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Beguni – Bangladeshi aubergine fritters

Benugi – Spicy aubergine fritters

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Rainy weather always calls for something crispy and fried, reminiscent of monsoon season in Bangladesh. This tradition is rooted all across the Indian subcontinent, where large batches of fritters are a regular occurrence and accompany afternoon or morning nasta, or tea. Family and friends gather along verandas, beside windows and on balconies to enjoy crispy morsels while watching the torrential rain.

Beguni are one of my favourite Bangladeshi fritters; dangerously moreish and very easy to make. Popular during Ramadan meals, they sit alongside a rice and lentil dish called kichuri and when Ramadan is over, they become a rainy weather essential. A light, spiced tempura-like batter coats thin slices of aubergine and is fried on high and then low heat for an extra crispy exterior and a soft interior.

Ingredients

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Method

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1
In a bowl whisk together the flours, salt and spices with enough cold water to form a loose batter. Stir in the chopped coriander and rest the batter for 20 minutes
2
Top and tail the aubergine, rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice widthways into 1cm rounds and set aside
3
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or karahi over a high heat. You can check to see if the oil is ready by dropping a small piece of bread or spoon of batter into it and see if it quickly rises to the surface
4
Whisk the batter again so that it is smooth and fairly runny, similar in consistency to crêpe batter
5
Now fry the aubergine slices in 3–4 batches. Dip each slice in the batter and ensure both sides are coated and gently slide into the oil
6
Once a batch is in the pan turn the heat to low and flip over using a spatula and fork after about a minute. The beguni will need 4–5 minutes of cooking time. Make sure to keep a close eye on them, turning each one a few times
7
Once golden, drain with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and serve immediately. Perfect with ketchup or chilli sauce on the side and a cup of spiced tea
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Beguni – Bangladeshi aubergine fritters

 
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