Sunday 5 July 2015

Ghugni - Dried Peas Gravy - Pressure Cook Method

 If I can talk about comfort food. This simple ghugni which is highly flavorful and rich protein can never let you down with its taste!!

Lets have a short look over what is ghugni or ghoognee. Its a famous street food of Bengal, Assam, Orrisa and Bihar. Usually served as it is as chaat / made like gravy style and served with hot pakoda's / Served with flat Indian breads like puri paratha and rotis. With all different states having ghugni as specialty  there are high level of variations involved in the process of making it.

Basically Dried White peas or Dried yellow peas is used for making it. But I'am making use of  Dried Green Peas for a  different reason which I'll discuss it later in the article.

Sometimes Iftar for most of us becomes an excuse to have loads of junk food which can be a real trouble or considered as a bad diet. Females have a tough time to choose what to make for family at this point. And when kids and men have special demands then it more difficult to keep a check of healthy food. I decided to make ghugni this Ramadan as it is light and filling, packed with low carb and high protein yet very low in fats. Though ghugni is among my most liked food but still it was left unnoticed and forgotten for long dont know why :) Im sure it happens to all of us at a point of time. I had served it with pakoras and just yumm yumm!!

Getting back to the recipe

1 cup dired green peas should be soaked over night or maximum 5- 6 hrs. This ensures easy cooking, easy on tummy and no gastric formations. Once soaked get started with the cooking process

Onion - 1 large chopped or 2 medium size
Tomatoes - 2 large or 4 small size
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1.5 tsp heaped
Turmeric powder - 1/4th tsp
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Water - 1/4th cup + 3-4 cups more

Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp or a little more
Methi seeds - 1/4th tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 4-5

- Add oil in a cooker and add tempering starting with mustard seeds, allow it to splutter in medium flame, Once it splutters add all other ingredients listed below temperings and cook over low flame till nice aroma emits, Make sure dont burn these, its very essential part for flavorings
- Add Chopped onion, tomatoes ginger garlic paste and all dry spices, add 1/4th cup water, salt  and all dry spices, saute it well for 3-5 mins in medium flame till nice aroma emits and all the raw smell fades of, oil starts leaving its sides (since less oil is used here, chances of oil leaving sides are minimum so go with the aroma).
You can also lower the flame and close the cooker pan with any lid, this will ensure slow cooking of masalas while you do other works (just an option, I do this and get back to room to escape humid weather of chennai :D )
- Once nice aroma is emitted and you find onion and tomatoes mushy coated with other masalas. Now add soaked peas and water 3-4 cups. Cook for 2 whistles.
- Allow the pressure to release on its own and you are ready with wonderful gughni.

Alternate method 1
Pressure cook peas with water for 2 whistles allow it to release on its own.
Prepare tempered masala base in a kadai and mix the pressure cooked pease into it. Mix well check for salt and spices, adjust consistency with water, give it another boil. Garnish and serve.

Alternate method 2
Prepare the base masala and blend it if you dont like chunks of onion and tomatoes. Make sure you minimize the dry chilli to 1 or 2 / Remove chillies before blending. Follow with pressure cooking peas option before or along with the spices base is your wish!!

- Add spices according to your taste.
- You can use white / yellow dried peas but personally I find those peas remains soft only till it is hot. I find dried green peas quick in cooking as well as mushy enough to be eaten with pakodas or when used for any side dish. However if you got the trick to keep yellow / white channa be soft even after it cools down after cooking go for it!!
- You can add lemon juice or dried mango powder if required for some tangy taste. But here the tomatoes I used were very sour so I did not add anything more to this.
- In case tanginess is felt more you can add some sugar and adjust it (very little)
- Adjust water as you like, Open stir cook the peas mixture for thicker gravy or add more water incase the gravy is too much thick than you desire.
- Can be kept in fridge upto a week stored in air tight container.

For making chaat similar to Ragda:
- You can omit tempering and make the ghugni as it. This can be later served with green and sweet chutney, raw onions along with samosas kachoris,  pakoras some nylon sev and coriander leaves. Go easy with your addition and enjoy tweaking the recipe as your likeness!! (spice level for chaat is perfect measurement as given in above recipe)

To Serve with Roti / bread / Puri / Paratha / Khakra / Idly / Dosa / Idyapam (yes it goes well along everything!!
When you have intention to serve this along the main course then make sure you do the tempering part as well as have the spice level more so that it gives a perfect taste when eaten with bland food!!

Hope you enjoyed this wonderful post of having ghugni as chaat and side dish both do try out and have fun with cooking!!

Until next cya.............

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Friday 3 July 2015

Shawarma Bread Rolls

 These mini cuties so much tasted like shawarma filling hence named it as shawarma bread rolls.

Sometimes imagination takes us very far, and this was something which was running in my mind imaginatively for quiet sometime. Finally I tried and here was the result!! One of my best trial and a keeper for sure. This was made along with my previous post Sago Vermicelli Kheer - Energy booster Dessert / Drink . Take a look if you havent yet!! 

The way kheer was made in large quantity similar was the case with these rolls, my 1st attempt with a large batch to be sent was a risk factor but its always better to do something than to be void without even giving it a try. There are many bread roll recipes across web after lots of browsing I did not find anything similar to what was going inside my head. As I kept making I was confident about the shape and size, The only thing bothered me was the filling and how well does it get along with bread and gram flour coating.  I'll talk my trial and errors as I proceed with the post. Getting started with the recipe.

Preparation done here was a large batch. But I'll give measurement for 4- 8 members with generous servings possible :-

Ingredients for filling
Mixed veggies consisting of Cabbage, Onion, Carrot and Capsicum - 1 cup each (you may add or subract veggies as per your choice this is just a basic measurement for better understanding.

Boneless chicken - 100gms or more marinated with 2tsp ginger garlic paste and some salt for few hrs or over night (optional) can be done instantly too. Marinating gives better flavor and tenderness to the chunks.
Some mayo - 1/2 cup or more as you like
Garlic pods - 5-6 large chopped finely
Green chillies - 2-3 depending upon how much hot you like
Black pepper powder - For extra taste and spice
Some Salt and sugar for seasonings
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp

- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute the marinated chicken till all the sides golden brown. All the juices absorbed and chicken is well cooked (takes around 5-7 mins in medium heat)
- Once done cool down and shred the chicken using your hands. (if you frustrated over something here is a way to take off all :P just kidding :)
- There will be some remaining oil or just a little grease from chicken mixture. Heat the same pan and add in all the veggies along with the shredded chicken. Add soy sauce, salt and sugar Saute it for 2-3 mins in high flame just till the veggies start to get soft. do not allow them to become very soft. It should just be little soft yet crunchy. 
- Remove this in a deep bowl or another kadai to cool it under fan. Now add pepper powder, chillies, chopped garlic and mayo. Mix it all well and check for the taste which suits your taste buds best. (add / subtract seasonings as per your choice eg: less peper powder, omitting chillies and using only pepper powder more salt / sugar just go along with your taste) 
Add more mayo if you want a richer taste!! I like it rich in taste!! 
- Once this is prepared keep it aside for use.  Whole thing takes 10 - 12 mins hardly dont get worried with my long texts, Its a process done in a jiffy when all ingredients are ready to be throw into the pan.

Other ingredients needed
Sandwhich Bread Slices - 1 pack Sides Trimmed (normal small size will work good too but take care to the sizes. This has to be later dipped into gramflour batter for frying.

Soft butter to apply over bread!!

Gramflour batter / Bajji Batter
Gram flour / Besan - 2-3 cups mixed with 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder, 1/4th tsp of baking soda, Salt to taste. Add water to make a smooth nor thick nor thin paste. (see the bread pic below) with thick batter bread will become too heavy therefore making the bread coating difficult. If the batter is very runny it may possibly lead the bread rolls to not hold the filling inside properly so just make a batch you will know best consistency to be used!!

Optional : can add dried herbs / pepper powder for more flavoring. Instead of gramflour one can make batter from equal amout of maida and cornflour salt , seasonings + water. 

- Take each bread slices over rolling board and press it nicely to make it flat with rolling pin. 
- Once nicely pressed apply butter just to give a thin coat over filling
- Place the filling exactly as show in the pic below in the center and well shaped. Dont try to add more fillings than required.
- Apply gramflour batter to the other end for proper hold and sticking.
- Start rolling the bread from your side over the filling and reaching to the other end where the gramflour batter is applied 
- Give a firm press roll it and keep it aside.
- Prepare all the bread slices till the filling / the bread slices lasts!!

- Once you roll it as keep it aside you can cut them into half for better grip while frying. The rolls shown below were perfect size for me to work with!!

- Dip these prepared rolls into the gram flour batter and fry till all the sides nice a and golden brown in medium heat. (make sure you coat all the sides properly, if not done it might risk fillings to come out and float in oil)
- Serve hot with Ketchup / Green chutney / Pickled Veggies

I have explained my possible best in the ingredients and method part hence making the post look so very big, Please read it carefully before trying!! Once tried hands into this become master of the game!! People will keep asking for more and more

For Low calorie snack
Health conscious people may omit the gram flour part, dipping and frying!! Just place the rolled up bread in the greased tava and roast it till golden brown both the sides, Serve hot with ketchup.

This is when my lil cousin sis started shouting Bread Shawarma.............. Give me more give me more :) 

Vegetarians can use soya chunks or paneer instead of chicken.
moong daal sprouts is another great addition to this recipe for more nutritional fact.

For girll smoky effect in chicken pieces:
Chicken pieces can be marinated with curd, general spices, gg paste and salt add some red color, saute it till burnt effect is achieved. Use this along with veggies and fill into the breads. 

So the mystery was solved once we started our  iftar  I was late to join others. And mean while my youngest aunt called up saying " Those bread rolls I kept hearing from such long!! Finally you made and it was yumm everyone here loved it"  So I was sure other relatives would have liked it too!!

My parents loved it too!! My Dad Claimed it was 1st Class!! What more do I need for credit in my 1st trial and error session???
Sadly my bro cannot be on normal diet for a month more will make for him once he is out of his medicinal diet!!

I have given possible best explanation for this recipe. Do read it carefully and understand it before giving it a try. Reading will simplify your work to larger extent than worrying about a lengthy procedure you may possibly feel :)

Any more quire or suggestions do let me know

Until next Cyaa.......

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