Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Recipe : Bihari Mattar Ghoogni Chiwda - Peas and Puffed Rice Flakes - Vegan

When we were in Jaipur in January this year, we stayed with our friends Anand & Anisha who are excellent hosts. they love food as much as we do, if not more and we had a lovely holiday with them, eating and catching up.

Surprisingly, although I lived for 2 years in Jamshedpur (which was still a part of Bihar in those days), I now realise, I never had the opportunity to eat Bihari food. All the cooks at our hostel were Bengali or Odiya, so that is the kind of food they served us. Plus with Jamshedpur being the Tata's Industrial town, there were a lot of restaurants serving Tandoori, Mughlai, Chinese, Pizza, South Indian etc, but there weren't any places serving litti chokha or anything else that could be classified as traditional Bihari food.

On our second morning in Jaipur, we were served this dish and we fell in love with it, so we kept asking for repeats at tea time and for breakfast on almost all the days that we were there. The taste and texture  is so addictive, that you can't help going back for seconds.

During winters, the dish is made with hara channa (fresh green chickpeas) or else it can be made with peas. Fresh peas are best, but frozen works quite well too. (Don't use dehydrated peas for this dish)

The peas or hara channa can also be served as a side with rotis or rice and dhal.

Anisha always has a big jar of homemade puffed rice flakes in her pantry, as they use it in many dishes. She says its just a matter of deep frying rice flakes (poha) and mixing it with salt and fried groundnuts. Here in Ahmedabad, I have found a ready made roasted version, to which I just add some roasted groundnuts. I've alsoo seen a recipe which says you can roast 1 bowl of poha in 1 tbsp of oil.

I tend to make the peas in large quantities - even half a kilo at a time because it gets wolfed down very quickly between the two of us. It keeps well in the fridge and can be reheated later.

1 cup shelled peas / mattar or hara channa / fresh green chickpeas (if frozen, defrost by holding under running water)
1 medium onion chopped (less than 1/3 cup volume)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1" ginger grated (or to taste)
2 -3 green chillies chopped (or to taste)
salt to taste
juice of 1 small lime
1/2 tsp oil

Heat the oil.
Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to pop.
Then add the onions and stir fry until soft.
Add half the green chillies (if you don't like spicy, add all the chillies with the onions itself and cook them out), ginger and stir twice.
Add the peas / hara channa at room temperature.
Cook till done (don't close the pan while cooking, you might get a pool of liquid at the bottom)
When almost done, add the other half of the green chillies.
Give a quick stir and turn off the flame
Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Serve hot with  the puffed rice flakes + groundnuts mixture.

Mix the two and eat immediately. Its really tasty either for breakfast or a snack.

These peas can also be served with rotis or rice and dhal during a meal.

The drink in the background of these pictures is Masala Chaas / Chaach / Spiced Buttermilk / Ayran / Majjige

1 comment:

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