Friday 20 April 2012


As a bachelor, P shared flat with three other guys. They had a cook who had declared during his interview that he cannot make non-veg. What kind of a Bengali is he that he cannot cook non vegetarian, declared Ma when she heard the story. He must be fibbing so that he doesn't have to make too much variety, is what we concluded.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cooks in Noida are hard to come by. And trusted ones even harder. So the IT brigade settled for what they had got. This chap specialised in cooking bland food. Must have been a European in some life. So P & friends went from one tasteless meal to another, till Torun did the unprecedented. He made baingan for five consecutive days. While the men had no particular allergy to brinjals, they did not have any great affinity for it, either. The smart cookie even made aubergine sandwiches for breakfast one morning with the leftover subzi from the night before! Humaneness demanded that one show empathy to such plight. Which I adequately did. Not before asking P if he'd managed any dessert with the prized veggie. Pity he didn't. Please write in to me folks, if you know any baingan sweet dish. Someone in my house is missing his cook ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So you hear all these now-married men raving about 'those' good ol' days and you want to do good for them. Too many responsibilities marriage brings on, grey hair too. How about transporting them back into time? And making something they really enjoyed when they knew no better. Surely, that's a part of the nostalgia trip too? Bring on the aubergines, Lady. And make them go gaga over it. Those were the days that have made them into what they are now. Sensible, mature, accommodating. Here's to all the Toruns we know. Thanks to the likes of you, the wives are valued today. And anything they cook is considered better than 5-star delicacy. Because of you we can serve the same dish for two meals. Thank you for not pampering the gents, Torun. You know how Indian mothers leave no stone unturned in spoiling their sons, catering to their every whim & fancy. But thank God you stepped in & showed them the path of control. 
                                                                                                     Had you made Beguni for them when you were around? Make this for your current employer. They'll love it. Serve it with garama garam dal chawal. As a Bengali, you must know, that's how it is eaten in that part? Dipped in a thick besan batter, Beguni, our dish for the day, is a famous Bengali starter. On a rainy day, goes well with adrak chai too. On Mana's wedding the kids of the house ate so many of these that they had no appetite for the chicken & prawn!
                                                                                               Ingredients:[Check pic for measures]
1. Thinly sliced aubergines(as many as you want to make)
2. Besan
3. Coriander powder 
4. Red chilli powder
5. Pinch of baking soda
6. Pinch of turmeric
7. 1/2 tsp sugar
8. Salt to taste
9. Water for thick batter(check pic for consistency)
10. Oil to deep fry 
1. Mix all the ingredients(except aubergines) to make thick batter. Beat well into a fluff. Better the batter, crispier the beguni.
2. Dip the sliced aubergines in the batter & deep fry till both sides are uniformly golden.
                                                                                                                                         Serve hot & crunchy and wow your gang.

1. Cook on medium heat so that aubergines cook well.
2. Coat the besan dipped slices in bread crumbs for added effect(see pic)
3. Go the halwai way by adding egg-yolk food colour to the batter, instead of turmeric. Gives your beguni that dukan-wali look.                                                                                                                                                                           Toh aaj shaam chai beguni ho jaye !

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