Beguni or the North Indians like to call this Baingan ka pakora is all about Tele Bhaja in a Bengali tone and something deep fried in a regular way so to speak.
“What’s in a name”, that’s more corresponding in a Shakespearean style. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Begun/Baingan/Eggplant/Aubergine is not a favourite of many but a preparation like this can do away with “Dislike or distaste” for it.
A simple management in the kitchen and this is ready in no time.
Let’s get back to the preparation and not waste time with gup-shup (little chit-chat) for it is snack time and I don’t want to get stuck to the kitchen in this hot summer.
Begun/Baingan/Brinjal/Eggplant: 1 big size. Cut into thin pieces…will get about 10-12 pieces. Wash and keep it for later use.
Besan: 1 ½ cup
Red chilli powder: ½ tsp.
Kalo jeera/Kalongi: 2 tsp.
Salt: to taste
Ajwain: 1 tsp. (helps in digestion)
Haldi powder: (optional) one pinch
Baking powder: ¾ tsp.
Making of the batter:
Except the brinjal, take the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Then add some water to make a batter…not running and not very thick but a consistency that can cover the brinjal pieces once dipped in it.
Take sufficient oil in a cooking vessel for deep frying.
Heat the oil to the maximum and then reduce the flame for the oil to cool down a bit.
Then dip the begu/baingan/brinjal pieces one by one into the batter and out into the hot oil.
Make sure the oil is not very hot as this will burn the outer coat giving no time for the veggy to be cooked properly.
Slow frying…frying over slow heat is boring as it eats up a lot of time but for the best taste this has to be maintained.
Once the colour tinge changes from light to dark, time to take it out and place them on a kitchen towel to soak the excess oil.
Serve hot or more rightly the Indian word ‘gorom-gorom/garma-garam’ for that’s where the magic lies with tele-bhaja/deep-fried snacks with some chutney or tomato or chili sauce that’s available at hand.
If it is rainy day, a bowl of muri/murmure/puffed rice with a drizzle of mustard oil and little salt mixed well and served with the beguni just prepared at home. One handful of muri/murmure goes into the mouth, a bite from the beguni and if you like to get the heat from green chillies then take a bite from it too and enjoy. But don’t forget, a cup of hot tea is the best last addition to the taste.
My day with Beguni ends here and who knows how many others will be thinking of making some for the evening…mostly on a Saturday or Sunday evening to enjoy with family and friends.
© gouri guha 2014