Bengali ghugni recipe | how to make bengali ghugni

Bengali ghugni recipe -let’s learn how to make Bengali ghugni with step by step pictures. Ghugni is a delicious, Bengali style savoury white peas curry cooked in an onion, ginger-garlic paste gravy, served as a chaat too. It is a gem dish to the entire Bengali community from Kolkata aka West Bengal to Bangladesh. This peas curry is best to pair with any Bengali bread, like ruti(roti), luchi(poori), porota(paratha), koraishutir kochuri(green peas kachori), dal puri(daal stuffed poori). However, ghugni-Pauruti(bread) or ghugni -muri is the most popular even best-selling breakfast in the roadside tea stall to local trains in Bengal.

For making this Bengali ghugni recipe, soaked white peas or matar korai is cooked up with potatoes in spicy onion-garlic based garam masala flavoured gravy. Though white peas(motor korai/gota matar dal) is the main ingredient of this dish however aloo gives a special touch to this curry. Moreover, to make the best ghugni, motor korai or peas should be evenly cooked, however, their shape must be intact as before. An overcooked motor can spoil the taste of this gravy by making it thick and mushy.

Soaking peas is the most important part of Bengali style ghugni, at least 8-10 hrs of soaking is required before making this recipe. Though few varieties of peas even take 12 hrs to get properly soaked. Without perfect soaking, the dal may not be cooked properly and spoil the taste of this dish.

masala ghugni chaat is ready with chopped onion, cucumber, coriander leaves and lemon juice

In the early days, Biyoya Dashami was the only festival when ghugni was certainly made in every Bengali kitchen(from West Bengal to Bangladesh). So rather than food, this ghughni recipe is much connected to our Bengali emotions. Even, except for such festivals, in our childhood, ghugni was the most common preparation in Bengali households to celebrate special occasions too. Though still in house parties to a potluck, this recipe performs best not only among Bengalis, much appreciated by the vegetarian too.

Ghugni is also popular as a tasty and healthy evening snack in Kolkata aka all over Bengal. In the evening time, ghugni is available in street-side food stalls to serve as a chaat. Served hot in a leaf bowl garnished with chopped onion, coriander, green chilli, a sprinkle of bhaja masala and lime juice or tamarind pulp.

Though Bengali ghugni seems quite similar to Mumbai style ragda or north Indian dish matar chaat recipe, however, their making process is different from each other. Even the use of aloo and our special bhaja masala is the main reason to make the difference. But if you like those white peas recipes then you may love this Bengali ghugni too.

Try some other Bengali veg recipes, like Aloor Dum, Cholar Dal, Radhaballavi.

Bengali ghugni recipe

Ghugni is a delicious, Bengali style savoury white peas curry made by white peas(gota matar dal or motor korai) and potatoes(aloo), cooked up in a spicy onion garlic-based gravy. 

Ingredients

  • 300 gms whole white peas/ matar korai
  • 3-4 potatoes(300gms)
  • 2 onion(finely chopped)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 green chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds(gota jeere)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp bhaja masala
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • a hand full of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • water(as required)

For making Bhaja masala

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 red chillies

Prep time: 10 mins

cooking time: 50 mins

Total time: 1 hr

Served for: 6-8 people

Course: Breakfast/ Snacks

Cuisine: Bengali

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make bengali ghugni with step by step pictures

Instructions

Method of soaking peas and boil with aloo

  • Take 300 gms white peas or motor korai, rinse and soak it in water overnight or soak it for at least 10 hours. Once the peas are soaked well, wash them thoroughly, drain the water and put them in the pressure cooker.
well soaked matar korai the main ingredients of bengali ghugni is put in pressure cooker for boiling
  • Cut the potatoes into small cubes as shown in the pic. Wash it thoroughly, drain the water and add it with the soaked peas. Add 3-4 cups of water, that the peas and aloo just drown in it(as shown in the pic). Add 3/4 tsp of salt to it.
matar, aloo, water and salt is put in pressure cooker for boiling the yellow peas
  • Place the cooker on medium to high heat and wait for 3 whistle blows. Don’t remove the cooker until its pressure releases automatically.
cooking motor korai and aloo in pressure cooker

How to make bhaja masala for ghugni

In the meantime, take a pan, add whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, red chillies and dry roast it. Once the aroma comes from the spices then take it out of the pan and completely cool it down. Once the masala cools down, put it in a small blender jar and blend it until form a fine powder. Our bhaja masala is ready for this recipe.

making bhaja masala for ghugni

Preparing other ingredients of this recipe

  • Take two medium onions and a hand full of coriander leaves, finely chopped it. Keep it aside.
chopped onion and coriander leaves must used ingredient for making ghugni
  • Again take the blender jar used in making bhaja masala. Wash it, add a medium-size tomato(cut into halves or four pieces), 5-6 garlic cloves(medium to big), half-inch ginger, 3 green chillies to it. Blend it well until it turns to a smooth masala paste.
making masala paste for bengali ghugni

Cooking Bengali ghugni

  • Heat the pan on medium heat, add 4-5 tbsp of mustard oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add 1/4 tsp of whole cumin seeds(got jeere) and 2 bay leaves in the pan. Add the onion into the pan and fry it until gets golden in colour. 
whole cumin, bay leaves, and onion fried in oil
  • Then add the masala paste to the pan and fry it until it gets almost dry. Then one by one, add cumin powder, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder(for colour), turmeric powder, salt and sugar to the pan. Mix it well together. 
masala paste and dry spices are added for making the gravy
  • When the oil separates from the masala, then add the boiled peas and potatoes to the pan. Mix it nicely with the masala.
boiled yellow peas or matar and aloo is mixed up with masala
  • Cook the peas in masala, let the gravy starts boiling, then cover the pan with a tight lid and slow down the heat to its minimum. Cook it for 10-15 mins to infuse the spices into the peas and potatoes.
cooking matar in gravy for making bengali ghugni
  • After 15 mins, take out the lid of the pan, add 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder and 2 tsp bhaja masala. Mix it well. cook it for 5 mins more.
adding homemade garam masala and bhaja masala to the gravy
  • Check the peas and little mash the potatoes with the spatula to make the gravy in the right consistency.
checking perfectly cooked motor korai and mashing the aloo to get the right consistency of the gravy
  • Then sprinkle the chopped coriander on the top of the gravy and mix it well. Cover the lid once again to infuse the aroma of coriander spread all of the curries. Turn off the heat. 
sprinkle of coriander leaves over the curry
  • Our Bengali style ghugni is ready, direct serve it hot from the pan for accompanying with moring breakfast or as the evening snacks with the chopped onion, coriander, green chillies, a sprinkle of bhaja masala and a squeeze of lime juice.
motor is cooked in masala and ghugni is ready

Tips

  • Must soak the matar dal overnight at least for 8-10 hrs to get the best result.
  • Every motor korai or motor dal(white peas) should be evenly cooked. Overcooked korai can spoil its taste by making the gravy thick and mushy.
  • In my pressure cooker(Prestige 3.5 litres), 3 whistles(on medium to high heat) are enough to perfectly boil the peas. However, no. of whistles may vary for using other brands.
  • Here I did not add extra water. For more gravy you may add a little more water, then add a little salt too according to taste.
  • For making more or less in quantity, increase all the ingredients proportionately.
  • I cook it in mustard oil to keep its Bengali flavours intact. Though you may use vegetable oil too.

Serving suggestions

Serve it in breakfast with ruti (roti), luchi(poori), porota(paratha), koraishutir kochuri(green peas kachori), dal puri(daal stuffed poori) or even with Pauruti or muri. Or serve it as chaat by garnishing it with chopped onion, coriander, green chilli, a sprinkle of bhaja masala and lime juice or tamarind pulp.

Frequently asked questions

What are dry white peas?

Dried white peas are nothing but dry green peas. When green peas get ripe and turn yellow, then make it dry to get white peas. It is also known as gota matar dal or motor korai or ghugni’r korai in our bengali cuisine.

What is split yellow peas?

Split yellow peas mean yellow peas after removing its skin. Just like chana dal is made from whole black chickpeas. In our Bengali cuisine, these split yellow peas are motor dal.

Where to get white peas?

In Kolkata aka West Bengal, white peas or ghugni’r korai are easily available in every local grocery store. Though outside Bengal, you may try it in local supermarkets or malls. However, it is available in every online store, like, big basket or amazon. 

What to do if yellow peas are too hard to get boiled?

Due to its different varieties, it is hard to choose its best quality. So sometimes I too get such yellow peas which is hard to cook even after long hrs soaking. Then I boil it up with half a tsp of baking soda but after boiling don’t use its water in this recipe. As consuming more baking soda is not good for health and that spoil the taste of this curry too.

How to boil peas without using a pressure cooker?

Take a pan, add soaked peas, cube cut potatoes, salt and add enough water to make sure all the ingredients just get drown in the water. Boiling it in low flame by covering it with a tight lid. Check it after every five minutes and add water if reduced much. Though this method takes huge time however there is no chance of overcooking.

How to boil the peas in a rice cooker?

For boiling peas in rice cooker, just follow the same method using in making rice. Use the measuring cup for measuring both the soaked peas and water. The proportion of peas and water should be the same as the proportion of rice and water is instructed over the rice cooker booklet.

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