- 80 g besan (gram flour)
- 20 g rice flour
- 4 g salt
- 5 g sugar
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 120 g water
- 150 g/12 slices brinjal
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- mustard oil for deep frying
- 1 pinch beetnoon (black salt) for seasoning
Beguni or begun'er chop is one of the most popular 'telebhaja' (snack fried in oil) loved all over Bengal and in many parts of eastern India. Beguni is served as a snack in the evenings with tea. It is also popular as a side with dal-torkari-rice or khichuri. Beguni may be a simple recipe but creating a crisp beguni every time requires an understanding of various factors that go into making the beguni crisp. In this recipe, we explain our personal favourite way of making the batter using besan (gram flour) and rice flour. The proportion between the besan and rice flour in the batter makes a lot of difference to the final product. Also important is the ratio of water to the dry ingredients. As always, we recommend weighing your ingredients to be able to confidently produce a perfect batter every time. In fact, this batter recipe will work for any other kind of besan-based telebhaja, so it is a great combination to commit to memory should a telebhaja emergency arise!
- We tested this recipe with various proportions of besan and rice flour, and found that batter made with 80% besan, 20% rice flour produces the crunchiest and best-tasting begunis.
- With this formula (∼15–20% rice flour) constant, you can flavour your batter with spices of your choice such as green chillies, kaalo jeere (nigella seeds), or ginger.
- Thin, long brinjals are the best for this recipe.
- Sift besan, rice flour, salt, sugar, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chilli powder through a strainer into a mixing bowl. Add water in the given proportion, and beat it to a smooth and lump-free batter.
- Using a knife or a slicer, cut brinjal lengthwise to 3-mm thin slices. The slices should neither be too thick nor too thin. Slice uniformly to ensure even cooking.
- Coat the sliced onions with ½ tsp each of salt and sugar. Spread the slices over a strainer. The salt and sugar will help draw moisture out from the brinjal. This step, while seasoning the brinjal, also helps keep the beguni crisp longer.
- Using a tissue, dab the brinjal slices to soak up any excess moisture.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadai for deep-frying. Wait until the oil starts smoking, turns pale yellow, and the smell of raw mustard oil is gone (this will take some time because of the sheer quantity of oil).
- Once the oil is well heated (that is, it has reached a temperature of ~190°C), dip a brinjal slice in the batter. Shake off the excess and gently lower it into the oil. Wait for 5 seconds and then flip it. Fry both sides evenly on medium heat for about 4 minutes.
- Once uniformly golden in colour, remove from oil and serve hot with a sprinkling of black salt.
- Perforated spoon