calcutta ghugni

Bengali Ghugni | Vegan white peas curry | No onion-garlic recipe

Course Side Dish, Street Food
Cuisine North East Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 cup dried yellow peas soaked for 4-5 hours
  • 2 tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated
  • ½ tsp kalonji seeds nigella seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • leaves a small bunch of freshly chopped coriander cilantro
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for Ghugni Masala mix (makes ½ cup approximately)

  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp rock salt/kala namak
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp dry mango powder amchur powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4-5 leaves bay


First get the Ghugni Masala ready,

  1. by roasting the cumin seeds and coriander seeds at low gas until browned. Take care not to burn them. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  2. Next, roast the bay leaves at low until they get crispy. It should crush when crumbled between the palms.
  3. Combine the above three ingredients with the others from the Masala list, and grind to a fine powder. Keep this masala aside.

To start making the Ghugni,

  1. cook the soaked yellow peas with enough water in pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles, until soft and mushy. Check the softness by pressing between the two fingers, it should be quickly mashed up.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat a tbsp of oil. Add in the grated ginger, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and freshly prepared ghugni masala. Adjust the salt as required.
  3. Once the tomatoes are soft and mushy, add cooked peas. Bring this curry to a boil and then let it simmer for next 12-15 minutes with a lid on. Stir once or twice in between and adjust the seasoning and water as desired.
  4. Then stir in the chopped coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
  5. Serve the Calcutta Ghugni along with thinly sliced ginger, roughly chopped onions and squeeze some lemon juice on top as a tea time snack.

Recipe Notes

You may store this Masala mix in the freezer to retain freshness for about 4 to 6 months.

Ghugni can also be served as a main course with Roti, Paratha or thepla.