Monday, November 28, 2011

Begun Chingri - Eggplant cooked in Shrimp Paste

BegunChingriBahar1, Begun Chingri, Begun Bahar,  Eggplant Cooked in shrimp paste

Begun Chingri | Begun Bahar

This is not  a traditional recipe, more of a delicious innovation, where eggplant is cooked with shrimp paste. It has the goodness of fried eggplant or Begun Bhaja elevated to soaring heights with some fresh shrimp paste. If anyone happens to copy this and pass it off as their Grandmother's recipe, less power to you!

This is my Sister-in-law's recipe.

Actually her innovation. She invented this thing. Including the nomenclature. Called it "Begun Bahar" (or was it "Begum Bahar").

Then she sent me an e-mail. This is what her mail read. Ditto.

"Bengan Bahaar (amaar deo naam )

Fry shrimp with salt and haldi keep it aside.Fry the begun as we do begun bhaja and keep aside.

Grind cut onion ginger garlic and tomato fry them with haldi mirchi and little dhania and jeera powder.
then grind the shrimp and the fried masala with sarso /methi seeds . Sprinle salt and saute the whole thing with the begun bhaja for sometime till the colour changes to deep red /orange and nice smell comes out. Garnish with coriander and squeeze lemon juice on top before removing.
I am sure you guys will love this . I feel really nice to "invent" a new dish hehehehee "

Why she is laughing I do not know. She really did "invent".


Can you see the e-mail now ?

I have full faith in her and so I got two eggplants from the Farmers Market. One of them was destined to be turned into exotic "Begun Bahar" with sequined zari ghungat and kohl lined eyes. Reminds me of Meena Kumari but really this was just eggplant, whatever you might call it.

The dish turned out to be truly, really lovely. The freshly ground shrimp paste does wonderful things if you do not know. The silky, fleshy eggplant is beautifully complemented with the shrimp paste. I am eating the leftovers for lunch right now and OMG I think you should totally make it.
Begun Chingri, Begun Bahar,  Eggplant Cooked in shrimp paste

Shoo now....get moving. Get that darn eggplant, man. And oh yeah, I called it Begun Chingri, stick with Baingan Bahar if you must though.


Begun Chingri -- Eggplant cooked in shrimp paste

What You Need

Eggplant/Begun -- 1 medium sized or 2 slender Japanese Eggplant

Onion -- 1 Cups of chopped onion
Garlic paste -- 1 tsp (or 6 Cloves of Garlic)
Ginger Paste -- 1 tsp (or 1" of  Ginger chopped)

Tomato -- 1 medium chopped small
Green Chili(hot Indian ones) -- 4-6

Cumin Powder -- 1 tsp
Coriander Powder -- 1 tsp

Kashmiri Mirch -- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds -- 1/2 tsp
Methi Seeds -- 1/2 tsp

Shrimp -- 12-15 medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

Corriander -- fresh chopped about a fistful
Lime Juice -- 1 tsp

How I Did It

Chop eggplant in 3"x1" thin slices. Soak in salt water for 20-30 minutes. Drain water and sprinkle the eggplants with salt and a tsp of Turmeric powder.

Fry the eggplants. How you fry the eggplant is kind of up to you. Ideally it should be fried in enough oil. If you are a health freak like me, you will pan fry them. If you are a more serious freak, you might brush them with oil and bake/broil them. Whatever you want to do, do it. Then remove and keep the fried eggplants aside.

Lightly saute the shrimps with salt and turmeric powder. Remove and keep aside.

Fry the onions till golden brown. Add to it
1tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp of Red Chili Powder
Saute for a minute

Next add
1 medium tomato finely chopped
+ 4 green chili
Fry till tomato is all mushed up. Cool and make a paste of this masala (onion+tomato+ everything else).

Make a coarse paste of the sauteed shrimp. Remove and keep aside.

Heat some more oil in the fry pan. Temper the oil with
1/2 tsp of Mustard seeds
+ 1/4 tsp of Methi seeds

When the spices start sputtering and getting fragrant add the onion+tomato masala paste. Saute the masala till you see the oil leaving from the edges. Next add the shrimp paste and saute for about 4-5 minutes. Add the fried eggplants slices and mix with the masala. Add salt to taste. Add a little water, say about about 1/3rd Cup. At low medium heat cook for about 5-6 minutes. At the end of this you will see oil surfacing.

Garnish with chopped coriander and 1 tsp of lime juice. Serve with roti or rice.

Check this for Cutlery and Cutlery Sets


  1. When i read shrimp paste i wa slike hmmm i woudn't like it as i was thinking aobut thai shrimp paste which i dislike but then i read the recipe and you are using fresh ones, hmmm that i would love and wow your SIL created this,it looks super yumm.

  2. My thought was the same like F. for shrimp paste seeing the title! We combine all veggie with small shrimp but making paste sounds too good :) She is a tasteful innovator :)

  3. pretty innovative, I must say. :)

  4. I am totally making this. I love shrimp and eggplant and there is no time to wait.

  5. But but but I love prawns too much to grind them up!! Maybe if it's those tiny shrimp I might not mind that much? Or maybe I'd just try them whole and see how it tastes- after all the combination is too good to pass up !

  6. I am having the same problem as Miri

    I think I Will just try the thing with whole chingri and let you know how it tastes
    But surely I Will first try out your recipe like always

    it sounds delicious

  7. Finla

    I don't think I have ever used that. We eat out Thai too often to make at home :)


    Yes, yes we do that too, veggies with little shrimp. But this is a very different taste. Apparently my MIL also cooks certain things like Arvi with ground shrimp.




    You definitely love eggplant and you can add your own touch with a few curry leaves. Actually I think this dish would be very good with curry leaf.

    Miri & Bully

    Okay, okay here is the deal. Coarsely ground the shrimp. Don't make a fine paste. Actually fine paste is not even allowed. That makes a great stuffing for other things too.
    You can do with whole shrimp but the taste is definitely different.

  8. Hi Sandeepa,
    This MUST taste good....have to make it!
    I also belong to the school of "do not WASTE chingri by making a paste"
    But recently tried a chingri paste dish from my tasted so good, especially with white rice..
    that my views changed!

  9. Slurp, would like to have some rite now,irresistible begun chingri.

  10. i'm glad it's cooked shrimp that needs to be ground, don't like the idea of grinding raw shrimp. for us here shrimps are too precious to grind up.

  11. Same problem here with whether to waste a good prawn and paste it! But then Sandeepa's recipes have never failed me.So off to the market. And your post is so cute.ALso I heard from my sis-in-law that fried and ground mushrooms are a good flavour booster too. Have tried it on fried rice with amazing results.

  12. wow this looks delish! This last weekend I heard about lahori gosht with eggplant and now shrimp with eggplant. I really have to go and buy one now...

  13. Awesome invention !! I can imagine the perfect blend. Sandeepa my sister tried your Goan shrimp curry and she loved it. Specially amake mail korlo chobi tule. She wanted me to say a thank u note to you for sharing.
    Thanks again

  14. Yes I think I should totally make this. For me Begun Chingri is begun chingri and kalo jeere with lots of tel and knacha lonka. Shrimp paste is an invention indeed.. Don't know why she laughed :) shunei monay hochey besh achar achar gorm bhaat diye khayi.

  15. Hi Sandeepa,

    I made this yesterday and it was a huge hit here. Please thank your SIL for this invention of hers and also wanna thank you for sharing this. I have blogged it in my space. Here's the link:


  16. This is so similar to how my mom in law makes Chingri Shnutki. :) But have to try it with Mustard and Methi seeds. :) Thanks.

  17. yuuummm just made this today it was sooo good =) looks like i have something new to serve the ever critical inlaws! =D

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  19. Hi Sandeepa,

    Thanks a lot for the recipe. I made it today and we liked it a lot. Thank you again.


  20. Enjoyed the dish. Very innovative and finger licking good.

  21. I added some fried pumpkin (mistikumro) and followed the rest of the process - it came out extremely well.

  22. How many servings is this recipe for?


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