Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sorshe Begun / Bengali Style Eggplant with Mustard Paste

An African girl comes to my house every week, with a basket full of fresh vegetables. She even has learned the hindi names of those vegetables and tries to convince me saying that she has aloo,lauki, mirchi, matar. I pick up those which I need and sometimes those also, which I don't need. I don't know why...but I pick them up and stack them up into my fridge. Like sweet bottle gourd, okra...which I don't like to eat that much repeatedly.

How to make sorshe begun with step by step pictures

 But whenever she comes I feel my mother is watching me from behind and I should pick up veggies. Even now also she insists me over phone and skype that I should eat more and more greens. It was she who at some point of time forced us to gobble lots of greens!!! Me and my sister used to think that someday we will go to the field like cows and eat fresh green grasses.

How to cook sorshe begun with step by step pictures

 To us she seemed to be obsessed with green vegetables. Hummppphhhh!!!! And as a result I end up picking those green veggies planning to have a healthy diet. But alas...some of them seems to be forgotten totally and ends up in the garbage. I know I should change this habit.  Last week in the similar manner I have purchased a big eggplant along with other veggies.

How to cook sorshe begun with step by step pictures

How to cook sorshe begun with step by step pictures

Then one week passes, the girl came again and I bought another one, completely forgetting other previous one's existence. Then suddenly it peeked out from one corner of the vegetable basket wrinkled up here and there....and left me in utter confusion. Now...I hate to throw away foods. Foods are not something that should be thrown away. So I thought to make something of that old eggplant quickly. And sorshe begun was my first choice. Its very easy and equally tasty. Got this recipe from my mother and its too good to put down for my husband who can eat anything with poppy seeds.

How to cook sorshe begun with step by step pictures

So what I did was making the paste of poppy seeds and mustard seeds. I made it first because my blender is not working for a week and I am using my old blender which is really really slow in blending anything. It took me around 10-15 minutes to make that paste. Sorshe Begun is made and it tastes better on a bed of oil. I know...not at all healthy. But what can I say..I am slave of my tastes. And its even more tasty with mustard oil. I don't know what it is with this oil...but I can't get enough of its sizzling hot smell and aroma. Lovely!!! Then in the end I always sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and silted green chilies, which gives a beautiful crunch to this dish. Trust can never have enough of that. My husband and I finished this entire dish in one meal....with roti or rice...this Bengali Sorshe Begun is something that you must must try!!!

Sorshe Begun
Serves 3-4

How to cook sorshe begun with step by step pictures


  • 1 large eggplant / 6-7 small eggplants
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 inch ginger stick
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp kalo jeera / nigella seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves - chopped
  • Grind the poppy seeds and mustard seeds with the ginger stick and green chilies, and make a smooth and fine paste with some water. Grind poppy seeds properly so that the paste does not feel grainy at all.
  • Cut the eggplants lengthwise and rub 1 tsp turmeric powder with some salt on them.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai and shallow fry the eggplant slices until they become soft from inside and golden from outside. Do not over fry or they will turn black, and will not look good at all.
  • Once fried take them out of the kadai / pan and put on a kitchen towel, so that they can soak up the excess oil.
  • Now heat the rest of the oil in the same kadai and once it is hot enough put the nigella seeds in it.
  • Once they start to sizzle put the poppy seeds and mustard seeds paste in it.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Stir and cook the paste. Add in some water from time to time whenever the paste dries off too much, to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pan. 
  • Cook in this way for around 4-7 minutes or until the smell of poppy seeds goes away completely. You will know the poppy seeds are cooked when that raw smell with not be there anymore.
  • At this point if you want the dish to have a little gravy add in water as per your preference, and if you want the dish to be dry, do not add any water.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Finally add the already fried eggplant slices and give a quick but careful stir to coat the eggplants slightly with the paste / gravy but not making the entire dish a mash.
  • Throw in the chopped coriander leaves and if you like some heat also add some silted green chilies.
  • Serve hot with some steamed hot rice and enjoy!!!!:)

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