Turichya ghugrya / तुरीच्या घुगऱ्या aka whole pigeon peas or whole toor beans with pearl millet flatbread / बाज़रीची भाकरी is a winter staple where I grew up in India and a meal I fondly remember having at my grandparents’, all of whom were farmers. They knew their food way better than I do today. I cook this ‘gavran’ indigenous country-style curry of whole pigeon peas using minimal spices, just as my grandmothers (both paternal and maternal) did. I am always amazed at how mindfully and healthily our older generations ate. They cooked seasonal produce with just the right spices. They followed a sustainable lifestyle and embraced minimalism before such terms were even coined. Sustainability is truly rooted in my Indian heritage.
As I said, this curry is cooked with minimal ingredients. The stars of this dish truly are the whole pigeon peas and my ancestors have taught me how to bring the best out of this legume with this curry. This recipe allows the inherent flavours of each ingredient to shine through. I have seen both my grandmothers and mum cook it this way. So during my last visit to India, when I was handed some freshly milled homegrown pearl millet flour and whole pigeon peas from our farm, I knew exactly what I would cook with it when I got home to England.
Of course, my grandmothers didn’t cook this curry in a pressure cooker and neither did they use Kashmiri red chilli powder. They would have added their own homegrown sun-dried red chilli powder, nothing so fancy as the vibrant Kashmiri red I pick from my grocers, but not lacking in flavour or spice. And for the sake of convenience, I have used a pressure cooker to avoid having to cook the whole beans for an hour.
Turichya Ghugrya / Whole Pigeon Pea curryCourse: MainCuisine: Maharashtrian, IndianDifficulty: Easy
260g (1 cup) whole pigeon peas or whole toor
475ml (2 cups) water
4 tbsp veg oil
2 tbsp roasted and ground peanut
2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
5 cloves of garlic hand-pound into a paste
2 tbsp salt or to taste
- Wash the whole pigeon peas a couple of times. Soak overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours in lukewarm water.
- Pressure cook the peas with water and salt until 4 whistles.
- Meanwhile, make a masala of the peanut, red chilli powder and garlic paste. Mix them in a bowl by hand
- Over a medium flame, add some oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan. Fry the masala prepared in step 2 until lightly cooked.
- Ladle the cooked peas slowly into the pan and adjust the consistency with the leftover water from the pressure cooker.
- Bring the curry to a boil with a lid on for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning, then simmer gently for 5-6 minutes. Enjoy warm with roti, rice, chapati or millet flatbread.