Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The quintessential matar ghoogni: The simplest version

Biharis are known for cooking a variety of ghoognis. A ghoogni is a spicy preparation of any kind of matar or chana (peas). Biharis love peas! For breakfast, Biharis eat rotis/parathas/puris with a ghoogni of chana/hara chana/matar/chola/kabli chana (chick peas). Ghoogni is a term used in the Bengali cuisine too.

I will discuss the recipe of the simplest matar (peas) ghoogni here.

You will need: a bowlful of fresh or frozen peas (no canned variety), one medium-sized potato, cubed; one medium-sized onion, chopped; half a teaspoon of crushed ginger (adrak); a couple of green chillies, chopped; two pinches of turmeric (haldi); half a teaspoon of cumin seeds; two tablespoons of oil; pepper and salt.

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil.
  3. When the cumin splutters, put the onion, the ginger, and the green chillies in the oil.
  4. Saute the mixture for two minutes.
  5. Add the turmeric.
  6. Saute the mixture on medium heat for five-ten minutes.
  7. Put the peas in the pan.
  8. Add the salt and pepper.
  9. Keep stirring till the potato is cooked.
  10. Serve hot with rotis, puris, or fried chuda (flat rice, chivda, chiwda, poha, avalakki).

This dry ghoogni is served with fried chuda as an evening snack. Let's see how you can make the fried chuda. You will need: a bowlful of flat rice (any variety); one green chilli, finely-chopped; a 1-cm cube of ginger, crushed; a tablespoon of oil, preferably ghee (clarified butter); and salt.

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add the chilli and the ginger to the oil.
  3. Saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add the chuda.
  5. Saute the mixture till the chuda starts turning golden.
  6. Take the chuda off the heat and spread on a kitchen napkin.

This can also be preserved for days if kept in an airtight glass jar.

If you are going to eat it immediately, you can spice up the chuda by adding chopped onions to the chilli and ginger while frying.

Personally, I love the ghoogni with plain fulkas or rotis.


Deepa H said...

Hey, matar ghoogni looks yummy (slurp). I will try this during the week. And, will let you know my "Bihari's" reaction :)

Anuradha Sinha said...

:) sure! do let me know. but your Bihari seems to like only jeera rice and dal... it is difficult to please him with anything else.

Deepa H said...

He is also a fan of Aloo fry, so this should please him. Lets see, you will know shortly.

Farhana Sultana said...

is this the phamous smoked-peas...? so wish i could cook :'(

Anuradha Sinha said...

No, Farhana, this is not the recipe for smoked peas. That is a bit complicated. Will let you know anyways.

megha said...

never tried eating peas with chivda (as they call it in Maharashtra) Would be an interesting combination!

Anuradha Sinha said...

Try it. You will love the combo!

delhibelle said...

Hi there!
I am so happy to discover a blog that focuses on Bihari cuisine which happens to be very close to my heart as a lovely lady from Bihar worked in my mom's house and introduced us to her homeland's awesome food, and actually taught me cooking.
Keep up the great blog!

Anuradha Sinha said...

Thanks, delhibelle! I will be adding more recipes soon.

Kanika said...

Hey! I belong to Lucknow...have many friends from Bihar and eastern U.P (Bihar border)...I love baati chokha and all bihari cuisines..Do u know something called thakua? ( I might have spelled it is wrong)
Kanika Saxena

Vineeta said...

I came through this wonderful blog today itself and am so happy to see this. I am a bihari settled in bangalore .good effort! will be looking forward to more bihari recipes from you

Anuradha Sinha said...

Kanika, yes, there is something called thekua. Will post the recipe sometime this month.

Vineeta, thanks a lot for your comment. Will post recipes regularly from later this month.