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
- 1 large cassia leaf
- 1 large piece of cinnamon/cassia bark
- 4-5 small green cardamom pods
- 3-4 cloves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 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
- 1-2 green thai chillies, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 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.
- Heat some oil in a large pan and fry the potatoes till about halfway cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Heat up some more oil and splutter the whole spices over medium heat until the cumin seed split. Don't let the spices scorch.
- Add the onion-ginger paste and fry over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring all the while.
- Add the tomatoes and salt and sugar and cook down till the tomato has completely decomposed ("there must surely be a better word",ed.).
- Add this thick sludge to the pot with the simmering garbanzo beans, raise the heat to medium and stir everything in.
- Add the fried potatoes to the pot and cook on a brisk simmer till the potatoes are fully done.
- Garnish and serve with rice or parathas or in a bowl as a standalone dish.