If you are one of those who loves Bengali cuisine, you have come across ‘tele bhaja’. Tele bhaja, which literally means fried in mustard oil, is an indispensable part of Bengali food culture. From evening snacks to meal accompaniments, ‘tele bhaja’ can be found everywhere. It is basically several types of fritters, made from all possible vegetables, green leaves, eggs, fish and meat. In the long list of Bengali-style fritters (chop / tele bhaja), one item that stands out as a classic is ‘begini’. Beguni in plain language is fried aubergine slices coated with besan; It is the crunchiest version of the started bhaja. To make it crispier, some people add a small amount of baking powder and poppy seeds (posto / khus khus) to the started dough. It is an accompaniment par excellence with daal-bhaat, khichdi and even night chai in almost all Bengali homes. Begini is said to have a distant cousin in European countries called eggplant fritters.
Speaking of aubergine, or as we call it baingan or started (in Bengali), it is one of those vegetables in the kitchen, with which people have a love and hate relationship: some dishes based on baingan are highly appreciated by people (like bharwan baingan), while some turn them off (it can be the simple aloo-baingan). It is also one of those must-have vegetables in an Indian household whose benefits are not widely discussed. According to experts, anthocyanin, a pigment in eggplant, is touted as good for heart health. It is also said to aid digestion and increase the production of red blood cells in the body.
We bring you a quick and easy begini recipe that you can add to your list of favorite baingan-based dishes. What are you waiting for? Put on your apron and run into the kitchen tonight to make a crisp side dish for your afternoon tea. Happy cooking!
Here is the video of recipes to make Beguni at home:
Also read: How to Make Brinjal Fry: Popular Vegetarian Dish from East India
About Somdatta SahaExplorer: This is how Somdatta likes to call herself. Whether it’s in terms of food, people, or places, all you long for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio or daal-chawal paste and a good film can brighten up your day.