Being a Bengali is not easy at times. We have to live up to the reputation of knowing Rabindra Sangeet by heart, be great connoisseurs of foodand of course, the politics that runs through our blood. As a probashi Bangali or a non-resident Bengali, we’re a slightly different breed! While we’re deeply rooted in our Bengali culture of music, food and politics, we have the art of balancing it wherever we may live.
And that is why, we have to visit our hometowns every now and then to get a taste of the city and come back all charged up with something new to offer to the world.
I love visiting Bengal, well, which Bengali doesn’t? I love it for the choices of street food you get both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. On a recent TV show called ‘Khaata Rahey Mera Dil’ on my favourite TV channel Food Food, the host went around Calcutta trying out amazing street food across the city. From mutton stew and buttered toast at Chito Da’s Cabin at Dacres Lane, Esplanade, to Mughlai Porota at Anadi’s Cabin at Dharamtala, Sandesh as Girish Chandan Dey and Nakur Nandi at Shyambajar, momos and Chinese at Tangra’s, puchkas and all kinds of fries like Beguni, Mochar Chop, Fish Cutlet and fries at Kalika at College Street.
This brings me to the famous and all time favourite accompaniments the Begun Bhaaja or Brinjal Fry. It is so dreadfully easy that it will make you think, why didn’t I think of this before? There is another amazing version of this same dish called Beguni, where thin discs of the large brinjal are dipped in a spiced up besan batter and deep fried. I shall share this recipe with you another time. For now, it’s the good old Begun Bhaaja.
One of the best part is, even if the Begun Bhaaja gets cold, there is no need to reheat it as it still tastes so wonderfully festive if had with hot daal and a rice combination.
- Large bharta brinjals – 1 no.
- Turmeric powder – 1 and ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Wheat flour – 1-2 tbsp
- Mustard oil – for shallow to deep frying (you can also use the regular refined oil)
- Cut the brinjal in large cubes.
- Rub salt, turmeric and flour well.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadhai until smoky hot.
- Drop in the brinjals two or three at a time, depending upon the space in the kadhai.
- Fry until golden to dark brown on all sides.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with khichudi or daal rice.
We’ve added the images of the transition of colour and crispiness of the brinjal. Try it once and let us know how it turned out.
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