-puri) and so on….
Also please note that ‘Ghugni’ is not the ‘Chhole Bhature’ the North Indians have in their breakfast. It is completely different in taste and recipe.
Talking about the recipe of this delicious snack, you will be needing the following ingredients :
Cook Time : 25-30 minutes.
Course : Snacks
Taste : Spicy
|White Peas (Safed Vataana)||250 gm|
|Potatoes Chopped into small cubes||1|
|Tomato finely sliced||1|
|Green Chili Slit in half||1-2|
|Ginger Paste||1 tbsp|
|Garlic Paste||1 tbsp|
|Garam Masala Powder||1/2 tsp|
|Whole Cumin seeds (jeera)||1 tsp|
|Coriander Powder (dhanya)||1 tsp|
|Turmeric Powder||1 tsp|
|Red Chili Powder||1 tsp|
|Salt||As Per Taste|
|(Fried) Bhaja Masala Recipe mentioned below||1 tsp|
|Onions finely chopped|
|Cucumber finely chopped|
|Lemon juice (1-2 drop)|
|Black Salt (1 pinch)|
|Green Chilies (Optional)|
|Soft Boiled Egg (Optional )|
How to make the (Bhaja) Fried Masala:
Bhaja (Fried) masala – Dry roast equal quantities of 1 tsp whole cumin seeds and 1 dried Kashmiri red chili and cool them, then grind them to a coarse powder
- Soak the White Peas 250 gm in normal room temperature water overnight to make this recipe.
- Boil the overnight soaked white peas and freshly chopped potatoes together with 1 tbsp salt in a pressure cooker to 2 whistle on a high flame before cooking.
How to Cook:
Step 1 : Heat oil in a pot/wok,add whole cumin seeds and green chili in the oil fry for 1 minute over a medium flame.This process is termed as “Phodon” in Bengali
Step 2 : Add garlic paste to the ingredients in the pot, cook till it changes color to light brown, put chopped onions and ginger cook till the onions turn translucent.
Step 4 : Add finely chopped tomatoes, sauté till tomato becomes pulpy, add red chili powder, turmeric powder ,coriander powder, salt and 1/2 tsp sugar. Cook and mix well all the masala ingredients for 5-7 minutes over a medium flame.
Step 5 : Add garam masala powder, fry, add the fried potatoes and boiled white peas finally to the ingredients in the pot, mix and cook them patiently for 5 minutes over a medium heat until a nice aroma of the masala reaches your nose.
Step 6 : Add 1/4 cup water or depending on how much thickness you want, simmer the soup till it thickens and cooked well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Sprinkle Bhaja (fried) masala on top and turn off the flame. And you’re done.
Step 7 : Garnish and serve hot.!
*Garnishing the Ghugni is a very important step or (the best part comes now) if you want to make it as a chatpata chaat add some chopped onions , green chillies ( optional), chopped cucumber , sprinkled on top with some special bhaja masala (optional) and at last the squeeze of lemon (or Tetul jol) will not only give your dish a nice sumptuous look but its tangy , spicy and mouth watering taste will directly take you to food heaven. And also for the non-vegetariens Ghugni can be served with soft boiled eggs yummy!. Ahem! Ahem! I’m already craving for another bowl of ghugni .*
If you ever wish to visit Kolkata or about to visit Kolkata you do not have to rush to a specific food street to have Ghugni. In fact you can have this dish anywhere in Kolkata like at railway platforms, at tea stalls and yes ofcourse the stand alone Ghugni sellers at a very cheap price. I prefer the stand alone Ghugni sellers anytime in Kolkata, West Bengal especially the ones in Sonakhali- Mednipur. So next time, if you visit Kolkata or planning to visit Kolkata don’t forget to have this heavenly snack at the streets of Bengal.
But, for now with this original and easy recipe straight from the Bengali mom’s kitchen will help you to make this recipe at your home without you traveling to West Bengal in this lockdown to satisfy your cravings. Isn’t it wonderful?
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