Begun Basanti / Eggplants In Mustard Sauce – Have you ever tried eggplants this way? If not, then you must try this once, even if you are not an eggplant lover, you will become a convert for sure. This begun basanti is that good.
Other than the cult classic – posto, we Bengalis love our sorshe baata as much as we adore and fight for roshogolla. Yes, sorshe baata maach / fish in mustard sauce is another eternal classic from Bengali cuisine.
This begun basanti, basanti meaning yellow, a color that is synonymous with the beautiful season of Spring and Saraswati pujo. And when the golden fried crisp eggplants present themselves fully attired in rich and deep gorgeous yellow, you will understand that this dish is so named for a reason.
Yellow is such a bright and happy color. So anything cooked in mustard sauce will have that pleasing effect on us. This gorgeous yellow color eggplant curry not only looks appetizing but taste very different and unique too.
This is the reason perhaps, why it is so popular among my non-Bengali guests, immensely loved and appreciated by them. Hence, this dish becomes an almost immediate choice whenever I decide to host my Bengali food pop ups. The uniqueness of this dish is simply unparalleled.
There are three version basically of this same dish that I often cook, depends upon the available ingredeints in my pantry.
One is this Begun basanti- where I fried the eggplants and then simmered in mustard and yogurt gravy. This is most mildest one of all three. Yogurt beautifully balances out the sharp pungency of the mustard paste. And my guests also loved this version most.
Second is Sorshe begun – this is more richer version, sharp and pungent taste as yogurt is not generally added here. This is for those who can really can tolerate the richenss of mustard paste.
Third version is same as the second one, except here I add grated coconut. Sorshe-nanrkel is a timeless classic combo, a match made in heaven. No dish can look uninspiring when this fabulous combos are at play.
Recipe for this begun basanti is simple and very straightforward. It requires no special skill , except while adding the yogurt you have to be little careful about it. Because if yogurt get curdled, it will spoil the entire dish. Since onions and tomatoes are not used in this recipe, you can not save the dish if this happens.
Here’s how to make Bengali Mustard Paste and Mustard fish curry.
Looking for more mustard based dishes ?
- 1 big Eggplants / brinjals
- 4-5 tbsp Yellow and black mustard seed paste (see note)
- Hing, Asafoetida a small pinch
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds / kalonji
- 1/4 cup Curd / yogurt (whipped)
- 3-4 Green chillies
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/2 cup Warm water
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Salt to taste
- Mustard oil : for shallow frying and cooking
- Chopped cilantro leaves for garnishing
Wash and cut the eggplants into long strips, as shown in the pics. Rub salt and turmeric on the eggplants and leave for 15 minutes.
Heat some mustard oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplants till it gets a nice brown hues and become tender. Take out from the oil and drain it and keep it on a tissue paper to remove excess oil from the fried eggplants
In a mixing bowl, add the mustard paste, salt, turmeric powder, beaten curd and ginger paste, blend it well.
In the same pan, heat a tablespoon of mustard oil and temper it with nigella seeds. Tip in very small pinch of hing.
Lower the heat and add the above mentioned paste of mustard seeds, curd and ginger paste, fry on low heat for sometime and add the slotted green chillies.
Let it fry for few more minutes till the oil separates out. Add the cumin and red chilli powder and mix well. Add salt and sugar to taste.
Add the warm water to get a saucy consistence, dip the fried eggplants in it, coat it well with mustard-yogurt sauce, cover and sim for 5 minute.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve the beautiful golden-yellow colored begun basanti / eggplants in mustard-yogurt sauce with rice or pulao.
To make mustard paste - soak around 2 tablespoon each of black and yellow mustard seeds together in hot water for 1 hour. Drain the water. Remove the husk if any by rubbing the mustard seeds with hand. Grind the mustard seeds together with a green chilli and pinch of turmeric powders and salt till a smooth consistency reached.