Begun Bhaja (or simply, Yummy Bengali Fried Eggplant Recipe)

Indian (Bengali) Fried Eggplant

What You Need:

  1. An Eggplant
  2. Roma Tomatoes (but if you hate tomatoes, ignore them; it’s cool, it’ll still be way tasty even without)
  3. Turmeric – This is probably the most expensive thing on this list. But, if you buy this once, you can make a variety of yummy dishes. Ergo, once this spice is acquired, this dish becomes a relatively cheap dish!
  4. Chilli powder/Cayenne pepper
  5. Salt (if you want to be healthy or different, try sea salt). Though I once tried it with celery salt, and that was disgusting. Don’t do that.
  6. Mustard, Olive, or Canola oil (or really, any oil, but these are my top three choices. Mustard oil being at the top!)

What You Do:

  1. Slice the eggplant into .5 inch circles. You don’t want them too thin, otherwise they’ll soak up the oil way too easily and it’ll become very soggy (which, still yummy, but not right). If they’re too thick, then it won’t cook right either because you won’t be able to get the middle correctly while cooking.
  2. Throw the slices into a big bowl and coat everything with turmeric, chili powder, and salt.  The slices should now be reddish-yellowish.
  3. Heat a pan with the oil.  Make sure the oil is popping-hot before laying down about 4-5 slices into the pan.
  4. Cook the slices until the spices turn a charred black.
  5. Flip the slices over and do the same.
  6. Transfer the finished slices to a plate and cook the rest.
  7. If you want to be fancy, cut up the tomatoes and top the eggplant slices with them. Sprinkle with parsley!
  8. NOTE: Eggplant is an intimidating vegetable to cook at first, I think. How will you know you’ve done it right? The texture. Raw, eggplant has a strange hard, but spongy feel. When this is all cooked, the eggplant will be very soft with a thin, crisp coating from the cooked/charred spices!

What it Will Look Like:

Indian (Bengali) Fried Eggplant