Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Narkel Diye Niramish Ghugni / Pure Vegetarian Bengali Style Yellow Peas Curry with Coconut

Now now...don’t start making faces just by reading the term pure vegetarian or niramish. This veg version of ghugni is as much spicy and tasty as its non-veg cousin. And trust me...the recipe is so foolproof that no one will notice (including you) that it is without onion and garlic.

I feel, the coconut taste better with this pure veg version of ghugni. I have made both...and with the onion version, so many things are going on there that the coconuts remain as just another ingredient, whereas in this vegetarian / niramish ghugni...the small chopped pieces of coconuts add a noticeable nice texture and flavour.

Narkel Diye Niramish Ghughni / Pure Vegetarian Bengali Style Yellow Peas Curry with Coconut
Serves 6

1 and ½ cups of motor / yellow peas
4 tomatoes – roughly chopped
1 and ½ inch ginger – grated
1 small potato – (optional) peeled and cut into small cubes
1 and ½ tsp panch foran / Bengali five spices (You can buy or make your own, mix in equal amounts of cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and radhuni / wild celery seeds. In case of unavailability replace radhhuni with mustard seeds.)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
A pinch of hing / asafoetida
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp bhaja mosla (dry roast equal amounts of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, and black peppercorns for a minute on low flame, before grinding them into a semi smooth powder)
2 tbsp mustard oil
2 tbsp chopped coconuts
A handful of fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped

Wash the yellow peas in water until clear water runs through.
Soak the washed yellow peas in water for 4 hours at least, preferably overnight.
Cook the soaked yellow peas and the cubed potatoes (if you are using them) in a pressure cooker with enough water to submerge the yellow peas, salt and turmeric powder, until the cooker blows 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and let the cooker sit until the pressure settles down.
Dry roast the panch foran in a skillet over low to medium heat for a minute and then grind them to a fine powder. Keep this ground spice aside in a closed container to use later.
Heat the oil in a kadai and add the cumin seeds, dry red chillies and asafoetida / hing to it.
Add the chopped coconuts and dry for a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes to them.
Sprinkle some salt over them and cook until the oil separated and the tomatoes have completely disintegrated.
Add the ginger paste to the tomatoes and cook for half a minute.
Add the turmeric powder, and red chilli powder. Stir and cook the spices a little.
Now take the cooked yellow peas and their water and pour them into the kadai.
Give a gentle stir to mix everything.
When the ghugni starts bubbling, add the bhaja mosla, ground panch foran, tamarind pulp and the lime juice.
Stir to mix.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Add the chopped coriander leaves and stir to mix.

Switch off the flame and serve hot with some extra lime wedge, grated coconuts and chopped coriander leaves.

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