Mustard is one of the most preffered spice in Bengali cooking, as I said in my earlier posts. Bengalis are quite fond of this seed, not only Mustard oil is the preffered and main cooking oil there, but seeds and paste are also appear in quite a few of our delicacies. If you followed my earlier posts, You'll see I have also posted many veg. dishes which are cooked with this paste. Almost all the vegetables are cooked with this paste, fish, even eggs are also cooked with this paste. Off Course, there is some reason for this love of Mustard, as Mustard is considered as "One of the World's healthiest spices". Check out my other post, where I explained the health benefits of mustard seed and oil.
My today's recipe is one of the delicacy of Bengali cooking, " Sorshe begun" , where baby soft brinjals/aubergines are fried and doused with freshly ground mustard and yoghurt/curd paste and tempered with Panch phoron(five spice mix). My mom is a great cook and this is one such dish my mom cooks the best. I made this many times, but never could bring the same test like mom.
Yoghurt/curd/dahi : 3/4 cup
Ginger : 1/2 " piece
Garlic : 3-4 cloves
Green chilli : 2-3(slit lengthwise)
Mustard seed : 1and 1/2 tblsp.
Gram Flour/besan : 1 tblsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp. (as per taste)
Panch Phoron : 1 tsp.(mixture of mustard, fennel, white cumin, black cumin/kalonji and fenugreek/methi seed-mix in equal measure)
Mustard oil : 3-4 tblsp.(prefferably mustard oil, can use any other oil)
Sugar : 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves(few sprigs) : chopped
- Trim the end of the stalks and cut brinjals lengthwise into 4. (see the picture below). Rub about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. turmeric into inside of the brinjals and fry them in medium hot oil until soft and almost cooked. Remove on to kitchen tissue.
- Preperations : 1. Soak the mustard seed in 2 tblsp. hot water for 10 minutes, then whiz to a smooth paste in a blender. Remove and set aside. 2. Put remaining turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger and garlic with little water in a blender and make a smooth paste of it. Remove and keep aside. 3. Using a whisk, mix together yoghurt, gram flour, sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt.
- Heat oil in a pan, add slit green chillies and panch phoron. When spices start to crackle, add ginger-garlic(2nd preperation) paste and stir fry for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to sim, and add the yoghurt mix. (because if yoghurt boils, it tends to split)
- Gently mix the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes, check the sugar-salt balance. Then mix the mustard paste, mix thoroughly with yoghurt, cook for 2 minutes. Then carefully place the fried brinjals in the sauce.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves over it, cover the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes. As brinjals are already cooked, this step is just to incorporate brinjals with sauce.
There are lots of good memories attached to this recipe. As this is one of my favorite dish, My mom used to make this on every Birthday of mine. But now, far away from mom, I miss mom's cooking and whenever I make this, it brings tears to my eyes.
Sending this mouth watering brinjal gravy to HOTM#31 - Retro Dishes , hosted by Ilva of The Heart of the Matter-eating for life