June 03, 2006

Ghugni with Turkey

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.


  1. sqrlnt ( sounds just like chili)10:03 AM

    Nice!! :) Good description.. Suggestion though.. take pix thoda far away se.(not so much zoomie) esp the finished product

  2. hey
    Congratulations on your blog...although the topic was a little unexpected. Never knew you were so seriously into food!! Looking forward to trying out your recipes and expecially the Bengali ones Yummmm...

  3. Thanks Durga
    I hope this will become a place, you, me and many more turn for a quick round up of recipes. :-)

  4. Any recipe with ground turkey and I am hooked! I've never eaten ghugni - my exposure to Bengali food has been rather limited. What garam masala do you use? Is it a homemade recipe or a branded variety? I ask because garam masala is different from home to home, forget about region to region! And it can make a significant difference to the taste.

    Also, congrats on your new blog!

  5. Hi Manisha:
    Thank you for your wishes.

    I'm glad you asked about the garam masala. It's true it varies from place to place. I generally get my garam masala from my mother. It is a combination of green and black cardomom, cinnamon, cloves and coriander powder.

  6. Anonymous5:34 PM

    Here in U.K. I use chicken mince meat in my Ghugani and I will try turkey mince meat. It will be same, I think as both taste similar to each other but not exactly same. One thing Mandira, we in India usually used to use dried yellow peas rather than chick peas(which is is used these days and easily available in west). It tases very different from Chickpeas ghugani and delicious with any kind of meat.

  7. Poppy- that is the wonderful thing about travelling to different countries and learning to adapt traditional recipes with new ingredients. Food is always evolving. Here's to enjoying new flavors and learning new recipes. :)


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