Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bengali Begun Pora/ Roasted Eggplant Bharta

Some call it the melancholy fruit, some call it without any “gun” (talent). I call it Begun, Bengali for Eggplant or Aubergine or Brinjal.

All around the world this talentless eggplant is cooked in many ways- batter-fried, crescents fried in oil called begun bhaja, roasted, broiled or boiled and mashed. Making it one of the most congenial “fruits”, probably second only to the potato.

Come winter, India is flooded with plump, dark purple eggplants. In some parts of the country, the large, round variety of eggplants are also called Bhanta

stock-photo-a-round-eggplant-isolated-on-a-white-background-59226370 (1) That’s what my Mother uses for Bengali Begun Pora (Bengali Baingan Bharta). Since eggplant oxidizes very quickly, make sure you cut an eggplant just before you are ready to cook it.

Ingredients for Bengali Begun Pora are:

1 eggplant, slit lengthwise, make sure you keep its stem on
Handful of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, slivered finely
Few green chilies, broken from the middle
Generous drizzle of mustard oil

34180_131303390224266_118032338218038_213325_6768331_n Smoke or roast the eggplant. Hold the eggplant over a low open gas flame. Rotate frequently. I used my stove-top rack on my cooking range.

34180_131303393557599_118032338218038_213326_2663353_n 34180_131303396890932_118032338218038_213327_4779942_n You will see that the skin of the eggplant will gradually darken, it will start to sag, and you will notice a pleasant smoky smell. Its time to turn the kitchen vent on!

34180_131303400224265_118032338218038_213328_1078131_n In the meantime, keep all your other ingredients ready.

34180_131303403557598_118032338218038_213329_1141720_n After about 20 minutes (or half an hour depending on the size of the eggplant), when the skin is completely charred, remove the eggplant from the flame. Allow the eggplant to cool, then discard the skin. Mash the eggplant with the back of a fork or use your hands.

36101_131303693557569_118032338218038_213330_3565804_n Add the onion, green chilies, coriander leaves, mustard oil and salt and mix well.

37013_131303696890902_118032338218038_213331_4097260_n 34141_131303700224235_118032338218038_213332_3320888_n The smoke-kissed Bengali Begun Pora is now ready to be eaten with ruti (chapati).



harshika said...

Arrey Begun is talentless! Ive heard it being called the 'king' of vegetables!! Hmm.

Btw, love your blog and am delurking for the first time. I live in Dubai currently with my hubby and 2 yr old son. We 3 love begun too! I must tell you this, I am from Benaras and grew up in a bengali neighbourhood. As a result, I love all things bong...esp food. All my friends were bengali- made me learn bangla, pujo rituals, you know all the which mark 'a' community. Unfortunatly, my husband hates bong its just me who faithfuly visits your blog and cook for myself...

Love all the lovely posts...and the way you write.


GB said...

Banaras side they make it in a very similar way and call it "chokha" though I think garlic is involved as well. I make good ol baingan bhartha punju style!

SalesmanInSeattle said...

What a yucky looking dish! I wonder how you eat it. It looks all ugly. Sorry but cant make it.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

yum, yum, yum! Would eat it anytime...
I know begun doesn't look attractive, but it tastes awesome....

aipi said...

My grandpa is a die-hard fan of this baingan ka chokha/bharta... good thing he is not here or I'd have had to make it right now :)

US Masala

Scribbler :) said...

I am useless in the kitchen and therefore have great respect for those who can create magic in there :)

And begun pora is such a treat! Been so long since I had any. The images made me salivate :)

purplehomes said...

wow...i make the typical punjabi style bharta where you cook the onion as well and add toms etc...must give this one a try.

Arundhuti said...

Loved it! It's such a favourite in all Bengali households.

Anonymous said...

This begun pora recipe is one which I have learnt from blog world...never saw it at my in-laws house...and my hubs like punjabi style bharta...oh he dosent have much choice anyhw:)

Satrupa said...

The Begun Pora is my fav ....... all time fav. I can trade this recipe for anything.

Priya said...

Delicious looking baingan bharta, very tempting!

alwayswinner786 said...

Nothing could be more delicious than these dear! We religiously try to have it every Tuesday or Saturday!
For a difference you can just press some garlic clove in to the begun before you roast so that they roast together and mash them letting the other ingredients remain same!
Subho Bijoya and Happy Diwali!

Archana Agrawal said...

I am looking for this stove top Rack. Can you please tell me from where you have bought this?

Please send me in email

Cindy Dy said...

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