17 November, 2017
Beguni: Eggplant fritter
Did you know there is a whole genre of food in Bengali cuisine called “Teley Bhaja”, or deep fried. Such is the importance of deep fried food that just by saying Teley Bhaja, one can safely draw the attention to something crunchy, hot, salty and of course fried in oil.
There can be some dipping sauce, a few rounds of onions, or slivers of radishes.
These have a strong association with the weather. Rain or cold temperatures in particular almost necessitates that there are some of these on the menu.
Waiting for the bus or train to arrive, Tele Bhajas make excellent company. Being one of those grey days outside with rain or snow, a Bengali soul craves a hot cup of tea with a side of Teley Bhajas. Given the very seasonal Prairie temperatures of minus fifteen degrees Celsius, short day light hours and a feet of snow around, it is only natural that I started mixing the batter for some Beguni.
Mind you fritters can be made from a variety of vegetables like eggplants, Squash, onions, mixed greens and so on. Even at the risk of a few extra minutes in the gym this is so worth it. Take my word for it friends….
Recipe: Made 18 pieces.
Japanese Eggplants 2
Besan ( chick pea flour ) 1 cup
Suji 1/3 cup
Baking soda One pinch
Turmeric powder 1/2 . tsp
Chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Hing ( Asafoetida ) 1/4 tsp
Crushed Nigella seeds 1/2 tsp
Canola oil 1 Tbsp, more for frying
Lukewarm water 1 Cup
Thin slices of onions
Cut the eggplants into pieces 2 inches long and 1/4 th inch thick. Wash and set on kitchen towel to dry.
Sift the Besan with all the other dry ingredients, add the oil also known as moyen, then add lukewarm water to make a batter. It took close to a cup of water to get the right consistency. When let to drop from the whisk the batter should do so slowly.
Fill a saucepan with Canola oil about 2 inches deep on high heat on a gas top. Take a pinch of batter and gently drop it into the oil, if it comes up right away, the oil is ready.
Take a piece of the eggplant and dip in the batter carefully coating both the sides, drop it in the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes on medium until the colour changes to light brown then turn and fry the other side. Remove the fresh fritters and place on kitchen towel. Sprinkle Chaat masala and serve with piping hot tea.
Besan, Hing and Chaat masala are available at Walmart or Indian grocery stores.