Begun Bhaja

4.50 from 4 votes

Begun Bhaja (Bengali-style fried Eggplant) consists of thick slices of eggplant coated with a spice mix and fried in mustard oil until crisp. For a hearty meal, serve it with dal rice or luchi.

If you are an eggplant fan, then here are some more easy Indian eggplant recipes that you can prepare for your everyday meals: Baingan Methi, Aloo Baingan, and Kalonji Baingan.

Bengali begun bhaja served on a plate.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

About Begun Bhaja

Begun Bhaja (Bengali-Style Fried Eggplant) is a traditional Bengali dish made by coating thick slices of eggplant in a spicy rice flour mixture and shallow-frying them in hot mustard oil until crisp.

Begun Bhaja and Khichuri are a perfect combination and are loved by all Bengalis. You can also serve it as a side dish with Dal Rice, Aloo Bhaja, Fish Curry, and Luchi.

Its crispy texture also makes it a perfect evening snack.

Ingredients

Begun bhaja ingredients list 1.
Begun bhaja ingredients list 2.

Baingan (Eggplants) – Baingan Bhaja is prepared using the large purple variety of baingan, also called Bharta Baingan in Hindi.

Try to choose a male eggplant with fewer seeds and less bitter. You can check male and female brinjals by looking at the indentations at the bottom. Females have long indentations, while males have round.

Rice Flour – Rice flour gives a perfect crispy texture. You can replace rice flour with chickpea flour (besan), all-purpose flour (maida), white poppy seeds (khus khus), or fine semolina (sooji).

Mustard Oil – For the authentic traditional Bengali flavor, use only mustard oil to make this dish. But if you do not prefer the strong flavor of mustard oil, you can use any cooking oil you choose.

Spices – You will need basic spices such as turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt.

You can also add a little amchur powder (dry mango powder) or chaat masala powder to the rice flour mixture to give it some tang.

Some people add garam masala powder, Roasted Cumin Powder, and coriander powder to their spice mix.

Sugar – A little sugar is added to balance the flavors.

How To Make Begun Bhaja

Wash a large eggplant and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel. Discard 1 inch of the top green stalk and cut it into 2 cm thick slices.

Note – Keep the brinjal slices soaked in water until ready to use; otherwise, they will turn black from oxidation. The best thing to do is to cut the eggplant just before you are ready to cook it.

Wipe the slices dry with a kitchen towel if they are soaked in water to remove any excess water.

Eggplant cut into slices.

Mix the following ingredients on a shallow plate.

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Turmeric, chilli powder, rice flour and salt added to a plate.
Ready coating mix.

Press the baingan slices in the rice flour mixture to coat them well from both sides.

Baingan slices coating with the mix.

Heat 2-3 tablespoon of mustard oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

Mustard oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, arrange the eggplant slices on the pan in a single layer and shallow fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.

Transfer the fried baingan to a plate lined with paper tissues to remove the extra oil. Serve hot.

Fry the remaining slices in the same manner.

Eggplant slices arranged in the pan.
Ready begun bhaja.

Pro Tips By Neha

Cut the brinjal into slices of the same thickness. This will ensure that the slices are cooked evenly. Also, the slices to make the beginning bhaja should be thick, approximately 2 cm each. If you cut them too thin, they will become mushy.

You can cut long slices instead of round ones, and then it’s called Lomba Begun Bhaja.

You can skip coating the brinjal in rice flour and fry it with spices. It will be a little oily, though.

Adding a teaspoon of sugar and spices gives a nice caramelized texture to the brinjal after frying. 

Fry the brinjal in mustard oil to get a unique taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a long, thin variety of brinjal instead of a round one to begin bhajan?

Traditionally, baingan bhaja is prepared using the round, large variety of eggplant (Bharta Baingan), but you can also use the long, thin variety.

Just slice it in half vertically, coat it with the spiced rice flour mixture, and fry.

Can I make begun bhaja ahead of time?

I will not suggest you make it ahead of time. Begun Bhaja will become soggy and oily if kept for 30 minutes.

Can I bake or air fry the eggplants?

Yes, you can.

Arrange the brinjal slices on a baking tray in a single layer. Bake at 190°C (380°F) on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes or until brown and crispy.

Arrange the brinjal slices in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Air fry at 190°C (380°F) for 15 minutes, then flip and air fry for another 10 minutes or until the eggplants are crisp and tender.

How do I remove bitterness from the brinjal?

If the eggplant is bitter, soak it in water with 2 teaspoon of salt. Then rinse and use in the recipe. Soaking the brinjal in salted water reduces the bitterness.

You Might Also Like

Begun Bhaja (Bengali Style Fried Eggplant) are thick slices of eggplant coated with a spice mix and fried in mustard oil until crisp. Serve it with dal rice or luchi for a hearty meal (vegan, gluten-free).
4.50 from 4 votes

Begun Bhaja Recipe (Bengali Style Fried Eggplant)

Begun Bhaja (Bengali Style Fried Eggplant) are thick slices of eggplant coated with a spice mix and fried in mustard oil until crisp. Serve it with dal rice or luchi for a hearty meal.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 large eggplant (baingan)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • mustard oil (for frying)
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Wash the eggplant and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel. Discard 1 inch of the top and cut it into 2 cm thick slices.
  • Note – Keep the slices soaked in water until ready to use otherwise they will turn black from oxidation. The best is to cut the eggplant just before you are ready to cook it.
  • Wipe the slices dry with paper towels if they were soaked in water to remove any excess water.
  • Mix turmeric powder, chili powder, rice flour, sugar, and salt on a shallow plate.
  • Press the baingan slices in the rice flour mixture to coat them well from both sides.
  • Heat 2-3 tablespoon of mustard oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, arrange the eggplant slices on the pan in a single layer and shallow fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side as well.
  • Transfer the fried baingan to a plate lined with kitchen tissue to get rid of the excess oil and serve!
  • Fry the remaining slices in the same manner.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Cut the brinjal into slices of the same thickness. This will ensure that the slices are cooked evenly. Also, the slices to make began bhaja should be thick, approximately 2 cm each. If you cut them too thin, they will become mushy.
You can skip coating the brinjal in rice flour and fry it with spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 275mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 225IU, Vitamin C: 2.6mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Hey! Hope you are doing well.
    Do try Begun Bhaaja with the marination of only salt and turmeric. Simple and A perfect Comfort Side dish for Lunch which goes pretty well with Dal Bhaat. 🙂