This Beguner Birinchi recipe is my family’s classic favourite Bengali eggplant curry recipe. Thick slices of eggplant are char-grilled and then simmered in a tomato-based gravy. Pair it with an Indian flatbread like chapatti (flour tortillas) or serve it with a big bowl of rice for a hearty meal.
Known by different names such as brinjal, aubergine or eggplant, it is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It is also substituted for meat due to its fleshy texture in the inside.
In native Bangla language, we call it as ‘begun‘. And, this beguner torkari (torkari loosely translates into dry curry) is my family’s speciality. Apart from roasting and frying the eggplants, this eggplant curry has been quite on a repeat on our dinner menu.
This Indian eggplant recipe is gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and perfect for those who are looking for meatless recipes.
Ingredients for Beguner Birinchi or Indian Eggplant Curry recipe
This begun er torkari (Indian eggplant recipe) needs only a handful of ingredients. If you cook Indian food often, then you must be having all these ingredients right in your pantry.
First, we need big round Italian Eggplants, which are also known as ‘Bharta wall Baingan’. These are plump, round and have spongy texture to them. You may also use Globe Eggplants if you cannot find the Italian eggplants.
The base of the gravy is tomatoes, so we will require 3-4 medium-sized organic tomatoes.
It is a simple dish with very little spices in it. We are going to use Nigella seeds (Kalonji in Hindi & Kalo Jeere in Bangla) apart from the seasoning.
Finally, some freshly chopped coriander leaves to add a hint of freshness to the dish.
This Beguner Birinchi recipe is my family's classic favourite Bengali eggplant recipe. Thick slices of eggplant are char-grilled and then simmered in a tomato-based gravy. Pair it with an Indian flatbread like chapatti (flour tortillas) or serve it with a big bowl of rice for a hearty meal.
- 2 Eggplants (Brinjal/Begun/Aubergine)
- 4 Tomatoes Medium – Pureed
- ¼ tsp Nigella Seeds (Kalonji/Kalo Jeere)
- 2 + 2 tbsp Mustard Oil Or, EVOO
- ¼ tsp Hing or Asafoetida optional
- Salt to Taste
- ½ + ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Red Chili Powder Or use as per your taste for heat
- 2 tbsp Freshly Chopped Coriander Leaves
Cut the top off the eggplants. Now cut them in thick slices lengthwise. Rub some salt & turmeric powder on them
Now, heat some mustard oil and fry the eggplant slices till they get a lovely brown char on each sides. Take them out once done.
Now in the same pan, heat some more oil and temper it with nigella seeds and hing. As they splutter, add the tomato puree and fry.
Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and red chili powder when it reduces in quantity. Give it a good mix. Now, add around ¼ cup of water and stir.
Place the fried eggplant slices back in this gravy and allow to simmer for a couple more minutes with its lid on. Keep the heat on low.
Once the eggplants are soft at the centre and are thoroughly cooked, turn off the heat.
Serve with finely chopped coriander leaves on top.