A Savory Staple: Eggplant Fritters (Beguni)

2014 Jul 25 - by dulhan
While we should break fasts with something healthy, it is difficult to resist the fried perfection that is “beguni." Beguni, or eggplant fritters, are a common dish for iftaar in Bengali households. As a half Bengali, I grew up with these delicious morsels as a go-to iftaar appetizer. Every night when we’d break our fasts, I’d rush to eat my blessing-filled date and follow it with mounds and mounds of these fried goodies. I definitely miss my mom’s beguni, but this recipe is the closest I can get to her version.

Don’t they look delicious? I’d like to warn beguni virgins that once you start eating beguni, you just can’t stop. There is always an epic battle over who gets the last beguni. As the new resident cook, I always save a few beguni behind the counter (away from my husband’s peering eyes). That's a tip worth saving soon-to-be newlyweds. Now, without further ado, let's get cooking!


• 1 medium eggplant (preferably one that is 6-8 inches long- the bigger variety are commonly found in Indian markets)

• Chickpea flour (Besan): 1 cup

• Turmeric Powder: ¼ tsp

• Red Chili Powder: ¼ tsp

• Cumin Powder: ¼ tsp

• Salt: ½ teaspoon

• Water: ¾ cup

• Oil for deep frying (Vegetable Oil)- about 1 cup

How to:

1. Wash the eggplant and remove the stem. Using a sharp knife, slice the eggplant lengthwise into long, thin slices (between 1/5 and ¼ inches). Place the slices on a paper towel to dry off excess moisture. You may alternatively place them on a plate and pat the slices dry.

2. Make a paste using the chickpea flour and other dry ingredients (turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt) by gradually adding water. This will make a thick paste consistency. Add enough water (gradually- not all at once) to ensure a liquid consistency that is pourable, thick and smooth. Mix the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

3. Pour the necessary amount of oil for deep frying into a heavy bottom pan. Heat the oil and take a spoonful of this oil to mix into the batter for the eggplant slices. Take each eggplant slice and coat both sides of the pieces into the batter. Coat each slice one at a time, but place a batch of four to five eggplant slices into your frying pan to fry at a time. Allow excess batter to drip off prior to placing the slices into the frying pan. Fry the slices for a few minutes on medium heat until the fritters appear golden brown on both sides (flip after 2 minutes to get each side).

4. Place the fried slices onto a plate with a paper towel on it to absorb any excess oil.

5. Serve with a mint and/or tamarind chutney and enjoy!

If you like things spicy, then make sure to dip these critters into some green chutney. Pair this fried appetizer with a refreshing drink, like our date shake. If you try this recipe, do share your results below! I'd a;sp love to hear others share stories of their beguni-filled childhoods.


Until next time, be calm and Ramadan on!