In memoriam : Rummana Zaman

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Begun Bhorta (Spicy Mashed Eggplant)

Serves three to four people.

Ingredients:
  • Medium-sized eggplant - 1
  • Chopped onions - 2 tablespoons
  • Chopped green chili (or fried dry chili) - 4 to 5
  • Chopped garlic - 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped coriander - 2 tablespoons
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon (as needed)
  • Mustard oil - 2 tablespoons
Traditional Preparation using Gas Stove:
  • Clean and rinse the eggplant.
  • Stab it a few times with a fork to poke holes on either side.
  • Rub it in a bit of oil and then wrap it inside an aluminum foil.
  • Turn on the gas stove to medium and place the aluminum wrapped eggplant in the fire.
  • Keep turning it over every 10 minutes for 30 to 40 minutes. This guarantees all sides are heated evenly.
  • Turn off the heat once the eggplant is soft and tender.
  • Remove the eggplant from the foil and peel off the charred skin.
  • Mash the remaining pulp using a large spoon in a separate bowl.
  • Keep aside.
  • Saute the garlic and green chili with a bit oil in a separate pan.
  • Remove from heat and mash together the garlic, green chili, onions and salt by hand.
  • Once completely mixed, add in the eggplant and mash more.
  • Finally, add in the mustard oil and coriander, and continue mashing until thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve with rice.
Preparation using Microwave:
  • Clean and rinse the eggplant. Cut it into 4 to 5 pieces.
  • Rub it in a bit of oil and place in a microwave-proof dish.
  • Sprinkle some water on top and cover.
  • Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once done, turn over the eggplant and microwave again on high for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • If the eggplant is not completely soft and tender, sprinkle some more water and microwave again for a few more minutes.
  • When done, let the eggplant cool for a few minutes before uncovering the dish.
  • Hold the eggplant tight and squeeze out all the water it soaked up during the microwaving.
  • Peeling the skin is optional in this preparation.
  • Mash the pulp (and the skin) using a large spoon in a separate bowl.
  • Keep aside.
  • Saute the garlic and green chili with a bit oil in a separate pan.
  • Remove from heat and mash together the garlic, green chili, onions and salt by hand.
  • Once completely mixed, add in the eggplant and mash more.
  • Finally, add in the mustard oil and coriander, and continue mashing until thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve with rice.

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