Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Sorshey Begun"... Aubergine's cooked in Mustard Gravy

"Sorshey Begun"...Aubergine's cooked in Mustard Gravy, is a Bengali dish which is very flavorful and goes well with steamed rice. "Sorshey" is the Bengali name for Mustard and "Begun" in Bengali means Aubergine / Eggplant or Brinjal.  

Traditionally this dish is made with a freshly ground masala prepared with Mustard seeds, Poppy seeds and greed chilies which is cooked along with fresh yogurt, but as in this part of the world Poppy seeds are not available so I have omitted it in this recipe and have increased the quantity of yogurt. Yogurt not only adds flavor and tang but also helps mellow down the pungent flavor of mustard  as well as imparts a creamy texture to the dish. (Personally I love the flavor of Mustard but my hubby likes it adding a bit more yogurt works well for me.)

So here is the recipe....


Begun / Aubergine /Eggplant/Brinjal - 4-5 (I have used the long ones)
Green chilies - 2 -3 nos.
Mustard Powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Kalongi / Nigella seeds - 1/4th teaspoon
Yogurt - 2-3 tablespoon
Mustard oil - 3 tablespoon
Salt to taste


Wash the Begun thoroughly, trim the top and bottom, cut it into long pieces.( I have divided it into 2 length wise and then cut them into hlf inch wide and 2.5 inches long pieces.)
Sprinkle about a fourth to half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and some salt, mix well ensuring each and every piece of the begun is well coated. Let the begun marinate for 10- 15 minutes.

While the begun is marinating mix the dry masala powders (Mustard, red chili and turmeric) in a bowl, add around 2 - 3 tablespoons of water, mix well to form a paste and keep aside. By the time we finish frying the begun the masala paste will be ready.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the mustard oil in a kadhai till its completely hot and smoke starts to appear, turn off the flame and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn on the gas and add the marinated begun and shallow fry until it gets a nice golden colour. Remove the fried begun using a slotted spoon and keep aside. 

Heat the remaining oil and add the kalongi / nigella seeds, once the seeds start to pop add the masala paste and fry.

Once oil starts appearing on the sides add the slit green chilies and salt, continue frying for another 2-3 minutes, once the masala is completely cooked and the raw smell has disappeared add the yogurt and mix well.

Add half a cup of warm water and mix well, once the gravy starts to simmer add the fried begun, mix well and let it cook in the gravy for a minute or two.

Turn off the flame and let it sit in the gravy for some time. The begun will absorb the flavors n the gravy will become thick.

 Serve hot along with steamed rice.


U can use any variety of Brinjal, if you use the small ones you would need around 10-12 pcs, or just one large brinjal.... or to go by weight i used around 300 grams.
Its important to marinate the begun so please don't skip.
I have used mustard powder hence needed to make a paste along with the other spices, as mustard needs to be soaked to soften and impart it flavor. I f using whole mustard seeds then soak them in water for 15-20 minutes so that they soften and then grind into a paste.
Please go slow on the salt as we have marinated the begun with salt.
for this recipe I have used Mustard oil, that's how its made in our home and I would recommend you to use the same, however if you are not used to or comfortable with mustard oil, then just use any cooking oil which is regularly used in your home.