In any traditional Bengali kitchen, a delicious vegetarian recipe with brinjals or Begun is a must. Be it a hot summer day, or damp monsoons, or chilly winters, the presence of Begun in our kitchens is like that of a Man Friday to a Robinson Crusoe. Some of the star Bengali recipes with brinjal are – Begun Bhaja, Begun-borir jhaal, Ilish-Begun and Begun Basanti (Alternately known as Begun Bahar/Doi Begun).
The Bengali Recipe of Brinjal that we’ll be discussing today is a simpler version of the elaborate Begun Basanti from the treasure house of Parna’s mother-in-law’s cookbook. She prefers to call it Doi Begun because curd is the primary ingredient replacing the mustard paste altogether. Due to the absence of the mustard paste, though our Doi Begun has lost its pungency, the yoghurt has brought in a lighter yet delicious taste in it. We have done away with the mustard paste to solve the indigestion problems after having the meal.
Before describing the ingredients and the process, let us share a trivia about Doi or Yoghurt or Curd, as you prefer to call it. The yoghurt was an accidental invention by the Central Asian herders. The animal skin bags they used to store the extra milk made the milk coagulated and sour after exposure to heat. Thus, the yoghurt originated.
Enough of history; here goes the cooking process now!
Bengali Recipe with Brinjal
Ingredients to make the Doi Begun (servings 4)
- Brinjals: 1 large or 2 medium
- Yoghurt: 200 gms
- Salt: According to taste
- Sugar: According to taste
- Roasted Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
- Roasted Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
- Roasted Black pepper powder: ½ tsp
- Green Chillies (slit): 4-5
- Mustard Oil or Ghee to deep fry the brinjals
Step by step process of making Doi Begun
- Heat a pan. Take a tablespoon of Coriander Seeds and dry roast till an aroma comes out. Make sure that you don’t burn it while roasting.
- Follow the same dry roasting process with Cumin seeds and Black peppercorns.
- Grind the roasted spices separately.
- Cut the large brinjal lengthwise into 4 pieces. If it is smaller or medium-sized brinjal, cut lengthwise into halves.
- Smear some salt in the brinjal pieces and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, take a mixing bowl, add the yoghurt, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of sugar, mix well with a spoon. Use the spoon to blend with the hand.
Recommended Read: Another cool Bengali Recipe to try during spring – Green Jackfruit or Enchor Curry
- When the yoghurt mix has a smooth consistency, stop blending and keep the bowl aside.
- Add the roasted spices to the yoghurt mix. If you feel to make the dish sweeter, you can add more sugar.
- Heat the ghee or mustard oil in a deep pan or wok. If you want a bit of sharp taste in your Doi Begun, you need to fry the brinjals in the mustard oil.
- When the oil or ghee is heated well, deep fry the brinjal pieces.
- As they get fried into a golden brown hue, place them on a sheet of tissue paper to absorb the excess oil.
- Allow the fried brinjals to cool down.
- Take a cookie tray or cake baking flat utensil, place the fried brinjal pieces beside each other.
- Pour the yoghurt mix on the fried pieces. Add in a few slit green chillies.
- Allow the preparation to set in for a minimum of 4 hours; the more, the tastier. If you want, you can keep it covered in your fridge too.
- Serve cold with Ruti (Chapati), or Parota, or Luchi for dinner.
Doi Begun tastes excellent in summer. The refreshing sour taste has a cooling effect, indeed. So, next time, when you have a busy day with you exhausted to the core, you know which quickfix Bengali recipe of brinjal to try for dinner! Bon Appetit!