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Spicy Yellow Peas Recipe

Updated on January 8, 2017


Ghugni is the name given to a dish made of whole yellow peas which are boiled and cooked with Indian spices to be transformed into a mouth-watering spicy curry. It belongs to a typical East Indian cuisine.

In the state of West Bengal, Ghugni is a loved vegetarian delicacy which is actually very easy to cook but people treat this dish as something too heavenly. I tried to reflect on this phenomenon i.e. I tried to comprehend how such an ordinary dish manages to earn so much respect that it often beats other costlier and elegant looking competitors.

Be it any carnival like a mela or any festival like Durga Puja, people go crazy about this dish. Almost every street vendor serves it and none of them are any less crowded. Over the years Ghugni has endorsed non-vegetarianism too and recipes like Mutton-Ghugni or Keema-Ghugni has come up.

In this article, I am sharing the recipe of preparing my style of spicy yellow peas, which is suitable for a dinner table.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves two

Preparation Instructions

  1. Soak the whole yellow peas overnight in water.
  2. Roast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry pan and grind them to form a coarse, granular powder.
  3. This spice mixture is required for garnishing. Aroma of these roasted spices enhances the taste of the dish.
  4. Soak tamarind pulp in water for a minute and mix it to form a thick paste.


  • One cup of whole yellow peas
  • Half a tomato, chopped
  • One medium sized onion, chopped
  • One and half teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste
  • Two green chilies, chopped
  • A sprig of coriander leaves (optional), chopped
  • One teaspoon of cumin seeds powder
  • One teaspoon of coriander seeds powder
  • One-third teaspoon of red chili powder
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt, to season
  • Half or one teaspoon of sugar (depending on taste requirements), to season
  • One teaspoon of garam masala powder (a combination of cardamom, cinnamon and clove)
  • One teaspoon of coriander seeds, roasted and powdered
  • One teaspoon of cumin seeds, roasted and powdered
  • One-fourth a teaspoon of tamarind pulp
  • One and half teaspoons of curd, stirred
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Oil, to cook
  • Water, as required

Cooking Instructions

  • Pressure cook the yellow peas for 10 minutes so that they are tender but not over boiled.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add garam masala powder and stir. Add a pinch of asafoetida (hing). I use Everest Hing. It renders an awesome aroma to the dish.
  • Now add tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté the ingredients for a minute.
  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder (not the roasted ones). Stir for a few minutes.
  • Now add the boiled yellow peas. Mix the other ingredients in the pan with the peas and add a teaspoon of curd.
  • Add salt and sugar to taste. Add less sugar just to give a hint of sweetness in the taste but the dish should not taste sweet.
  • Add a little water and let the contents in the pan cook for a minute. When the water is almost dried, add the tamarind pulp mix.
  • Stir and mix the ingredients well. Before taking off the pan from the stove, add green chilies.
  • Pour the content into a bowl and add chopped onions and the roasted spices.
  • Mix them well and the recipe is ready to be served.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves (optional) and serve with hot rotis or bread.

Tip: Do not boil the peas too much. They should be edible but should also retain little hardness. Do not leave much gravy; this dish tastes best with little or no gravy.

Rate if you like it

5 stars from 1 rating of Spicy Chickpeas Curry

The Serving Plate



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    • Soumya Mukherjee profile image

      Soumya Mukherjee 3 years ago from India

      Thanks for reading...yellow peas are a good source of protein.

    • LupitaRonquillo profile image

      LupitaRonquillo 3 years ago

      Recipe sounds good, never tried yellow peas but now I'll have to give them a try!

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 3 years ago from Southwest England

      This sounds delicious, I love spicy Indian food. It is a great dish for vegetarians.

    • Soumya Mukherjee profile image

      Soumya Mukherjee 3 years ago from India

      Thanks for stopping by. Yeah it can be made with chick peas too.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 3 years ago from The High Seas

      I'm going to try making this with chickpeas,