In Bengali we call Eggplant as ‘Begun’ which literally means no goodness (Be-gun). But ‘Begun’ is a very tasty, popular and important vegetable in Bengali kitchen as many veg and non veg dishes are cooked with it. This is one of my favourite vegetables too. This vegetable is used in many veg (Shukto) or non veg (Illish Begun) dishes. ‘Begun Basanti’ is a very traditional cuisine which I learned from my mother which she learned from my Thakuma (Grandmother). I have cooked this recipe for the first time in lunch. And it was so tasty and flavorful you can’t imagine.
- Marinate the eggplant with 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and a little salt and keep aside for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a nonstick pan and shallow fry the eggplant pieces and keep aside. You can deep fry as well. Lightly fry the green chillies and keep them aside too.
- In the same oil crackle some mustard seeds. Now add ginger paste and garlic paste and fry well.
- Add mustard paste and poppy seed paste and sauté it for some time. Next add ½ cup of water.
- Whisk yogurt adding a little water and 1 tsp sugar. Now add it to the kadai with turmeric powder, cumin powder and green chilli paste. Adjust salt. Cover it and cook the sauce for 4/5 minutes or till the sauce turns into golden thick gravy.
- Arrange the fried eggplants on your serving plate. Add chopped coriander to the sauce and mix well. Now pour the sauce on top of the fried eggplants. Cover it for some times.
- Garnish with fried green chillies and chopped coriander before serving.
~ Do not add yogurt on high heat, it will curdle.