West Bengal Begun Pora (Rich Roasted Eggplant)

Begun Pora (Rich Roasted Eggplant)

Serves 4

1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb) 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon seeded, minced fresh green chilli
1/4 teaspoon kalonji seeds (also called jeera, tastes like onion) 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 to 2 whole green chillies 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup onion, finely chopped (about 1 medium onion) 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1/2 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped


  1. Chopped cilantro Chopped green onions Smoke or roast the eggplant: Hold the eggplant over a low open gas flame. Rotate the eggplant 90 degrees every few minutes or so.
  2. The skin will gradually darken, the eggplant will start to sag, and you will notice a pleasant smoky smell.
  3. After about 20 minutes or half an hour, when the skin is completely charred, remove the eggplant from the flame.
  4. This step can be done by broiling or roasting the eggplant in the oven, but you will not get the same smoky flavour which makes this dish so good.
  5. Allow the eggplant to cool, then discard all of the skin, chop the flesh then mash with a fork.
  6. Heat oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Fry kalonji seeds and whole green chillies for a few seconds, then add onion and fry until it is richly browned but not burnt.
  7. Add chopped green chilli, turmeric, salt, sugar and tomatoes. Simmer, covered, until tomatoes disintegrate into sauce, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the eggplant and simmer, covered, at least 10 minutes to blend flavours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes to help develop flavours. Add cilantro & green onions. Mix and serve.
Nutrient Composition Per Serving
Energy (Kcal) 139 Carotene ( μg ) 190.31
Protein (g) 5.31 Vitamin C (mg) 14.8
Carbohydrate (g) 12.08 Mg (mg) 43.65
Fat (g) 7.7 Na (mg) 5.61
Fibre (g) 2.54 K (mg) 250
Minerals (g) 1.07 Mn (mg) 0.48
Calcium (mg) 70.4 Zn (mg) 0.56
Phosphorus (mg) 94.88 Cr (mg) 0.015
Iron (mg) 1.92