Cook's Hideout: Begun-er-Tok (Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant)

April 02, 2016

Begun-er-Tok (Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant)

BM# 63Journey through the Cuisines
Week 1: Bengali Cuisine
Day 2: B for Begun-er-Tok (Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant)
Letter B in Bengali cuisine gave me a ton of recipes to try. B is for Begun or eggplant in Bengali and there were way too many recipes to choose from like begun bhaja, begun posto, doodh begun, doi begun, begun basanti and so on. In the end I decided to make this lesser known eggplant dish, Begun-er Tok from Soma's blog.
Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant
This is a traditional Bengali dish which is sweet, spicy and tangy, all at the same time. This way of cooking eggplant is very new to me which is why I decided to make it instead of the other more popular Bengali begun recipes.
Soma says this dish is more like a condiment than a side and is usually served as an end of the meal, more like a pre-dessert course. I wish we had this course in Andhra too, I would probably skip my entire meal just for that.
Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant
Well back to the dish, this is a very simple and easy to make dish. Adding raisins adds slight sweetness, tartness and texture to the dish. Panch Phoron is a Bengali whole spice blend that has mustard, cumin, nigella, fennel and fenugreek seeds. I love how much flavor a teaspoon of panch phoron adds to any dish. This dish is no exception and the spice mix makes it extra special.
Panch Phoron
I served this with rice and roti. I think it tasted even better the next day when the flavors had a chance to mingle. It can even be eaten just as is :-)

Recipe from Soma's Ecurry:

Begun-er Tok
  • 2 Japanese Eggplants, cubed
  • 2~3tbsp Raisins
  • 1tsp Panch phoron
  • 1 Dry Red Chili
  • 1~2 Green Chili (optional)
  • 1tsp Tamarind paste
  • 2tsp Sugar
  • ½tsp Turmeric
  • 2tsp Poppy or Sesame seeds (optional)
  • To taste Salt
  • 2tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
Cooking Directions:
  1. Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan. Add panch phoron and dry red chili, when the seeds start to splutter, add the eggplant and green chili (if using) and toss to coat them with the spices.
  2. Cook on medium high heat to cook the eggplant and brown it slightly around the edges.
  3. Add turmeric, tamarind paste, sugar and salt. Stir in 1cup of water and mix well. Add the raisins. Cover and cook till the eggplants are tender, but not mushy. The sauce will get thick at this stage. Add more water if you want the sauce to be soupy and thin.
  4. Add the poppy or sesame seeds, if using and simmer for couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve in a small bowl at the end of the meal.
Bengali Sweet & Sour Eggplant

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63



  1. A wonderful recipe for eggplant lover. I was expecting nothing less than this from you :) Love the use of panch phoran and the sesame seeds add so much flavor.

  2. Awesome recipe Pavani. I love the use of spices to make an eggplant so interesting :) Lovely!

  3. That is surely a very new one Pavani. You have talent to make everything look so pretty! the mood you got for this setup!

  4. What a flavourful dish with eggplant. I love the aroma of panch phoran and I can imagine the taste by looking at the dish. Looks absolutely inviting..

  5. Even I wanted to do some thing with eggplant but some how I changed. Ican enjoy his begun tok any tine delicious recipe...

  6. looks super flavorful Pavani...and of course awesome clicks.

  7. Poppy, chilli, tamarind and sesame : what a wonderful combo. Bookmarkin to try , Pavani !

  8. This indeed a different way of cooking begun. Lovely pictures and love the lightly on the first two pictures.

  9. Interesting curry with eggplant. I would love to make this but there will be no takers other than me!

  10. looks perfect I will try for sure!

  11. Wow, this begun er tok sounds so delicious, love the addition of raisins in this dish, totally irresistible.

  12. Love your clicks and guessing the dish will lure eggplant lovers. My husband's favorite vegetable is eggplant and probably he will love it too.

  13. Begun er tok looks very delicious with all those sweet and sour ingredients going in.Love the setup and the pictures.

  14. Such a comforting dish Pavani. Love the simple yet delicious dish:)

  15. Eggplants are my weakness. Bookmarking this for sure. Will try this one out soon.

  16. the sprinkled sesame seeds on top simply lift the recipe from being a regular fare...loved all the pics and the recipe too...

  17. Begun er tok is quite new to me. sounds delicious though...

  18. why am I not surprised to see an eggplant dish from you - raisins would be a unique twist

  19. I'm an eggplant lover so I was intrigued by this recipe. It's new to me, but it sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the new discovery!

  20. We all love eggplant and i will be trying tis out soon. As usual amazing Clicks

  21. Raisins is an interesting touch there. The alphabet B has a lot of options to choose from I guess

  22. I have heard so much about this spice mix and am yet to try. Thats a lovely capture Pavani, wish I could make brinjal often!


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