Bengali Begun bhaja or Baingan Bhaja recipe is a popular traditional Bengali dish of marinated thick eggplant or aubergine slices pan fried in mustard oil. One of the finest Bengali recipes that people particularly pair with Khichuri. Here is how to make authentic begun bhaja recipe step by step at home.
If you see, many baingan bhaja recipe include the coating of either rice flour or besan or even atta. But, the traditional authentic Bengali begun bhaja recipe do not make any use of flour.
However, if you want to make baingan crispy, you may opt for rice flour coating. One secret that makes it most delicious and maintains the authenticity of the recipe is, the addition of little sugar.
Are you planning to enjoy eggplant fry for evening snacks? Then, just coat it with rice flour and fry it until crisp. But, then it will not be authentic baingan bhaja but crispy baingan fry 🙂
What is Bhaja?
Bhaja word in Bengali simply means 'fry' or 'fried'. So, it can either be pan fry (shallow fry) deep fry or anything fried with batter (like fritters). Any vegetable that is shallow or deep fried with basic minimum masalas is called as bhaja.
It can be patol bhaja (pointed gourd), baingan bhaja, aloo bhaja, pumpkin bhaja or bitter gourd or any such vegetable. Even vegetables like, plantain (raw banana), onion, okra can be deep of shallow fried with spices to make bhaja.
We call it as a tawa baingan fry in hindi. Serve begun bhaja even with luchi, dal rice, or simple pulao, you will never hate baingan, I assure you.
Important tips to make best begun bhaja recipe
- To make begun bhaja, always use long or large variety of baingan or eggplant.
- Whenever you buy an eggplant, be sure to check that large baingan is not very heavy in weight. Because, heavy weight indicates more of seeds in to it. Select clean, shiny, and light weight aubergines to avoid seeds, so that you get more of its flesh.
- Awalys, slice the eggplant of atleast 1 cm thickness and be sure to cut each slices of same thickness, so that they cook through evenly.
- If you really want to enjoy authentic begun bhaja then always fry aubergine or eggplant in mustard oil only. However, you may choose to fry them in vegetable or any other oil as well.
How to make Begun Bhaja step by step
To start with, firstly, clean, wash and slice the baingan evenly. (pat dry to avoid any water on the slices) (photo 1)
Now, on a plate, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, sugar, salt and lemon juice (photo 2)
Then, evenly coat all the slices with prepared spice mix and cover and keep it aside for 10 minutes (photo 3)
After 10 minutes, heat mustard oil in a pan (upto 1 cm depth), until smoky (photo 4)
Gently add marinated baingan into hot oil and then fry them from the sides (2 minutes on each side) (photo 5)
Take out the fried baingan on to a plate. Begun bhaja or baingan bhaja is ready. Serve this baingan fry with khichuri, luchi or dal rice (photo 6)
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- 1 large eggplant (aubergine) (cut in 1 cm slices)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- mustard oil ( for frying)
- To start with, firstly, clean, wash and slice the baingan evenly.
- Now, on a plate, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, sugar, salt and lemon juice
- Then, evenly coat all the slices with prepared spice mix and cover and keep it aside for 10 minutes
- Now, heat mustard oil in a pan (upto 1 cm thickness)
- Gently add marinated baingan into hot oil and fry them from the sides (2 minutes on each side)
- Take out the fried baingan on to a plate.
- Begun bhaja or baingan bhaja is ready to serve. Serve this baingan fry with khichuri, luchi or dal rice.
The recipee is written almost in the traditional way, except the fact that we dip the friters in a coat of besan, rice flour paste( bit of salt and kalonji added in the paste) and then deep fry them. This gives a crispy edge to the outer covering of fritters and the inside remains soft
Yes SHarmishta, we do that when we make Beguni as we love batter fried baigan (we call it pakoda) very much 🙂
I have to say it here, you maintained the essence of begun bhaja. We Bengalis add sugar to begun bhaja and we do not coat it with flour. Kudos to you Farrukh! You have a beautiful blog and very nice recipes