Be it after Bijaya Dashami or any uninformed visit to her, Dida was always kind enough to cook the best Niramish Ghugni for me over the years with fried sliced Coconut. Neither dry nor runny, a bit massy and with a few peas intact, with the fainted smell of Ghee, Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni was something I always cherished. Ghugni or the famous Bengali style Yellow pea curry is something probably cherished best with Luchi by the Bongs. However, I do follow three different recipes while making Ghugni, or should I write Ghooghni.
Ghugni Chaat is another form where a few condiments added after cooking to make the Ghugni spicier and almost a Chaat. Coming to the different recipes I was talking about, I already have shared the recipe of Mangsher Ghooghni (Yellow pea Curry with minced mutton) here in Debjanir Rannaghar. Another form of Ghugni is, however, the No Onion No Garlic one or the Niramish Ghugni, as we call it. As I already mentioned in my Mangsher Ghugni post, how this dish is an important part of the Bijaya Dashami Platter at my North Calcutta residence.
“Dida” used to make a thick version of the Ghugni with no added onion and garlic but with potato chunks and fried coconut strips. After Dida, “Boromashi” took the responsibility to keep the legacy on. Till date whenever I visit Mamarbari, two dishes are mandatorily served, Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni and Niramish Sukno Aloor Dum (No onion no garlic dried Dum Aloo). This particular version is on the rich and thicker side if compared with the Mangsher Ghugni or the runny Ghugni that is served with Luchi in Bengali Mistir Dokan or the roadside stalls. I will share the Roadside Ghugni recipe some other time but this post is meant for the Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni. Recipe courtesy is none other than my late grandmother from my mother’s side, Dida. Dida had a great influence on my cooking, especially when it comes to the vegetarian delicacies.
I prefer the Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni, served with hot Luchi and obviously with some other side dishes such as Begun Bhaja, Aloo Phulkopir Dalna etc. In fact, I made the Niramish Ghughni a few days back and I was tempted to write about the Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni naturally. While writing the post, I traveled back to the memory lane. My childhood, spending lovely days at Mamarbari during the winters or summer break every year, maybe the best phase of my life.
We, the cousins used to visit dida in Howrah and after having our lavish dinner (which mostly used to be a vegetarian affair) our nights were fun-filled with Chitchat and listening to golden oldies. We happened to have a BPL tape recorder for that venture which is, however, a different story altogether. The days have gone and I have only the memory left and the recipe of Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni, as I learned from Dida.
- Motor / Whole Yellow Peas: 250g (1.5 Cup)
- Potato: 2
- Coconut: ½
- Tomato: 1
- Green chilies: 2
- Ginger paste: 2 Tsp.
- Bay leaf: 1
- Cumin seeds: ½ Tsp.
- Cinnamon: 1”
- Cloves: 2 -3
- Green Cardamom: 1-2
- Dry Red Chili: 1
- Asafetida: ¼ Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Cumin powder: 1 Tsp.+ ½ Tsp.
- Coriander powder: 1 Tsp.
- Red chili powder: ½ Tsp.
- Bengali Garam masala powder: ⅓ Tsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to taste:
- Mustard Oil: 2+1 Tbsp.
- Ghee: ½ Tsp. (optional)
- Wash and soak Motor or Yellow Peas in water with ½ Tsp. Salt overnight.
- Drain the water and wash the peas under running water 2-3 times.
- Now take the Yellow Peas along with two times water, ½ Tsp. Salt and ½ Tsp. Turmeric Powder. ⅓ Tsp. each of Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder and Coriander Powder in a pressure cooker and keep cooking in medium flame with the weight on for 3 whistles.
- Cool down the pressure cooker completely before opening the same.
- Separate the broth from the boiled yellow peas for further use
- In the meantime, remove the skin of the potatoes and cut into small cubes and make a puree of the tomatoes.
- Cut Coconut into small strips.
- Heat remaining Oil in a pan and fry potatoes until those turn golden brown in color.
- Drain the fried Potatoes from the Oil.
- Now fry coconut strips in the remaining oil till those turn brown and emits the nutty aroma and after that drain from the oil.
- Take Remaining Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder and Coriander Powder, Sugar and ½ Tsp. of salt in a bowl and mix those with 1 Tbsp. of Mustard Oil and 1 Tbsp. of Water to make a paste.
- Add Bay leaf, Cumin seeds, Cinnamon, Cloves, Green Cardamom, dry red chili and Asafetida to temper the oil.
- Now add tomato puree and Ginger paste to the oil and cook till oil separates from the mixture.
- Now add the Spice paste to the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes in low flame.
- Add Boiled Peas, fried Potatoes and mix thoroughly.
- Add the separated broth as per requirement and cook till the Gravy thickens.
- Adjust salt and other spices.
- Now dry roast ½ Tsp. of Cumin Powder and add that along with Bengali Garam Masala and Ghee to the Ghugni.
- Mix fried Coconuts with the Ghugni; a few pieces of fried coconut along with chopped green chilies to be used as a garnish.
- Serve Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni hot with Luchi.
I prefer to opt for 3 whistles to cook the yellow pieces, which makes the peas a bit messy with a few pieces intact.
Ghee is completely optional though gives an amazing aroma to the Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni and hence should be opted for.