Begun Bhaja Recipe with step by step photos – Begun Bhaja also known as Baingan Bhaja are pan fried or shallow fried marinated slices of Aubergines. It is a Bengali dish and there are a lot of variations to this recipe.
To make the Begun Bhaja you need the large variety of eggplant similar to the one which we use for Baingan Bharta. The larger varieties of brinjal have less seeds and more flesh.
When cooked the flesh becomes tender with a slight sweet tinge to it… Just scooping up the tender cooked flesh with some bread is so delicious.
This is my mom’s recipe and I just love to have the eggplant fries with some bread or rotis. One of the dishes I often make when I am short of time & creative ideas.
I simply love aubergines sauteed, stir fried, roasted, mashed… Cooked in any way. It is one of my favorite veggies.
In this Begun Bhaja recipe, I have used mustard oil for frying the baingan and rice flour to coat the baingan. However, even sunflower oil or any other oil will taste good. Rice flour gives a nice crispiness to the fries. You can also substitute the rice flour with chickpea flour or semolina (rava or sooji).
Again using rice flour is optional. You can just marinate the baingan slices in the masala and then fry it directly. Both ways they taste good. Similarly like baingan bhaja you can also make Aloo bhaja or this Brinjal fry recipe (baingan fry) from the Maharashtrian cuisine.
One of the best combinations for a bhaja muger khichuri is baingan bhaja. However you can also serve baingan bhaja with bread, rotis or naan.
Few more veggies recipes for you!
How to make Baingan Bhaja or Begun Bhaja
- Rinse the brinjals and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Slice them into rounds that are neither thick or thin. In a bowl place the sliced brinjals in salted water for 20 minutes. This helps to remove the bitter juices if any from the brinjals.
2: Now marinate the baingan with all the spice powders except rice flour. Keep for 5-7 minutes.
3: Now take rice flour in a plate. Take each slice and coat it with the rice flour. Ensure that you coat the marinated slices evenly. Dust off the remaining rice flour by gently tapping the slices.
4: In a shallow pan heat mustard oil. Fry the brinjal slices on both sides till crisp and golden on a medium heat. You have to flip a couple of times for even cooking.
You can use sunflower oil or peanut oil in place of mustard oil
5: Place the fried brinjal slices on kitchen paper towels so that the extra oil is absorbed.
6: Serve Begun Bhaja hot with bread, rotis or naan accompanied with a plain yogurt, sauce or green chutney.
They can also be served as a snack or side dish. There is no garnishing done in this dish. Just to get some color for photography, I have added specks of mint leaves here and there.
Begun bhaja has to be served hot as soon as they are fried for the best taste. On cooling they don’t taste that great so best served hot.
You can simply have them as a side dish with dal-rice or with khichdi or with any Indian meal. You can also have them with roti or bread or you can sandwich them between bread slices.
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- 1 large eggplant cut into half inch round slices (baingan or aubergine)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dry mango powder or amchur powder (optional)
- rice flour as required
- salt as required
- mustard oil for frying, you can also use sunflower oil
Preparation to make Begun Bhaja
- Rinse the eggplant (baingain) well in water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Now slice the eggplant in 1/2 inch thick roundels.
- Soak these slices in salted water for 15-20 minutes. Remove and pat dry all the slices.
Making Begun Bhaja
- Now add all the spice powders and salt and mix the slices well. Marinate for 5-7 minutes.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan. Take rice flour in a plate. Coat each slice with rice flour. Dust off the extra rice flour.
- Now pan fry the baingan slices till crisp and golden brown on both sides on medium heat. Flip them a couple of times for even cooking.
- Once they becomes nicely crisp and golden then place the fried brinjal slices on paper towels so that the extra oil is absorbed.
- Serve baingan bhaja hot with yogurt or any yogurt dip and some bread or rotis or naans. They can also be stuffed between bread slices and had as a snack.
- For best taste have them hot.
- Slice the brinjals into rounds that are neither too thin or too thick. The thicker slices will take more time to cook and there are chances that the center is not cooked fully. Thin slices will get browned fast.
- Brinjal slices absorbs oil while frying. So, it is always better to coat the slices with some flour. Here in this recipe I have used rice flour. It serves two fold benefit – firstly, the Brinjal slices does not absorb much oil and secondly, rice flour makes the coating crisp from outside. So from outside the Brinjal slices are crisp whereas from inside they are soft.
- You can also use chickpea flour (besan) or all purpose flour (maida) to make begun bhaja.
- Baingan discolors quickly once it is chopped. Hence, you can put the chopped slices in a bowl of water or use it right away.
- Not all brinjal are bitter. Some of them can be very sweet. However, its better to put the slices in salted water as one cannot come to know by its look or appearance if it is bitter or not. As a general rule, while buying bigger eggplants, the eggplant should be light with a firm skin.
- I have used mustard oil, but you can use any good vegetable oil for frying.
- You can either shallow fry or deep fry the baingan.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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