The Bengalis certainly know how to use food as a celebratory item. And the best part is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be rich, spicy food… some of their simplest dishes are the tastiest; like the dish we are going to make today – it’s called Ghoogni. It is a spicy mix of dry chickpeas with potatoes.
You will need the following ingredients:
Chickpeas (Chana): 200 gram
Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoon
Turmeric Powder: Quarter teaspoon
Potatoes: 2, peeled and cut into cubes
Fresh Coconut: 125 gram, diced
Black pepper: Half teaspoon
Cumin seeds: Half teaspoon
Aniseed: Half teaspoon
Coriander seeds: Half teaspoon
Cinnamon: One stick (1 inch or so)
Ginger: One 2-inch piece, finely chopped
Dry red chillies: 2, powdered
Salt: to taste
Wash, drain and soak the chickpeas overnight; dry-roast the cloves and cardamoms on a tawa and powder them.
Boil the soaked chickpeas in four cups of water along with the turmeric powder and salt. As the chickpeas boil, the skin (husk) will float up – remove them.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan. Add the potato cubes and the diced coconut and fry lightly till they turn brown. Add the contents of the pan to the boiled chickpeas.
Next, add all the whole spices along with the roasted and powdered spices; pour in the chopped ginger and mix thoroughly. Now put this mixture of chickpeas, potatoes, coconut and spices back on the fire and cook on a medium flame for around 4 minutes. Use a fork to make sure that the potatoes are properly cooked.
Your traditional Bengali Ghoogni is now ready. Serve it hot. You can serve it with rice or roti, but on celebratory occasions, Bengalis usually have it with Luchi – a wheat flour flatbread that is deep-fried (much like the north Indian Puri).