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June 26, 2014


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As I mentioned in my Chaler payesh post, here comes the second Bengali recipe for this week, begun bhaja which I made for lunch thali. Begun bhaja means (shallow) fried eggplants(aubergine). Bengalis serve this as an accompaniment for rice, rotis or just as a snack. They make varieties of bhaja with potato, bitter gourd etc & there should be at least one bhaja in their  authentic lunch menu for sure.

 Usually bengali bhaja is made in a very simple way by slicing and marinating bigger sized brinjal with turmeric powder, salt and a pinch of sugar & shallow fried in oil. But being a south Indian girl, I wanted it to be little spicier. So I just tweaked the actual recipe according to my taste bud.

When i googled, I saw many variations for this bhaja recipe like adding garam masala,dusting the begun in poppy seeds, rice flour, wheat flour or maida before frying to avoid oil consumption and to get a beautiful brown layer on top. But I did not want to deviate much from the original bengali style and so I followed this simple one. I referred many websites and Sanjeev kapoor’s video for this recipe.

As I am a big fan of brinjal, I loved this bhaja very much and I started making this bhaja for our South Indian sambar & Rasam rice too. Its so easy to make and you can prepare it within 10-15 minutes including marination time. I strongly recommend all the brinjal lovers to try this recipe at least once. U will love the simplicity of this recipe and of course the taste. But one thing, you should drain the brinjal in a tissue paper well before you eat else you may have to consume a week’s calorie in one meal. 

Ok , Lets proceed how to make this easy bengali style begun bhaja recipe. 

Bengali style begun bhaja recipe

Begun bhaja recipe

Begun bhaja recipe Bengali style begun bhaja recipe – Pan fried aubergine slices
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sidedish
Serves: 3
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 5 Minutes
Total time: 15 Minutes


  • Medium sized Begun/Aubergine/brinjal - 1 no (the one we use for baingan bharta)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water - as reqd
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Cooking oil - 3-4 tbsp

  • Wash and slice the big brinjal into one inch slice. Keep it immersed in salt water till use. ( It helps to remove the bitterness in brinjal if any)
  • Mix turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and sugar and set aside. Remove brinjal pieces from water and sprinkle this powder. Make sure the powder coats the brinjal well. Let it marinate for 5 minutes.
begun bhaja step1
  • Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying. Fry the brinjal pieces in batches for 5 minutes in medium flame. Flip it once in the middle. Fry till brinjal is cooked well and soft without losing its shape. It turns golden brown. Drain the brinjal in a tissue paper and remove the oil.
begun bhaja step2
Serve with dal ad rice OR with sambar , rasam.

Enjoy !


  • U can make it more flavourful by adding garam masala pwd .
  • Skip red chilli powder if you want to try the authentic bengali version.
  • If you are conscious about oil absorption, dust brinjal slices in rice flour or wheat flour before frying.
  • The thinner u slice the brinjal,it gets cooked quickly but do not slice less than 1 inch else brinjal will become crispy.
  • Use big variety brinjal which has less seeds and more flesh for best results. I used small purple ones here. I think you can it find out from the picture.
  • Soaking brinjals in salt water is optional but it helps to remove the bitterness in brinjal if any.
  • Adjust salt while adding turmeric and red chilli powder. Do not add more.
  • Check the flame and keep turning the brinjals till it gets a nice brown color and it should be cooked till soft. Do not over cook it.
  • Add oil whenever necessary while frying between batches because brinjal absorbs more oil.

Begun bhaja recipe

Enjoy begun bhaja with roti, dal rice or sambar sadam or rasam! Tastes great with anything & everything. 
Bengali style begun bhaja

Do check out my other related posts for this recipe

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Unknown said...

i just love them.. right from y school days..this looks yummy

Unknown said...

Looks great. Healthy and easy recipe dear..

great-secret-of-life said...

looks yummy and simple with less spices..

Chitra said...

Thanks for the quick comment smitha :)

Gayathri NG said...

So tempting brinjal fry, sounds interesting!!

nandoos kitchen said...

looks yummy.. tempting clicks..

AparnaRajeshkumar said...

nice and tempting clicks.being brijal lover cannt resist it

Shanthi Krishnakumar said...

tempting and yummy

Sona said...

Looks very delicious.. nice clicks..

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Looks very nice.. I am always on a hunt to know more bengali recipes.. Here it is!!

New to your blog. Would love to connect with your space.
Do drop by my blog Sandha's Kitchen ( when you get a chance.

Shoba said...

Super..Lovely trial

Priya Suresh said...

Super tempting Bengali begun bhaja, sounds as a prefect side dish for curd rice.

Priya Suresh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

hi! can this same thing be cooked in microwave? could you please give some instructions for the same..

Chitra said...

Hi,yes you can.After marination,roast the brinjal in microwave high power( mine is 800w) for 2 minutes.Flip it once and again heat for 1 or 2 minutes.Timings may vary.Just roast them until brinjal is cooked well.Do share your feedback here if you try.Thanks