Ghugni ~ Curried White Peas (Matar)

When I was studying in India, I had a lot of Bengali friends and one thing which was common among all of them was, all their mom’s were great cooks and whenever I went to their homes, their Mom’s sole aim in life was to feed me ( although I did not need much encouragement , as those days, I survived only on my cooking …. which was pretty pathetic  !!! ) . Thus, I got a lot of exposure to Bengali food and snacks and one of my favorite was Ghugni with Singhara ( Bengali for “Samosas ” ). Ghugni is a spicy curry made of dried white peas and can be eaten with rice or chapatis.  Enjoy 🙂 ~ Kamakshi

Prep Time : 15 mins                                               Cook Time : 30 mins
Serves : 4


  • 1 Cup Dry White Peas ( Matar)
  • 1 Medium Potato, diced into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 Green Chillies
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (Haldi) Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin (Zeera) seeds
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind ( Imli ) Paste / 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin (Zeera)  Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander (Dhania) Powder
  • 1 small stick Cinnamon (Dal Chini)
  • 2 Cardamoms (Elaichi)
  • 1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak the peas over night in 3 cups of water. The next day, drain the water and cook the peas in the pressure cooker with 4 cups of water and 1 tbsp Oil for 15-20 mins. (Oil helps reduce the foam from the beans as well as helping keep the skins from popping off and clogging up the vent tube.) The peas should be soft but not mushy.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamon and bay leaf and fry for 5-10 secs. Then add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and fry for couple of mins till the onions become tender.
  3. After the onions become light pink, add the diced potatoes and stir fry for 5 mins till the potatoes become  light brown. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder,coriander powder, salt and stir fry for 5 mins. Add the tamarind paste  and mix well.
  4. Now add the cooked peas and mix well with the cooked paste. Add about half a cup of water and let it simmer for 10-15 mins
  5. Garnish with chopped onions and coriander and serve.

Note : If you are using lemon juice instead of tamarind paste,then add the lemon juice in the very end, when the dish is ready. In a typical Bengali dish, chopped coconut is also added but since my kids are not fond of coconut so I have omitted it in this recipe.