Ghugni Chaat: A Delicious Indian Street Food

Ghugni Recipe
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Ghugni chaat may be familiar if you enjoy Indian street cuisine. Kolkata and the eastern part of India have a near-cult reputation for this cheap and excellent food. In this article, we’ll show you how to make traditional Bengali ghugni and explain all you need to know.

What Exactly Does Ghugni Entail?

For those unfamiliar with ghugni, it is a basic, semi-liquid curry comprised of yellow peas or dry white peas, potatoes, onions and tomatoes, jalapeno slices, and other spices. A popular breakfast and snack in eastern India, it’s especially well-known in Kolkata’s bustling streets as one of the city’s most beloved street foods (alongside jhal muri).

If desired, pakoda or poori may also be served with the peas, which are cooked in sauce. Many varieties of the meal contain minced meat (usually chicken or mutton), although ghugni chaat, as we’ll see later in this essay, is generally a vegetarian dish.

If you have an instant pot, you can whip up this dish in only 25-30 minutes, making it a great workday supper or party snack. The fact that ghugni chaat is vegan, high in protein, and oil-free is one of the many reasons why I like it so much.

Ghugni’s Origins

In India, chickpeas are a delicacy, therefore it’s no surprise that they are used extensively. When and where precisely did ghugni chaat initially come in the Indian subcontinent, the eastern regions of the country, including Bangladesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Assam, are thought to be the origins of this food.

Ghugni chaat’s roots are, however, the subject of various hypotheses, and I’ll give the most frequently acknowledged one below. India’s government was aware of the possibility for a cholera epidemic, although many people are unaware of this. After realizing that the Yamuna River was contaminated, Shah Jahan (the ruler at the time) and his loyal advisers took action to clean it up. It was therefore recommended to cook excessively spicy cuisine in ghee to combat the pandemic that was looming in the future.

Ghugni, a famous chaat dish, was first popularized during this time period. Culinary historians haven’t confirmed this myth, although it does make sense since it occurred around the time when the first chaat foods appeared in various sections of the country.

The Different Types of Ghugni

To go along with the traditional ghugni recipe, the following are the three most common variants:

  • The mutton-stuffed dish known as a “Kolkata hallmark,” Mangsher Ghugni.
  • Traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Bangladesh, Keema Ghugni (a delicacy with chicken or keema mutton).
  • In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, vegetarian versions of ghugni cuisine are also popular. While the traditional ghugni chaat may be found in these regions, the Matar Chaat is somewhat drier and less spicy than the original meal. Instead of yellow peas, green peas or black chickpeas may be used to make this meal.

Serving Suggestions for This Recipe

Ghugni chaat is a popular option for breakfast. In most cases, it is served with chopped jalapeno slices and onions, and lemon zest in disposable shaal leaf bowls at roadside stalls. How they accomplish filling this “eco-bowl” all the way to the brim without spilling a drop is rather astounding!

It is also possible to serve the chaat muri with puffed rice. Traditionally, this dish would be served with rotis or chapatis, but because you’re preparing yourself, you get to choose the rules.

Tips on Making Ghugni

  • The chutneys and spices in this ghugni chaat dish should not be used mindlessly. Do not overdo the spices if you have never eaten spicy cuisine before. You may always add more as desired.
  • To avoid mushy peas, take careful not to overcook the ghugni dish. This should take no more than 15 mins of cooking time.
  • Only add onions, tomatoes, and other garnishes before serving when making ghugni chaat in advance.
  • The overnight soaking of the peas is the most crucial processes when creating a delicious ghugni chaat. Keep in mind that if you skip this step, the peas won’t cook correctly.
  • The gravy should be neither too thick nor too watery. When making the gravy, use caution when adding water since it should be of a medium consistency.
  • The bhaja masala should not be omitted in any instance. Ghugni chaat’s taste is heavily dependent on this ingredient.

The Health Benefits of Ghugni Chaat

The health advantages of green peas and their nutty flavor have made them a popular snack. Peas are good for you because they provide fiber and vitamin C to your diet, two of the most important components in these little green superfoods. Vitamin C and soluble fiber are the primary sources of peas’ health benefits. Green peas provide a wide range of health advantages, including their capacity to improve digestion and protect against free-radical damage.

Green peas have several other advantages as well. This leafy green’s somewhat grassy flavor works well in a wide range of meals. Peas are an important part of many Indian dishes, including ghugni chaat! In the meanwhile, let’s examine the pea’s nutritional content to get an idea of what these seeds may do for us.

Although they are little, peas are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. andGreen peas are rich in vitamins C, A, and B6, all of which contribute to their beneficial properties. Peas are a good source of potassium, which helps decrease blood pressure and reduces the chance of a stroke.

Peas are high in antioxidants too. The blood contains free radicals, or oxygen atoms that are not bound to other molecules. n order to harm healthy cells, these free-roaming particles combine with them and apply oxidative stress on their walls. Tissue inflammation and age-related issues are two common causes of free-radical damage. Antioxidant-rich diets, on the other hand, may reduce blood levels of free radicals. As a result of this, age-related issues may be kept at bay by reducing free radical damage.

Peas have a high concentration of fiber, which is one of the macronutrients found in them. Foods high in dietary fiber are often called “non-digestibles” because they take longer to break down. Peas are vital for weight reduction because they keep you full for a long period of time and stop you from over indulging, which helps you lose weight. It’s more difficult for the gut to process a high-fiber diet, which means your stomach has to work more to process it. As a result, your body is forced to use more energy . As a result of this, peas are considered a “negative calorie” meal since they help with weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning calories.

Peas can help control blood glucose levels. The high fiber content of green peas contributes to this advantage, which is still another. As a result of fiber’s role in slowing down digestion, we may say that this slows down the system’s ability to absorb glucose. Insulin production may then take place gradually, avoiding a surge in the blood sugar levels.

It enhances your immune system. When it relates to boosting your immune system, the antioxidant properties of peas also play a role. These antioxidants protect your immune system from the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidant intake may also help slow the advancement of age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

 Peas are a healthy choice during pregnancy. One of the most important nutrients for pregnant women, folate, may be found in peas. This contributes to healthy spinal cord and brain health. The recommended daily intake of folate is 400 micrograms. The use of folate aids in the formation of the neural tube, which is beneficial to the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Peas help boost ocular health. When it comes to improving one’s eyesight, individuals typically recommend eating more green veggies. Vitamin A, which is abundant in peas, is necessary for healthy eyesight. Protecting the eye’s surface and maintaining a good mucous membrane are two of the benefits of this vitamin.

Improves your supply of oxygen – Additionally, peas contain iron, which plays an essential function in the transmission of oxygen in the body. Hemoglobin synthesis requires iron, a necessary mineral. As a result, a diet rich in iron will help to maintain the healthy synthesis of hemoglobin and ensure that all other organs get the oxygen they need to operate properly. An iron-rich food like peas may help avoid anemia and other oxygen deficiency problems, as well.

It keeps your blood pressure in check – Peas, with their high phosphorus content, have been shown to be essential in the management of blood pressure levels. Minerals like phosphorus dilate the blood arteries and prevent them from contracting, which lowers the blood pressure.

It strengthens your bone structure – Vitamin D is necessary for bone growth, although it is ineffective on its own. Vitamin K, which is plentiful in peas, is another dietary necessity for bone health. Calcium and Vitamin K work together to help your bones gain structural density too. It aids in the stabilization of calcium in the bones, therefore reducing the rate at which it is excreted by the body.

How to Make Ghugni

Ingredients

  •     2 Cups of dried peas,soaked in tepid water. Use white or yellow peas.
  •     2 Cups of water
  •      Garlic cloves, preferably 1 or 2
  •      1 big onion
  •     3 diced jalapenos
  •     1 diced potato
  •      2 big diced tomatoes
  •     1 tsp of ginger
  •    1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  •    1/2  tsp of cumin seeds
  •    2 tbsp of  coriander 
  •    3 tbsp of Tamarind pulp
  •    1 tbsp of Chana masala
  •    1 ½ tsp of  Chili powder, preferably red
  •   1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
  •    1 tsp of mango powder
  •    Salt to season, preferably 10grams
  •    The juice of a tiny lemon

Method on How to Make Ghugni

  • Soak the peas for at least eight hours in warm water overnight.
  • Drain the peas and then proceed with the recipe.
  • Pressure-cook the potatoes and peas according to the package directions.
  •  Add a pinch of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt to the mix.
  • Start heating your pan with some oil while you wait.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the shallots, cumin seeds, and garlic until fragrant and golden. 
  • Mix often.
  • Add the ginger, turmeric, tomato, and a small amount of water, and stir well.
  • Add the boiled peas and potatoes, along with some coriander, to the mixture.
  • Wait for the solution to cool before turning off the heat.
  • It’s time to add some fresh green chilies, red onions, and lemon/cilantro juice.
  • Meld everything together.
  • Add the mango powder and the tamarind pulp.

FAQs

For how long should we soak the white peas?

You should soak your dried peas overnight. Remember to ensure that they are immersed in sufficient water.

What goes well with ghugni?

Enjoy it with a side of muri, puffed rice, or another kind of bread.