Monday, 31 October 2011


घुघनी is a breakfast brunch dish from Bihar. Morning heavy breakfast is taken and people leave home for their work. Ghughani is prepared from black gram which is a rich source of protein. Having a protein filled breakfast gives energy for day-long hard work. This dish is very commonly found in all the households of Bihar. After the day's work is over and women while winding-up the kitchen make it a point to soak black gram for the following morning breakfast. In summers it can be accompanied by buttermilk (Chaas) which would create a balance as whole spices are used in preparation of ghughani. Years after years this traditional breakfast recipe is passed on to the next generation. When I travelled to Bihar (Bodh Gaya) I got an opportunity to learn this awesome dish. Prepared in mustard oil gives a lovely robust flavour to the dish. Garnished with fresh coriander leaves gives an amazing flavour and one tends to dig into the awesome bite. Traditionally women used to grind the spices in the mortar and pestle called "Silauti" in Bihar. Modern cooking - we use grinder. When the grounded masala is prepared on the "Silauti", it has the unique flavour as it's done for several minutes; the women keep on grinding adding water little by little to get the fine consistency masala. The aroma of this grounded masala is simply divine. 
The black gram has to be cleaned thoroughly and washed with several changes of water till the water runs clear and then soaked overnight for the black gram to swell up. In the morning boil chana (in a pressure cooker) with salt added as per taste. Give 5- whistles, lower the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes more. The black gram is ready to turn into ghughani.

Now coming to the ingredients -
Boiled Black Gram - 1 cup
Mustard Oil - 4 tblspn
Sliced Onions - 4 medium
Chopped Tomato - 1
Turmeric Powder - 1 1/2 tspn
Red Chilly Powder - 1 tspn
Salt - to taste
Bay Leaf (Tejpatta) - 2
For the Ground Masala -
Garlic - 10-12 cloves
Cloves (Laung) - 2-3
Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece
Cumin Seeds - (Jeera)
Whole Black Pepper (Golki)- 7-8
Whole Dried Red Chilly - 2-3
Fresh Green Chilly - 2-3 (can be adjusted as per liking)
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Coriander Seeds - 1 tblspn
For the Garnish -
Chopped Fresh Green Coriander - 2 tblspn
Boiled Black Gram - 2 tblspn
Garam Masala Powder - a pinch


  • Prepare a masala with all the ingredients under "ground masala" using little water.

  • Heat Oil in a heavy bottomed pan (Kadhai).

  • Add bay leaf.

  • Add sliced onion and saute till it turns light brown

  • Add the ground masala. Bhuno (Saute) it well.

  • {Don't leave the masala unattended to prevent burning}

  • Add little water so that the masala does not burn.

  • Add salt, turmeric and chilly powder. Mix well.

  • Add Chopped Tomato and again saute it.

  • When the fat separation happens add boiled chana.

  • Mix well. Add some water as per thickness of gravy is required.

  • Cover and give it a boil on low flame.

  • Transfer into a prestige cooker and give 2 whistles.

  • Lower the flame and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.

  • When done transfer into the serving dish.

  • Sprinkle garam masala.

  • Sprinkle boiled chana and fresh coriander.

  • Serve hot with paratha (Indian bread).
Following picture shows without the garnish.

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