Friday, August 20, 2010

Begun Pora -- the Bengali Roasted Eggplant

Begun Pora -- the rustic suburban cousin of Upper East side Ms. Bharta is a very simple, easy and quick if you can rope in the husband, dish.

The only scary part in this whole thing is roasting the eggplant, on the open flame, till it is charred and your smoke alarm starts ringing and the sprinklers go on and there are good looking firefighters ringing your door bell.

That would call for some exciting drama and you might get on page 2 of your local daily but if you abhor paparazzi choose from the following options:

1.On a balmy Tuesday afternoon when the birds are chirping and the wind is gentle hand the hubby a beer and an eggplant. Ask him to put it on the outside grill and keep a watch. Tell him he might get Begun Pora if he is good and some wilting lettuce if he is not. However un-romantic this might sound, the Bong hubby will watch and give you an eggplant that is done just right.

2.On other afternoons when nature is not on your side, rub the eggplant with that golden yellow pungent Mustard oil of yours, sprinkle some salt and stick it into the broiler.In 45minutes to an hour the eggplant will be charred to perfection.

Puritans will insist that you are missing out on the smoky flavor this way, which is true but anything better than cleaning a messy stove or meeting a firefighter in cooking dungarees, I say.

So after that eggplant has been done by the husband or the broiler or the ripping flame as your case might be, let it cool. Remove the charred skin and scoop out the soft velvety insides. To this add some more of that Mustard Oil(yes, you must), fresh chopped green chili, finely chopped onions and fresh corriander leaves and then mix with your fingers. It is a sensational feeling.

Now me being me and wanting a novelty in even my begun pora, I roast some tomatoes and garlic and add it to the above mix.

Wrap it up in a roti and have your dinner. My roti making skills are terrible and the six year old claims she can roll a better one than me, so if such is the case wrap it up in a tortilla.

Now that was quick wasn't it ? Less than 30 minutes of your live time for a Bong dinner. You can also do the eggplant in the broiler a day before and just do the quick mash and mix when you are ready to eat.


Begun Pora -- Roasted Eggplant

Wash an eggplant thoroughly. It is good if you can soak in water for 10-15 minutes. Pat dry completely
Score the tip with a knife.

Rub with salt and a tsp of mustard oil. Now broil in oven or grill it on the outside grill.
To broil in oven -- put in a baking tray lined with aluminum foil, drizzle some more oil on top and broil. It usually takes between 40-50 minutes to an hour.

For stove top -- "Smoke or roast the eggplant: Hold the eggplant over a low open gas flame. Rotate the eggplant 90 degrees every few minutes or so. The skin will gradually darken, the eggplant will start to sag, and you will notice a pleasant smoky smell. After about 20 minutes or half an hour, when the skin is completely charred, remove the eggplant from the flame. This step can be done by broiling or roasting the eggplant in the oven, but you will not get the same smoky flavour which makes this dish so good. Allow the eggplant to cool, then discard all of the skin, chop the flesh then mash with a fork." -- Source

Once the eggplant has cooled remove the charred skin and mash the soft, velvety flesh.

Add Mustard Oil and mix finely chopped onion, finely chopped green chili, salt to taste and finely chopped tomatoes. If you wish you can roast some tomato and garlic in the oven and add it to above.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Let it sit for a 10-15 minutes to soak up the flavor. Now scoop it up with a roti and eat.

Similar Recipes:

Baingan Bharta


  1. Begun pora amio oi bhabei kori.......but loved the read....

  2. Love the stories u weave! My bro-in-law makes this mean "katrika curry"...with tons of karipatta...n green chillies galore!!

  3. This is a winner. Eggplant and I am ready to try almost anything.

  4. nice idea to have with wrapped roti,..hppy weekend

  5. I hardely ever use eggplant , and this looks really yumm.

  6. Have introduced you to my whole family 'n they love reading what/how you write.Try adding a 'lil sugar as well .Its yum!

  7. Kamalika --- bangali begun pora ei rokom i to hoy bolo ?

    Payal -- Is it Karthikai ? Does that mean eggplant ?



    Indo -- Yeah, you will love it and much less work too

    Notyet -- :)

    HC -- I am not a big fan either, but this one is super easy and helps on busy days

    Delo -- Sugar is a great idea, will add to the post

  8. Loved reading it :-)...rotir sathe begon pora khete besh bhalo lagey.
    hugs and smiles

  9. aajke dupurei bhabhchi je begun pora post korbo..:-) tomar post dekhe doure eshechi. Using roasted tomato and garlic is nice touch and makes is sound like a mediterranean pora.

  10. begun priyo, begun poRa aro priyo. chhobita dekhe sotyi sotyi jibhe jol esechhilo.

  11. Always up for a baingan recipe. Esp one that involves so little prep time. Will keep this in mind. Cheers!

  12. yummy eggplant salad! no salt and lemon juice? summer is best for these snap dinners.

  13. Sandeepa, your introduction to the recipe brought a smile.."REAL" smile...mone holo amar nijer barir kotha keu likhche!
    Keep up the good writing....


  14. LOL! I almost gave the husband wilting lettuce yesterday. (all for differnt reasons!).
    I like this version of the Ms.Bhartha!

  15. What's with men and perfect barbecuing? :-)

    Until now, I did the oven way during winters here for Begun Pora. But my Ma in law has sent me a ruti shekaar jaali, which I now use to roast corn, tomato, and begun for the pora. Sheyee India'r moton taste. Kintu tarpore clean korte giye bojho moja. :-)

  16. Very happy to meet Mrs Pora, she looks as delicious as her cousin...
    The way you wrote the recipe is brilliant and very enjoyable!

  17. Baigan bharta is what we call it and why even we use the roast tomato and garlic the way u said..In fact, I remember my mom slitting the brinjal half way and piercing the garlic cloves in while roasting it.
    Being crazy about aloos makes me add bolied potato to it as well. May be you would like to try it some day

  18. Jaya
    yes, best with roti


    Please do, would love to see your way too.


    Begun pora amar kokhono priyo chilo na. Ekhon jeita tara tari hoy, seitai mone hoy khete bhalo


    "Little time" is the keyword here.


    Did I miss salt ? I think it is there in the recipe part of the post. Lime juice ? No. Tomatoes are fine.
    Incidentally Begun Pora back home is popular during winter.


    Thank You :)


    Good for you :-) Not for him though


    Please return the jaali ;-)

    Sweet Artichoke

    Thank you so much


    Potatoes, ahhh that would be nice

  19. Hi,

    Really a nice begun pora recepie. But what we really miss these days (with invention of grills or gas oven) is the black burnt scales and smells of burning begun on coal or wood that we use to enjoy during our childhood feast.

    Liked your recipe. We would like to invite you for guest blog on with your new recepies.

    We allow putting links to your website in your profile displayed just below your each and every article.

    We invite you to submit articles to our website for promoting your blog.

  20. Things like Begunpora becomes great when you go outside your country. Do you in the Purulia district of W.Bengal this is a great honour to a guest invited for Dinner?

  21. LOL !! begun poratey giye side(scary) effects gulo shune khoob mauja laglo....Roasted garlic and tomator addition ta khoob interesting laglo. Next time amio add korey dekho...Smoky smell ta bhalo lagbe....
    DO visit my space if you get time...
    Hamaree Rasoi

  22. With my digestive system being what it is (and seemingly worsening by the year, if the last three days have anything to go by) I truly stifle sobs when I see such beautiful recipes- can't digest the fibre, so I have to lay off such delicacies - both the rotis and the baingan.

    But thanks - will make this for the others at home - a nice change fron the usual bharta

  23. I have a congenital problem (which flared up in my mid 20s) which makes it virtually impossible to digest fibre.

    Found out the hard way and the docs almost wrote me off in the process....but anyway, here I am, trying to be grateful but slipping up at times ;)

  24. it's so interesting to see it here, my mom and I were talking about it this weekend. :)

  25. That's a cool way to have seem to love them considering there are so many eggplant recipes in your blog!

  26. pic looks like a very comfort roll! I would add a katori of Dahi to it:)

  27. Oh, I've got stories about smoking up the kitchen! Nothing unnerves me more. If you use a charcoal grill, though, you can still get that "purist" flavor by holding the eggplant with tongs on the open flames before they die down.

    Looks delish, Sandeepa. Hope the summer's been lovely for all of you.

  28. Hi, great recipe, and I'll try it. For bharta, I usually roast the begun in the microwave :) 5-7 minutes, and you're done! Try it.

  29. This Bengali version of Baingan ka bharta is yummy!!

  30. ami ajke banalam khuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuub bhalo

  31. Just begun pora, moong daal, and bhaat - ami fave pet pujo :)

  32. What should be the broiler temp?

  33. Aj banalam, o baba I savored every last bit. Ei teen jinish chara beshi somoy beche thakte parbona: chingri, begun, paneer.

  34. What should be the oven temperature?


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