Dry roast all the ingredients listed under ‘Ingredients For The Bhaja Masala/ Bhaja Moshla’. Roast until a nice aroma comes through. Cool and grind to a fine powder. This is the Bhaja Masala you will use in the Ghugni.
To Cook The Peas
To prepare the Bengali Raasta’r Ghugni – Bengali Street-side Ghugni, we must first cook the peas.
Into a pressure cooker, add the soaked and drained peas, 4 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon bhaja masala/ bhaja moshla, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, green chilies, ginger, and a little salt. Mix well.
Close the pressure cooker with lid and add the weight. Cook the peas for 4 whistles on high flame. Switch off flame. Allow pressure to release completely,
Remove the pressure cooker lid. Do not throw away any of the liquid left after cooking the peas.
Strain the peas, reserving all the cooking liquid. Keep aside.
Preparation Of Ghughni/ Ghoognee
Heat mustard oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter
Add the chopped onions and saute till the onion turns soft and light brown.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes away. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till it turns soft.
Now add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder along with 1 heaped teaspoon of bhaja masala/ bhaja moshla. Continue to saute till the masala is cooked well and oil floats.
Add the boiled peas and potatoes along with 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Continue to cook the peas on medium heat, stirring in between. Cook for 8 minutes.
When the gravy comes to a good boil, add the rest of the cooking water. On medium to high heat, allow the ghugni to cook down, gravy reducing, for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Cook the ghugni till you get a nice thick consistency.
Adjust spices and seasoning at this time. Now pour in the tamarind extract and mix well. Switch off flame and add the chopped coriander leaves and stir.
Keep the prepared ghugni covered for 10 minutes.
Serve hot/ warm with a sprinkling of bhaja masala and squeezed lemon juice on top and boiled eggs, chopped onions and green chilies.
My Bengali friends say, that the street side ghugni vendors add rice starch to achieve a thick consistency. I did not add this. But you could do this in case you feel your ghugni is too loose.
You could also add small pieces of coconut into the ghugni. It’s very typical of Bengali style ghugni.
I have added coriander leaves to my ghugni, but it is optional. A typical Bengali ghugni does not have that.