Monday, 25 September 2017


Ashtamir Shokale jodi mon dei radhaballavi aar aloor dom e.... Nabami utshargokrito KABLICHOLAR KEEMA GHUGNI o trikon porotai..... and a Bengali has that ability to have this kind of heavy breakfast after a rigorous pandal hopping on Ashtami night... more so after gorging on a heavy meal of mutton biryani at Arsalan or mutton rara and kulcha at Azad Hind Dhaba or Hilsa at Taj Bengal or Kewpie and finally we must mention the flocks of crazy people running for their favourite Indo-Chinese at Park Street or China Town.... I really do not have any idea of the present day eating house scenario at Kolkata.... a once a year or twice visit is not enough to give a good account of it... We do not even get time for restaurant hopping as we did years before.... Back then the son was little, the man of the house came home every six months and we explored new and more of new eateries often.... at times thrice a week. If he was there during pooja, pandal hopping happened after midnight of the first one or two days of Durga Pooja with few friends.... rest at home or at our own neighbourhood pooja. If you ask me now how would you wish to spend the four days of Durga Pooja... I would say one or two days at the pooja venue and rest at home over a good read, good food and chat with like minded people. Then what will happen to my sarees? .... this time they are 25 in number but you need not make "golgol chokh"... they are mostly cottons... some gifts too. I will give you one example of how extravagant the pooja organisers at Kolkata can be.... at one pandal the saree of the Durga idol is weaved with gold.... crores of rupees are spent on each of the famous poojas from the costume to lighting while the flood affected areas do not get relief in time or not at all.... it is not always wise to point finger at the government.... how enlightened are we as citizens?.... I am not in a position to say anything beyond as I have made no contribution to the cause till date.

Let us be less critical today and talk about something I love and my readers wish to hear from me.... food..... come on this should be my last post till Bijoya Dashami... its Durga pooja and my nails are not done yet, hair not coloured.... the blog needs some rest. Coming to the post to be shared today, this garbanzo beans and minced chicken curry is usually had with paratha / porota or poori / luchi. Very authentically, the Bengalis do it with minced mutton and dried white pea. Bengalis must be eating Kabuli Chana.... kabli chola as we call it.. any mention of it reminds me of Tagore's famous short story Kabuliwala.... that heartrending conversation between the trader and the little girl Mini.... will remain etched in my mind / heart / memory forever........ and how the perfecto called Chobi Biswas immortalised that role of Kabuliwala in the movie with the same name..... In the early 20th century or may be earlier, these traders were seen in Kolkata selling dry fruits and lending money... which provided a rough plot to the poet to write it laced with finer layers of emotions between a little girl and a father like stranger who found his daughter who he left behind in that distant land for business in this little girl Mini. Each time I cook something with garbanzo beans..... kabuli wala overshadows my mind..... today I strongly feel I have to read it once more.... you can also watch the movie in youtube if it is there, cannot guarantee the print quality though. Forget about my "wetty eyes".... drama queens get so every now and then.... let us cook together KABLICHOLAR KEEMA GHUGNI and enjoy it with any kind of bread... yes I mean it... among Kolkata tea stalls' best selling items are "cha-tos-mumlet" .... that is tea, butter toast & omelette ..... and "cha, pauruti aar ghugni"..... tea, soft local bakery loaf bread and dried white pea curry.

INGREDIENTS : [for the dry roasted spice powder]
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Coriander Seed : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3

INGREDIENTS : [for the kabli cholar keema ghugni ]
Garbanzo Beans : 200gm
Chicken : 250-300gm [minced]
Onion : 1big [sliced] + 1small [chopped]
Tomato : 1big [chopped]
Coriander Leaves : 2-4tbsp [chopped]
Green Chilli : 2 [chopped] + 3[slitted]
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Tamarind Juice : 1/2small cup
Salt : As Required
Dry Red Chilli : 2-4
Bayleaf : 1
Cinnamon Stick : 2one inch size
Green Cardamom : 2
Clove : 2
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Oil : 3-4tbsp


Heat a pan, dry roast the three spices meant for a dry roasted spice powder. Stir for 3-4 minutes, switch of as you get a nice aroma. Let cool and grind to a coarse powder with help of a grinder.

Wash the garbanzo beans / kabuli chana and soak in hot water for at least 5-6 hours or overnight in cold water. Pressure cook them adding little salt and turmeric in enough water up to 4-5 whistles at low heat. Let cool completely before we open the cover.

We will wash the minced chicken and marinate it with little salt, turmeric powder, lemon juice and the red chilli powder.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cumin seeds, dry red chillies, bayleaf, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon sticks.

Add the onion slices and fold in well.

Keep stirring till they turn golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and keep stirring for a minute or two at medium heat. Add the remaining turmeric powder and little salt.

Add the chopped tomatoes to the wok and fold in well.

Once they melt, the spice mix looks as below. We will now add the minced chicken along with the marinade. Mix well and cook covered for 10-12 minutes.

The boiled garbanzo beans can be added now along with the slitted green chillies. Fold in well.

Cover and simmer for about 14-16 minutes. Little water can be added in between if required. Open cover and add 1/2 of the chopped coriander leaves, rest of the lemon juice, tamarind juice and the dry roasted coarse spice powder. Fold in well and simmer for a minute or two.

Once done, we will transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped onion and green chillies and rest of the chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy with your choice of bread.... hot and fresh. There has to have some sandesh or roshogolla, tea or coffee with this platter.


  1. Ah you summed up so wonderfully the essence of a Bengali heart during Durga Puja. I so wish I could be there. My heart is in Kolkata where my extended family is totally immersed in jomiey adda, shopping aar darun darun bhuri bhoj. Your keema ghugni is too good for words. Just like the carnival that's happening in Kolkata, this dish is also a true carnival of falvours. Oh so tasty.

    1. Thank you so much Piyali... same here... my family n friends already started sending pictures of the celebration... eating-sheating you know lagamchara...

  2. Mouthwatering, just a question, can I replace chicken with lamb?

    1. thank you Navaneetham... both ways we can do.... if using lamb... cooking time is more