Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Quintessential Bengali 'Begun Bhaja' - Fried Eggplant / Aubergine

The quintessential Bengali ‘Begun Bhaja’ is extremely easy to make and a Bengali’s favorite to be eaten with Luchi / Puri  or Ruti / Roti. My personal favorite is with Ruti. Though it is an effortless, trouble-free & easy thing to make, it is not very popular amongst Non-Bongs. I have heard many of my Marwari friends say, “Oh, I love the Bengali Begun Bhaja that you make with Khichudi”. This is so simple that I shouldn’t call it a recipe. It is just fried Egg Plant after all.
Here is what you need:
Eggplant – 1 medium, cut into rounds, you can also make halves of the rounds. I         like the round ones more.
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Mustard Oil – 4 tsp / use any other cooking Oil if you do not prefer Mustard (Mustard is recommended though)

How to make the Bengali Begun Bhaja:

·         Cut the Eggplant into rounds.

·         Smear Salt & Turmeric Powder on them and keep aside for 10 minutes.

·         Heat Oil in an Indian Wok till smoking.
·         Sprinkle some Salt in the hot Oil.
·         Slide the Eggplant pieces in.

·         Once the color is like that is shown in the picture, turn and fry the other side. I generally poke it very lightly with my Turner to see if it is cooked. Refer to the small punctures on the Eggplant pieces on my picture.

·         Once done, drain on Paper towels as Eggplant absorb too much Oil.
·         Serve with Ruti / Luchi / Khichudi or whatever you like. I fried some broken Green Chillies in the same Oil and added it for plating.