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Ghugni: Chickpeas in a Bengali Style



  • 1 pound Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans, rinsed, then soaked overnight
  • 4-5 small round potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Whole Spices:
  • 1 large cassia leaf
  • 1 large piece of cinnamon/cassia bark
  • 4-5 small green cardamom pods
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

Onion-Ginger Paste:

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 large know ginger (about 1 tablespoon or so), ground into a paste

Spices ground to a coarse powder:

  • 2-3 dried Rancho Gordo de Arbol Chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch of black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large tomato, puréed
  • 1 large lump of tamarind pulp, soaked in enough warm water and squeezed by hand to make a thick paste
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • salt to taste
  • vegetable oil

For Garnish:

  • 1-2 green thai chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  1. Add enough water to cover the soaked garbanzos by 2-3 inches, bring to a boil for five minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until almost done. With this last bag of Rancho Gordo garbanzos, I reached this point in about 40 minutes, I kid you not. Let the garbanzos continue to simmer gently as you proceed with everything else.
  2. Heat some oil in a large pan and fry the potatoes till about halfway cooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat up some more oil and splutter the whole spices over medium heat until the cumin seed split. Don't let the spices scorch.
  4. Add the onion-ginger paste and fry over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring all the while.
  5. Add the tomatoes and salt and sugar and cook down till the tomato has completely decomposed ("there must surely be a better word",ed.).
  6. Add this thick sludge to the pot with the simmering garbanzo beans, raise the heat to medium and stir everything in.
  7. Add the fried potatoes to the pot and cook on a brisk simmer till the potatoes are fully done.
  8. Garnish and serve with rice or parathas or in a bowl as a standalone dish.

 Basic Instructions for Cooking Beans in The Rancho Gordo Manner 


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