Monday, February 1, 2016

Begun Poda – The Bengali Roasted Brinjal/Eggplant

Begun Poda is a simple preparation and hardly takes few minutes to prepare and serve.
In winter we get lovely begun/brinjal, the purple skin shining and tempting and inviting to cook the rustic yet special home-made begun pora. This is not a typical winter dish but cooked all through the year for the lovely begun/brinjal can be found all the year round in the veggy world.  

The begun poda is related to the north Indian baingan-ka-bharta. If we are to compare one to the other, the poda is simple and easy and takes less time to prepare than its close cousin the bharta.

The begun poda in all its simplicity can be enjoyed with rice as the first helping. In one of the stories of Gopal Bhand, Gopal expresses to the King , “poda mukhe soab bhalo lage”. So the Poda has a place of its own in coming as the first serving with rice in a typical Bangali home. For dinner hot rotis and a plate of straightaway cooked begun poda tastes great.

For making the begun poda need:
1 big size begun/brinjal. Make 3-4 slits on its body with the end of the knife. The cuts can be an inch deep if the begun is big in size.

Next take some mustard oil and coat the begun/brinjal.
Light the gas stove and place a temporary grill over it and place the begun to be roasted. Rotate the begun/brinjal from time to time so that the whole begun is roasted properly.

As the begun/brinjal is roasted the skin will shrink.

Once done let it cool.

Remove the skin and mash it with your fingers on a plate.

Next add about ¾ tsp. mustard oil, salt to taste and mix with the mashed begun/brinjal so that it is spiced up properly. The smell of the raw mustard oil brings out the special touch of a typical poda.
Then add chopped onion and mix well.

Add a green chilli and mash it if you like to get some heat or else serve the whole green chilli for the eater’s choice to get the extra heat punch.

Add some freshly chopped coriander leaves if preferred.

It hardly takes about 12 -15 minutes to cook and serve this dish.

© gouriguha 2016

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