Begun Porah: Bengali-Style Eggplant Side Dish
Image Credit: Subhashree Sengupta [The Gastronomic Bong]

The humble eggplant, a winter special vegetable in India, has been a cornerstone vegetable across the cuisines in many cultures around the country. So much is the fascination with the purple nightshade that we’re the same people that dish out bharli vangi or a baingan bharta; both of which are prepared differently and yet, have the eggplant be the star of the dish. In Bengal, traditional preparations treat it in a simpler form but packed with the smokey, spicy punch from the flame roasting and green chillies.

The roasting process makes the eggplants almost buttery in texture. Often confused with baingan bharta, a Punjabi preparation that is heavy on tomatoes and powdered spices, the pora is made using a generous dash of mustard oil and is lighter and wholesome. Although best eaten with hot rotis, the baigun pora pairs well with rice, toasted baguette bread or even chips. Find a recipe to make at home here:

Baigun Pora


  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  3. 1 medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
  4. 4-5 green chillies
  5. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 1.5 tablespoons mustard oil
  7. ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  8. Salt to taste

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Incredible Eggplant: Benefits And Recipes Of This Vegetable


  1. Apply a thin layer of mustard oil on the eggplant and prick it lightly all over, with a fork. Roast it on an open flame until the skin starts to burnish and the eggplant begins to soften. Place it on a dish and allow it to cool.
  2. As that happens, roast the tomatoes and green chillies in a similar fashion and allow them to cool as well. Once cooled, peel the burnt skins off of the roasted vegetables.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add in the chopped garlic and onions. Sauté the aromatics until the begin to turn a golden brown colour and add a pinch of salt to season. Mash the peeled and roasted eggplants and tomatoes with your fingers, chop the roasted green chillies and add them to the mash along with the sauteed aromatics, ½ a tablespoon of the mustard oil and coriander. Check to adjust seasoning, if needed.
  4. Mix everything well and top with more chopped onions, coriander and a drizzle of raw mustard oil, if you like. Serve at room temperature or fridge cold with your preferred accoutrements and veggie sticks.