I recently had Ghugni at a friend's place. I could smell it even before I entered their house. It brought back so many memories. Funny how smell can take you down the memory-lane.
Ghugni is a traditional Bengali dish which can be cooked with or without meat. It is generally cooked at our home when we have guests over. In India, it is cooked with goat meat but tastes just as good with ground Turkey. Then, Turkey can also be substituted with chicken, lamb or beef.
When I was describing it to my friend over dinner, she said 'it sounds just like chili'.
Here goes my mom's recipe for "Bengali Chili" which I have tweaked with tomatoes!
1 can of Chick-peas
1/2 lb ground Turkey
1 Onions (chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (chopped or paste)
1 cube of of Ginger(chopped or paste)
8-10 Grape Tomatoes (or 1 large Tomato sliced)
3-5 Red Chilli
2 Bay Leaves
2 Green Cardamom
1 Black Cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Cloves powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Dhania
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
Salt to taste
Put the Chick-peas in big sieve and wash to take away the extra salt and preservatives.
Keep the Turkey in a bowl and mash it with a spoon.
Heat oil and toast green and black cardamom.
Put in onions, ginger, garlic, red chillies and bay leaves and saute.
Once the onions turn translucent, put in the tomatoes.
When tomatoes turns soft, add in the powder-masala and turkey. Stiry-fry till it all mixes together.
Close the lid and let-it cook for 5:00 minutes. You may have to stir it a few times so that the Turkey does not form lumps.
Add in chick-peas, water and salt, and cook it on medium heat for about 7:00 - 10:00 min.
After that, let it simmer for another couple of minutes till the excess water disappears leaving a thick gravy .Garnish it with chopped onions and lemon juice. Serve it hot with chappatis, parathas or rice.