Doi Begun isn't something I grew up eating at home, so this is not a family recipe. We cooked doi begun from all of our favourite Bengali cookbooks before we came up with this version. We have kept the sauce quite thin, but if you want a thicker gravy, you can add a little poppy-cashew paste.
While you can cook this all year round, doi begun is best made in winter when brinjals are in season. We are particularly fond of the green thorny brinjals (kNata begun) which are indigenous to our region, but are increasingly becoming rare to find. Highly recommend looking for them in the markets if you are cooking this (or any brinjal recipe) in winter.
- 400 g brinjal
- 45 g mustard oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cardamom
- 1 cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- ⅛ tsp hing (asafoetida)
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric (+2 g for marination)
- 160 g yoghurt
- 6 g salt (+4 g for marination)
- 15 g sugar
- ½ tsp maida (all-purpose flour)
- 125 ml hot water
- ½ tsp gorom moshla
- ½ tsp bhaja moshla
- 1 tsp ghee
- 4 green chillies
- Cut the brinjal in thick wedges. Smear with 4 g salt and 2 g turmeric.
- Add the remaining salt (6 g), sugar and maida to yoghurt, and whisk until it is smooth and lump-free.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan. Fry the brinjal until browned. Set aside.
- Temper the same oil with bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
- Lower the heat (or turn it off if the oil is too hot), and add hing. Fry for 30 seconds, before adding the remaining powdered spices: cumin, red chilli and turmeric. Fry on low heat for a minute.
- Add the yoghurt mixture and stir it in vigorously until well mixed. Continue cooking until oil floats to the top.
- Add gorom moshla and cook for another minute, before adding hot water.
- Once it comes to a boil, lower the fried brinjal, and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Finish with bhaja moshla, ghee and green chillies.