Bengali ghugni recipe – learn how to make delicious Kolkata street style Bengali motor korai ghugni at home with step-by-step pictures.
What is ghugni?
Ghugni is a delicious & savoury white peas curry or Bengali style motor korai(whole matar dal) tarkari. Ghugni has several recipes in our Bengali cuisine, with onion-garlic(amish ghugni), without onion garlic(niramish ghugni) and mangsher ghugni(keema ghugni). However, this is my amish onion garlic ghugni, made of white peas aka yellow peas aka motor korai or whole matar dal cooked in an onion, ginger-garlic, tomato, garam masala based gravy with aloo.
Variations of ghugni recipe
In Bangladesh – Ghugni is a gem dish to the entire Bengali community from Kolkata aka West Bengal to Bangladesh. Though in Bangladesh, ghugni is more popularly served as sidhdho motor chaat than its tarkari version. That Bangladeshi motor chaat is differently served as a delicious street style chaat named “chotpoti”. Chotpoti is mostly served as the boiled peas, mixed up with chopped onion-cucumber-coriander, special masala, tamarind pulp with grated eggs(dim), sev(jhuri bhaja) on its top.
In Odisha – Even Odisha and Bihar also have their own version of ghugni. Though oriya ghugni is less spicy than Bengali ghugni, named ghugni or ghuguni served with oriya style bara named pakodi.
In Bihar – On the other hand, Bihari ghugni is basically made of black chickpeas or Kala chana, though the spices are almost same as bengali ghugni.
However, our Bengali ghugni is best to pair with any Indian bread, like ruti (roti), Luchi (Bengali poori), porota(paratha), koraishutir kochuri(bengali 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. Even in Kolkata, ghugni is popularly served as a street-side chaat too.
Tips to soak and boil White peas
Soaking peas(white peas or ghugni motor) is the most important part of 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, motor(matar) korai may not be cooked properly and half-boiled peas can also spoil the taste of this dish.
Though white or yellow peas(motor korai/gota matar dal) is the main ingredient of ghugni however, potatoes or 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 after cooking. An overcooked motor can spoil the taste of this gravy by making it thick and mushy.
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 ghugni is a much-connected to those recipes that have a direct connection with our Bengali emotions. Even, except for such festivals, in our childhood, ghugni was the most common preparation in Bengali households to celebrate special occasions(such as birthdays or housewarming parties) too. Though still in-house parties to a potluck, this recipe performs best not only among Bengalis, much appreciated by the vegetarians (from North to South Indian) too.
In Kolkata Streets
Ghugni is also popular as a tasty and healthy evening snack recipe available in the streets of Kolkata aka all over Bengal. In the evening time, in street-side food stalls, ghugni serves 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 recipes. However, their making process is different from each other, so their taste is different as well. Even the use of aloo and our special bhaja masala is the main reason to make the difference between these recipes. But if you like those white peas recipes then you may love this Bengali ghugni too.
Try this Bengali ghugni at home and share your valuable feedback in my comment section, below this recipe.
Bengali ghugni recipe | Bengali motor korai ghugni
Ghugni is a delicious & savoury white peas curry or Bengali-style motor korai(whole matar dal) tarkari.
Ingredients of ghugni
- 300 gms Whole White Peas/ Motor Korai(Gota Matar Dal)
- 3-4 Medium sized Potatoes(300gms)
- 2 Medium sized Onion(finely chopped)
- 5 Garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch(5 g) Ginger
- 1 Medium sized Tomato
- 3 pcs Green chillies
- 2 pcs Bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds(Gota Jeere/Jeera)
- 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 Handful of Chopped Coriander Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Salt
- Water(as required)
For making Bhaja masala for ghugni
- 1+1/2 tbsp Whole Cumin Seeds
- 1+1/2 tbsp Whole Coriander Seeds
- 2 pcs Bay leaves
- 2 pcs Dry Red Chillies
Prep time: 10 mins
cooking time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hr
Served for: 6-8 people
Course: Breakfast/ Snacks
Author: Moumita Paul
How to make Bengali motor korai ghugni recipe with step-by-step pictures
Method of soaking yellow peas(ghugni motor) and boiling with aloo
- Take 300 gms white peas or motor korai, rinse and soak it in 4 cups of water(≈ 1 litre) overnight or soak it for at least 8-10 hours.
- Once the peas are soaked well, wash them thoroughly, drain the water and put them in the pressure cooker.
- Cut 3-4 medium-sized potatoes(≈300g) 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(≈750 ml to 1 litre), so that the peas and aloo just drown in it(as shown in the pic).
- Add 3/4 tsp of salt to it.
- Place the cooker on medium to high heat and wait for 3 whistle blows.
- Don’t remove the cooker until its pressure releases automatically.
How to make bhaja masala for bengali ghugni
- In the meantime, take a pan, add 1+1/2 tbsp whole cumin seeds, 1+1/2 tbsp whole coriander seeds,2 pcs bay leaves, and 2 pcs dry 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 forms a fine powder.
- Our bhaja masala is ready for this bengali ghugni recipe.
Other ingredients of ghugni
- Take two medium-sized onions and a hand full of coriander leaves, and finely chopped them. Keep it aside.
- Again take the blender jar used in making bhaja masala.
- Wash it, and add a medium-size tomato(cut into halves or four pieces), 5-6 garlic cloves(medium to big), 1/2 inch ginger, and 3 green chillies to it.
- Blend it well until it turns into a smooth masala paste.
How to cook motor korai ghugni
- Heat the pan on medium heat, and 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 to the pan.
- Add the chopped onion into the pan and fry it until gets golden in colour.
- Then add the masala paste to the pan(kept in blender) and fry it until it gets almost dry.
- Then one by one, add 1 tsp cumin powder, 3/4 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder(for colour), 3/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1+1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar to the pan.
- Mix all well together.
- When the oil separates from the masala, then add the boiled peas and potatoes to the pan.
- Mix it nicely with the 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.
- 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.
- Check the peas(by mashing with fingertips).
- If peas are easily mashed, then little mash the potatoes with the spatula to make the gravy in the right consistency(if not like too patla/thin 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.
- Our Kolkata street style Bengali motor korai ghugni is ready, direct serve this hot tarkari from the pan for accompanying with morning breakfast or as the evening snacks with the chopped onion, coriander, green chillies, a sprinkle of bhaja masala and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Must soak the motor korai/matar dal overnight at least for 8-10 hrs to get the best result.
- Every motor korai or matar 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.
Serve ghugni in breakfast with ruti (roti), Luchi (Bengali 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 about this recipe
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 their 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, even all over 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 are 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 drowned 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 the rice cooker, just follow the same method used in making rice. Use the measuring cup for measuring both the soaked peas and water. Keep the proportion of peas and water the same as the proportion of rice and water is instructed over the rice cooker booklet.