Beguni is the Bengali word for this delightful eggplant fritter, derived from the Bengali word for eggplant called begun. We love to fry our aubergines, or eggplants, after all. Soft, rich, melt-in-your mouth eggplant is a sensual experience. Coating them with crisp batter not only translates this experience to a different level, but you actually experience that lush soft flesh without any apparent grease. Simple and just the kind of stuff a chilly evening was made for.

Beguni (Batter Coated Eggplant Wedges) [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Serves

15 wedges

Cooking Time

20

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (about 2 medium sized) Italian eggplants
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
For the Batter:
  • 1 cup of chickpea flour or besan
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper or more if you like it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 cup water or enough to make a coating consistency batter
  • Oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Cut the eggplant into 3 parts lengthwise, and then into 3 inch wedges about 3/4 inch in thickness. The skin needs to be left on. Sprinkle with the turmeric, salt and the red cayenne pepper and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, place the chickpea flour, cornstarch and baking soda in a mixing bowl and beat well with a whisk to remove all lumps. Mix in the nigella seeds and the salt and red cayenne pepper and turmeric and mix well. Add in enough water to form a batter or coating consistency. It should not be too thick, about the consistency of good pancake batter.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom wok or skillet. Test for heat by dropping a little batter, it should sizzle and rise to the top. Coat the wedges evenly and add to the wok or skillet about 3 to 4 at a time. Cook on medium heat, until each side is crisp and well done, this would be about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to blot out any excess oil and serve hot.

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