Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ghoogni or Channa Masala - Curried Chickpeas

Ghoogni served with light and puffy luchis are a favorite snack among Bengali households. A mild hint of sour taste from tamarind pulp in a thick onion and tomato gravy makes it perfect for an accompaniment to luchis. I generally have it with tortillas because they are readily available and less work than making luchis. 

Soaking dried chickpeas overnight can be substituted with a can of already cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans in the Western hemisphere. I find that russet potatoes are a good addition. Remember that Bengalis love their potatoes and we add them to any and everything!

1 (14 oz.) can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans in water, drained
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 green chillis, minced
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. shah jeera
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole black cardamom
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 cup simmering vegetable broth or water
1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
fresh cilantro, minced
salt to taste
salad of onions, tomatoes and green chilies with dressing of lime juice and salt to taste for garnish
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat and sizzle jeera, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves. 
  2. Add green chilies, onions and potatoes, cover and simmer until onions are half-cooked.
  3. Add tomatoes, ginger and garlic pastes, paprika, tamarind paste and stir-fry until oil resurfaces.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas along with a cup of simmering water or chicken broth.
  5. Adjust salt to taste along with garam masala powder.
  6. Cover and simmer until gravy is reduced by half and chickpeas soften, i.e. easily mashed between the fingers.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and stir.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish, top with salad and serve with luchis or tortillas.

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