Chicken Ghugni and Announcing the Cookbook Cover

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking

After a month of back and forth, we finally have the name and the book cover! I am so happy to ultimately share it with you. Through the process of writing the book and photographing all the dishes, I don’t think I ever sat down to realize the scale of the achievement. Now, when I see the book cover again and again with the title, my name on it and those dishes that I cooked, it started to feel a lot real. Soon, I can call myself an author. Oh boy! To celebrate the moment, I wanted to make something sweet, a famous Bengali dessert perhaps. But with all the cloudy sky and rainy days, I craved for a hearty stew. So, here I have a comforting bowl of Chicken Ghugni (Yellow Peas and Mined Chicken Stew)! It’s a very popular dish from eastern part of India and can be served as snack or as meal.

The cookbook is filled with savory dishes, sweet treats, hearty everyday food, street food and a few dishes that I prepared playfully. This cookbook will give you a good Taste of Eastern India and it has more than 75 authentic Bengali dishes that you need to try. If you are aware of Bengali cuisine, you know what I am talking about. And if you are not, I can assure you that you are in for a treat!

Taste of Eastern India (Cookbook Cover Photo) | Playful Cooking

I would love to know what you think of the cover and of the name! The book will be released end of this year, around September. Will let you know once I have the official release date.

And now to the delicious hearty stew to warm you up on cold rainy days.

WHAT IS GHUGNI?

Dried yellow peas are soaked overnight and then, slow cooked with spices and potatoes to a comforting stew called ghugni! It’s a very popular dish from the eastern part of India. Bengalis are extremely fond of this hearty food that is either served as snack or chaat or even as a meal. If you have visited Kolkata, you must have come across this dish even on roadside, sold by some local street food vendor. A big vessel simmering away the stew for hungry travelers, often served in a tiny throwaway bowls, topped with lots of raw red onion slices, fresh cilantro and a good drizzle of fresh lime.

There are many variations of ghugni and the spices can vary. Some people like it with ground mutton, some prefer ground chicken and others may prefer it plain with just potatoes. The key ingredient, however, is the dried yellow peas.

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking

KEY NOTE ON BOILING THE PEAS

These yellow peas are tricky! Just like most dried peas, you need to soak them overnight. These peas are quite easily available in any Indian store. These appear white or pale white but when soaked, it puffs into a yellow shade. It’s very common in India to use a pressure cooker to boil peas or lentils but with these peas, it’s tricky to use pressure cooker because these can turn mushy very easily. So, use a heavy bottom pan with a tight lid. It will surely take more time but this way, you can keep an eye and boil it to perfection. It should be tender but still hold its shape. A perfect ghugni should be mouthful and not soupy or mushy. You definitely need the texture.

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking

As you can see from the video above, this dish is really easy to put together. Growing up, it was not my favorite food but now with my developed taste buds, I absolutely love chicken ghugni and cannot get enough of it!

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking

Chicken Ghungni

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup 3.80 oz./108 g dried yellow peas
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paanch phoron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5.50 oz./156 g potatoes, diced into 1 cm cubes
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 0.80 oz./22 g ginger
  • 0.55 oz./15 g garlic
  • 8.80 oz./249 g ground chicken
  • 1 to mato
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 green chili, optional

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried yellow peas overnight. It will puff up and turn to a yellow shade.
  2. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt to the soaked yellow peas. Boil it in a heavy bottom saucepan with a tight lid for about 35 minutes or until the peas are softened but still retain their shape. Keep the boiled peas aside once done.
  3. You could also prepare the stew while the peas are boiling.
  4. Using a food processor or a sharp knife, finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Keep aside.
  5. Blend the tomato and keep aside.
  6. In a tiny bowl, add ½ teaspoon turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and chili powder along with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix and keep it aside.
  7. In a heavy bottom saucepan, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and once the oil heats up, drop the diced potatoes along with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Stir and cook for 3 minutes and then, take the fried potatoes off the pan into a separate bowl. Keep it aside to be used later.
  8. To the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and once the oil heats up, drop the bay leaves, dry red chili and paanch phoron. Let it sizzle for a few seconds. Scatter the finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger along with ½ teaspoon salt and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the ground chicken, stir it around and cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Pour the spice mix that was kept aside and mix it around. Cook for 7 minutes.
  11. Then, drop the fried potatoes and blended tomato. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Pour 1 cup of water along with the boiled peas and green chili (if you want the stew to be spicy, chop the chilies before adding to the pan). Cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Check for salt and add any, if required.
  13. Serve the stew warm as snack or as a meal.

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cooking

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Comments are closed.

  • Shreya
    Shreya
    March 9, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    Congratulations Kankana!!! I feel so proud seeing your journey. Wish you more success and happy times to come.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:28 AM

      Thanks so much Shreya! It means a lot dear 🙂

  • Meera Seetharaman
    Meera Seetharaman
    March 9, 2018 at 11:57 AM

    Love the cover K. I can’t wait to touch, feel and drool over the book. So happy for you! Best wishes.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:29 AM

      Thanks so so much Meera 🙂 It does feel amazing!

  • Sandhya Hariharan
    Sandhya Hariharan
    March 9, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Loved it!!! Cover reflects your work Kankana truely.
    Can’t wait to get my hands on the copy and drool on the pictures.
    Congratulations 💕💕

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:30 AM

      Thanks Sandhya! The cover photo was so tough to choose. I wanted it to speak the title and hope it did 🙂

  • Nisha Thomas
    Nisha Thomas
    March 9, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    loved the cover. congratulations once again girl. xoxoxo

  • Sharmistha
    Sharmistha
    March 9, 2018 at 12:38 PM

    cover looks awesome. i see both chicken and fish made its way on top 🙂 Congratulations!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:31 AM

      we bongos cannot survive without those 😀

  • Cookilicious
    Cookilicious
    March 9, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    That is so cool Kankana! Love the name and the cover of your book! Great achievement! Will look forward to the book now. 😊😊

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:31 AM

      Thanks so much! Will share the release date soon 🙂

  • Shreemaa Bhadra
    Shreemaa Bhadra
    March 9, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Love the cover photo. The perfect spread of the Bengali cuisine, all I can say is I am drooling right now.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:31 AM

      It was a tough choice and I am so glad you guys liking it 🙂

  • Shaheen Ali
    Shaheen Ali
    March 9, 2018 at 6:35 PM

    That’s a beautiful looking cover Kankana. Can’t wait to see the entire book. My best wishes and yes, the chicken ghugni looks something to die for. Amazing!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:32 AM

      Thanks a lot dear and I hope you will try the chicken ghugni 🙂

  • angiesrecipes
    angiesrecipes
    March 9, 2018 at 10:05 PM

    Beautiful book cover! The chicken ghugni looks very yummy and comforting!

  • Jayasri
    Jayasri
    March 9, 2018 at 11:43 PM

    Congratulations ! The cover of the book is simply stunning!! Are there any vegetarian dishes as well ! Love Bengali cuisine! I make Ghugni as well, one of my favourite street food minus the non veg !! Beautiful photography as always!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:34 AM

      Thanks Jayasri! So glad you liked it 🙂 And yes, lots of vegetarian option. An entire chapter on pure vegetarian.

  • Karine
    Karine
    March 10, 2018 at 5:28 AM

    Beautiful cover. I would not change a thing. Congrats. Wishing you all the best.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:34 AM

      Thanks so much! It means a lot 🙂

  • Lisa Conner
    Lisa Conner
    March 10, 2018 at 7:05 AM

    Perfect cover for this wonderful cookbook! It totally reflects your beautiful photo and cooking asthetic, can’t wait to get my copy! Congratulations!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 11, 2018 at 6:35 AM

      Thanks so so much Lisa 🙂 It means a lot!

  • Debi
    Debi
    March 10, 2018 at 8:26 AM

    Congrats on the beautiful cover of your cookbook!

  • Abbe@This is How I C
    [email protected] is How I C
    March 10, 2018 at 11:04 PM

    Just beautiful Kankana. I wish you much success,

  • Anindya Sundar Basu
    Anindya Sundar Basu
    March 11, 2018 at 8:43 AM

    Congratulations Kankana, This is a huge news and am sure its going to be a great success. Will await the release. Lets plan a release in Kolkata also? The Mangshor ghoogni as we grew up with was a delicacy and I remember my Jethima used to make this.
    In case you are coming to Kolkata please let me know. We should catch up.

  • Radhika
    Radhika
    March 12, 2018 at 12:18 AM

    Yay! Congratulations! Kana.. Finally,,
    The cover is just so beautiful! And so are all the images on this post!
    The title is so perfect. Can’t wait to see the book in print..

    With my love for Bengali food (desserts!!), looking forward to see the vegetarian menu!
    Wishing your book huge success.. Big Hugs

  • Meg | Meg is Well
    Meg | Meg is Well
    March 12, 2018 at 7:53 PM

    I can not wait for your cookbook!! I love the cover and I think savory is the way to go to celebrate! Congratulations again!

  • Bhumika
    Bhumika
    May 16, 2018 at 4:33 AM

    Many congratulations Kankana. The cover looks spectacular and I’m sure the book too will be a joy to read!