Chana Ghugni (Bihari cuisine)/Chickpea Chaat

Driving back home, the snow was coming down hard, our temps have been in single digits lately and our windchills were at a -30 this evening. The snow was making waves on the roads because of the strong winds and the visibility was very poor.Reaching home safe was the only thing on my mind, the hunger pangs within was louder than the traffic outside. Stuck in crazy traffic and the bitter cold for more than an hour, my mind was mentally running through my pantry, checking out items in my inventory that could help fix a quick dinner & an evening snack combo to beat the cold outside. It has to be quick, easy & spicy to make, I told myself.

Winter of 2019

Finally got off the highway and into maneuvering the local roads, the snow was still thick & some roads haven’t been plowed yet, which means more delays getting home, either way, by the time I reached home, I had a plan for dinner, all set & ready to go !

Winter of 2019

It had to be done in a jiffy, coz my energy levels start to go down as the sun begins to set, am not a winter person by a long shot, so there is very less motivation in winter to try out any extravagant recipes unless I am cozied up at home feeling warm all day, but on days like this after surviving the crazy traffic & bitter cold, I was not in for laborious cooking. It had to be a quick & an easy one, yet deliciously comforting to my tired nerves & spirit !

This is the time to open your canned garbanzo/chickpea/chana tins, I told myself and set about making this quick & easy chaat /Indian street food with a Bihari flair to it ( Bihar is a state in the North Eastern part of India & this dish is a part of their cuisine !) It can be had as an evening snack in itself if you are one who favors the chaats or street foods of India or you can have it with Indian flat breads like Roti , Parathas or Naan, goes well with either. Had some Ajwain/Carom seeds Parathas in my freezer for days like this, when you are in a brain freeze to think clearly & plan your menu, so combined the two & had a delicious Friday night dinner at home.

Chana Ghugni (Bihari cuisine)/ChickPea Chaat

Chana/ChickPeas are used in this recipe, one can use the regular chickpeas which needs to be soaked overnight to make a curry or like I did here can use the canned version of it for quicker easier meals. When time is a constraint, I tend to use this canned garbanzo beans/chana/chickpeas.

Here goes the recipe :

Chana Ghugni (Bihari cuisine)/Chickpea Chaat

Chana Ghugni (Bihari cuisine)/Chickpea Chaat

Recipe by Maya Shetty
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Prep time

Cooking time


Total time



  • 2 tsp Mustard oil

  • 2 cans Garbanzo beans/Chana/Chickpeas

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

  • 2 small Bayleaves

  • 2 -3 Cloves

  • 1 ‘ Cinnamon

  • 1 big Onion – ( sliced fine)

  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

  • 2 medium size cubed Tomatoes

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder

  • 2 tbsp Coriander powder

  • 1 tsp Cumin powder

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • Salt- to taste

  • 2 cups Water

  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- for garnishing

  • Juice of one lime to squeeze on top when done.


  • In a pressure cooker pour in 2 tbsp of mustard oil and warm it (Unlike in the South Indian states where coconut oil is used in large, the mustard oil gives a different twist to the flavor of the dish!)
  • When the oil is warm add in the cumin seeds, bayleaves, cloves & cinnamon, one by one in that order & allow them to splutter.
  • Now add in the finely sliced onions & sautés them till golden brown, adding in turmeric powder at the end.
  • Next add in the cubed tomatoes, cover with lid and allow them to cook in their own steam.When they turn soft & mushy, add in the ginger garlic paste & stir till the raw smell disappears.
  • To the above start adding the spice powders one by one, the chili, the cumin and the coriander powder. Stir them well to mix thoroughly.
  • Now add in the cleaned & washed canned Garbanzo beans/Chana/Chickpeas to the mix ( I generally wash them well under running water & don’t add the liquid they come in when I cook ) & mix all the ingredients thoroughly adding in salt to taste.
  • Allow the above to cook in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles ( this allows the chickpeas to turn soft & mushy) One can use regular stove top cooking if pressure cooker is not available , either way it turns out good.
  • Now simmer the flame & open the lid gently allowing the steam escape, while adding in the garam masala powder last. Stir well & allow it to cook for another 2-5 minutes, before switching off the flame.
  • Garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves and lime juice & serve hot as chaat or along with flat breads.

Rest assured the Chana ghugni dish will remove all traces of the bitter cold outside from your memory & fill your thoughts with warm cozy deliciousness of a home cooked meal ! Enjoy!

Check out my other recipes using Chickpeas /Chana published earlier in the following links :


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