Begun Bhaja is one of the easiest dishes that I have ever cooked and one of the most delicious. These Bengali Pan-fried Eggplant slices are the perfect accompaniment to Bhoger Khichuri.

Begun Bhaja | Bengali Pan-fried Eggplant
Begun Bhaja | Bengali Pan-fried Eggplant

The first time I had Begun Bhaja was when I had it as an accompaniment in a Durga Puja pandal many decades ago. Ever since then I have been a big fan (I am a fan of eggplant/brinjal anyway) and so make it often. While it is the traditional accompaniment to the Bhoger Khichuri | Niramish Khichuri, I even eat it with Dal Rice or Curd Rice. is perhaps the easiest dish the I have ever cooked and one of the most delicious.

Do you like eggplants (or brinjals as we call them in India?). If yes, do try my recipes for:

I had first posted this recipe in October 2013 and have updated it now with a recipe card.

How to Make Begun Bhaja

Points to Note Before You Start

  • Coat the brinjal slices as soon as you cut it. Brinjal tends to discolour if left uncovered for long.
  • If you are cooking the Begun Bhaja in batches, then between batches you must clean the pan of all the residual fried masala and once again add fresh mustard oil and bring it smoking point. If you do not do this, then the masala from the previous batches tends to char and you will have brinjal covered with burnt spice. 🙁
  • As the brinjals are frying, if you feel the need to add more oil, resist the temptation to add raw mustard oil to the pan. In a separate pan or ladle, heat  the oil to smoking point and then add to the pan with the frying aubergines.
  • Do not fry the brinjal over high heat. If you do, only the surface will fry while the inner part will remain raw. The perfectly cooked Begun Bhaja is so tender that it feels like malai!

Method

  1. Prepping the Eggplant Slices
    1. In a large plate, mix the 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tbsp turmeric powder, and salt.
    2. Next, cut 2 Bharta Baingan (Large Eggplants) into slices about 1/2″ thick.
    3. Dust both sides of each brinjal slice with the spice mix and dust off the excess.
  2. Shallow-frying the Eggplant Slices
    1. In a shallow pan, heat about 1/4 cup mustard oil to smoking point.
    2. Turn the heat to low, and let the pan and oil stop smoking. This is very important to ensure that the brinjal slices do not char.
    3. Now turn the heat back up to medium.
    4. Place the spice-coated brinjal slices in the pan.
    5. Shallow-fry the slices over medium heat till the side of the brinjal touching the pan is lightly browned.
    6. Flip the brinjal slices over and cook over till the flipside of the brinjal is lightly browned as well.
    7. Use a slotted ladle to remove the slices from the oil and hold the slices over the pan for a few seconds. This will help drain the excess oil from the slices. Do not transfer the fried eggplant slices to a tissue to absorb excess oil because the tissue will stick to the eggplant slices.
    8. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Serve the hot Begun Bhaja with Bhoger Khichuri or Dal Rice.
Bengali Begun Bhaja
Bengali Begun Bhaja

Recipe for Begun Bhaja | Bengali Pan-fried Brinjal Slices

Begun Bhaja | Bengali Pan-fried Brinjal Slices

Aruna
Begun Bhaja are a super simple, pan-fried eggplant slices. It is an absolute treat to eat Begun Bhaja with Dal Rice or then Bhoger Khichuri
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Bengali, Indian
Servings 4 People
Calories 65 kcal
Equipment
  • Pan for Shallow Frying
  • Plate
Ingredients
  
  • 2 Large Eggplants or Bharta Baingan (~500 gms)
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to Taste
  • Mustard Oil to Pan Fry
Instructions
 
  • In a large plate, mix the 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tbsp turmeric powder, and salt to taste.
  • Cut 2 Bharta Baingan (large brinjal) into 1/2" thick slices.
  • Dust each side of the brinjal slice with the spice mix and dust off the excess.
  • In a large pan, heat the mustard oil to smoking point.
  • Turn the heat to low, and let the pan and oil stop smoking.
  • Turn the heat to medium.
  • Place the brinjal slices in the pan.
  • Shallow-fry over low-medium heat till the side of the brinjal touching the pan is lightly browned.
  • Flip the brinjal slices over.
  • Cook over medium heat till the side of the brinjal touching the pan is lightly browned.
  • Use a slotted ladle, gently lift the fried slices out of the oil and hold them for a few seconds over the pan for the excess oil to drain, and then transfer them to a plate.
Serving Ideas
  • Serve the Begun Bhaja hot with Bhoger Khichuri or Dal Rice.
Notes
  • Coat the brinjal slices as soon as you cut it. Brinjal tends to discolour if left uncovered for long.
  • If you are cooking the Begun Bhaja in batches, then between batches you must clean the pan of all the residual fried masala and once again add fresh mustard oil and bring it smoking point. If you do not do this, then the masala from the previous batches tends to char and you will have brinjal covered with burnt spice. 🙁
  • As the brinjals are frying, if you feel the need to add more oil, resist the temptation to add raw mustard oil to the pan. In a separate pan or ladle, heat the oil to smoking point and then add to the pan with the frying aubergines.
  • Do not fry the brinjal over high heat. If you do, only the surface will fry while the inner part will remain raw. The perfectly cooked Begun Bhaja is so tender that it feels like malai!
  • Do not transfer the fried eggplant slices to a tissue to absorb excess oil. The tissue will stick to the eggplant slices.
Nutrition Facts
Begun Bhaja | Bengali Pan-fried Brinjal Slices
Amount Per Serving
Calories 65 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 13mg1%
Potassium 578mg17%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 201IU4%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Baingan Bhaja, Begun Bhaja, Pan-fried Brinjal Slices, Pan-fried Eggplant Slices, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

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