Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BEGUN BHAJA

BEGUN BHAJA


A few days ago we celebrated the auspicious day of Kojagari Lakshmi Puja and I was invited for dinner by some Bengali friends. One of the items served was Begun Bhaja (Fried Brinjals), a well- known dish which is traditionally served in Bengal with the meal of rice and dal.

In this we use the purple coloured vegetable which we call "balloon" brinjals in India, which has much less seeds. As you would know, brinjals are called egg plant or aubergine in North America

I tried out this dish after getting the recipe from my friend. I made some changes from the recipe shared with me. Firstly, since we are not accustomed to cooking in mustard oil which was recommended for this dish, I used the regular cooking oil. In my experience, you need to acquire a taste for food cooked in mustard oil.

Since the begun bhajas have to be served hot, it is customary to keep them marinated and ready and  fry them only when people start the meal. Usually these are deep fried but I have preferred to shallow fry them to use less oil.




Ingredients:
  • Brinjal, large-sized, 1,
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Rice Flour, 2 tbsp. or as required for dusting
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required for shallow frying


Method:

Wash the brinjal and pat it dry.
Cut the brinjal into thick slices of about 1/2 " thickness. Ensure that the slices are not thin.
Place the brinjal slices in a bowl and add salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder
Mix them well with your hand so that the slices are well and evenly coated with the powders
Marinate them for about 10-15 minutes
Take rice flour in a plate and dust each of the marinated brinjal slices on both sides with the rice flour
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and when it gets hot place a few slices of the rice flour coated brinjal in the pan
Shallow fry till they turn golden brown and crisp at the edges then flip them to fry the other side as well
Remove and place the begun bhaja on paper tissues so that the excess oil gets absorbed by the paper
Transfer to serving plate to be served hot as an accompaniment to the main meal of rice and dal