Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Bengali Ghugni | Instant Pot Ghugni Recipe

Bengali Ghugni | Ghugni in Instant Pot

Bengali Ghugni | Instant Pot (IP) Ghugni Recipe

Ghugni or Ghoognee is a very very popular snack in Bengal and in parts of Bihar and Orissa. It is made with dried white peas and cooked with myriad spices including Bhaja Masla. While the Northern India has its Chhole, Bengal has its Ghugni. An authentic Ghugni is made only with Motor or White Peas(sold as White or Yellow Vatana in Indian grocery stores), not chickpeas. Garnished with onion, green chilies, and the very Bengali addition of coconut, it is a mouthwatering snack.
My original recipe of Ghugni was posted several year ago following Somnath's directions. I have made Ghugni in Instant Pot using the same recipe. The Instant Pot version is easier and little quicker.

Two amazing things happened this weekend!

1. My IP did not scream Burn on me. It did not give up on me. I successfully made Ghugni in my IP. This has been my life long dream. To make Ghugni in IP as my Pressure cooker is not large enough for a week's worth of Ghugni. Small victories in a big gadget filled world.

2. I went to my first every stand-up comedy show. Given that I have a special fondness for all things funny and eagerly watch the stand-up comedy shows on Netflix , it is surprising that I had never been to a live one. So when we heard Vir Das is in town,  a bunch of us eagerly got our tickets for his show.  And it was truly an amazing experience. 

I have loved his  shows on Netflix but being right there in the audience, just 6 rows away from the stage, in a theater throbbing with energy and laughter was something else! HILARIOUS.

My respect for Ghugni had increased by manifolds since I started making Somnath's Ghugni Recipe.  It really is an awesome recipe, the little tips and tricks he suggested go a long way. The only problem was that I had to cook the Peas in a large pot first and that t...o..o..k TIME. Now my friend has been raving about Ghugni in IP being fast and easy but you all know that my relationship with my IP is not the best, so I always resisted.

The first time I made it in IP, my friend was actually away on a short vacation and yet I called her frequently to gauge the mood of my IP, from several hundred miles away.  She eventually did not pickup my phone and my Ghugni was first half-cooked, then had to be cooked again, and all that drama unfurled.
However now I think, I have cracked the code. To make this killer Ghugni in my IP. It helps as I can make a large amount which I then eat through the week.

If you are the rare ones, who have an IP but do not use it, you can give this a try.

Bengali Ghugni

Bengali Ghugni | Instant Pot or IP Ghugni Recipe

Soaking the Peas

Soak 2 Cup of Motor/White Peas/White Vatana in water. Use a big pot or bowl as the motor is going to expand on soaking. Overnight is good enough but I soak for almost a day as that suits me.

Next day, drain the water and rinse couple of times in fresh water. By now the motor should have doubled to 3.5/4 Cups.

Making Bhaja Moshla

Dry roast 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp coriander, 2-4 Dry Red chillies until you get a nice aroma of spices. Cool and grind to a fine powder. This is the Bhaja Masla you will use in the Ghugni. You can also use my Mother's Bhaja Moshla instead.

Make Ghugni


2 medium onion in half moon slices.

Puree 2 medium sized tomatoes OR 1 Cup of canned peeled/crushed tomatoes

Make a paste of
4 cloves of Garlic 
2-3 Green Chilies
2 Dry Red chilies soaked in water

Grate 2" Ginger

In 1/3 Cup warm water, add a small ball of tamarind. Squeeze gently to get tamarind water

Start cooking in InstaPot

Put the IP in sauté mode. Increase the time to 30 minutes. We will take this much time to kashao the spices
Heat about 2 Tbsp Mustard oil 

When the oil is hot temper with 1 tsp of Whole cumin seeds + 2 Dry Red Chili. When the seeds splutter add the chopped onion.

Fry the onion in high heat until it is soft and brown. 
Add the Chilli-Garlic Paste and follow with the tomatoes.

Kashao for about 15 minutes

Add the following spices
1 tsp of Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp of Coriander Powder
1 tsp of Turmeric powder
1 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch
1 heaped tsp of Bhaja Moshla
and fry the tomatoes + masala.
I have the tendency to add a tsp of Maggi hot and sweet ketchup at this point

Give it some time and you will see the tomatoes have cooked down and oil seeping out from the spices. This takes about 15-20 minutes starting with onion

Add a little water and deglaze the bottom of the pot.

Add 1 large-ish potato peeled and chopped into large cubes

Now add the drained chickpeas and mix it well with the masala.
Make sure there is nothing sticking to the bottom of the pan as that is what leads to the IP screaming "BURN" "BURN"

Now add enough water so that the chickpeas are submerged and there is at least 1"of water on the surface. Almost 6 Cups of water for 3.5/4 Cups of peas.

1/4th tsp of Amchur Powder
Grated ginger
salt to taste

Close the IP lid to locked. Select the Pressure Cook button and set it to 6-7 minutes on high pressure. Make sure your vent is on the sealing position.

When the cooking is complete and the Instant Pot beeps, wait for 2-3 minutes.
Now release the pressure manually and open the lid.

Put IP back on sauté mode for 15 minutes

Add the following
1 Tbsp Tamarind Chutney
Tamarind water
Chaat masala
Sugar to taste

Let it simmer for a few minutes. Crush some of the potatoes with back of the spatula to thicken the gravy.
If the Ghugni is still runny, thicken it as follows:
In 3tbsp of water, add 1 tsp of maida and add this thickening agent to the simmering ghugni.

Add small pieces of fresh coconut at this point(I didn't have any but it is very typical of Bengali Ghugnis). When you have a thick consistency finish off and take the Ghugni off heat.

Garnishing a Ghugni is a pretty important step

The standard garnishing are Chopped onion, Chopped green chilli, Tamarind chutney or a squeeze of Lime, Bhaja Moshla

When I saw Somnath's pic where Ghugni is served with Boiled Eggs, I couldn't resist. It is a brilliant idea and that is how I will serve mine from now on.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandeepa. This is Bee from Jugalbandi. Tried this recipe. It is fantastic. Hope you and your family are well.


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