One-Pot Wonders

Slow Cooked Bengali Lamb Chili

February  2, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This recipe made with with dried whole peas (sold in Indian stores as yellow vatana, which are the unsplit version of the yellow split peas) is made with chunks of lamb or goat. It is a classic bengali recipe called ghoogni and is made for crowds and is also a street food that is served in small bowls by street vendors.
Served with a tamarind chutney and sour cream it adds a nice flair to any winter chili event. I cook this in the slow cooker after preparing the spice base. —Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles

What You'll Need
  • Finish Spice
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • For the chili
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 red onions, dice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 3 pods, garlic pressed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large stick cinnamon broken
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 pound lamb or goat, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 cup dried yellow peas, soaked overnight
  • 5 cups cups water
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  1. Heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden
  2. Add in the bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and the lamb or goat and cook for 10 minutes, until the meat is browning and the oil is visible.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, habanero, salt and red chili powder and mix well for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes soften considerably.
  4. Place the mixture with the dried yellow peas and the water in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours, at this point the mixture should be thick and the peas soft but not mushy.
  5. Cut the limes and squeeze in the juice.
  6. Stir in the cilantro.
  7. In a small pan, roast the fennel, cumin and the dried chilies until nice and toasty and grind to a powder.
  8. Sprinkle over the chili and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
    Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
  • cratecooking
  • gingerroot
  • Joy

6 Reviews

Joy January 20, 2019
Where are the "directions" to make the chili?
Rinku B. February 9, 2013

Thanks, fixed!
cratecooking February 10, 2013
Thank you, looking forward to it!
cratecooking February 9, 2013
You mention tomatoes and habaneros in the instructions, but don't list quantities in the ingredients. How much of each do you suggest?
Rinku B. February 8, 2012
Thanks, it is perfect for this weather.
gingerroot February 8, 2012
This sounds delicious!