RECIPE - Doi Begun

Today we take you to the North West of India where mustard is a signature flavour and mustard oil is used in almost every preparation.  This simple dish Doi Begun (literal translation from Bengali:  Yoghurt Eggplant) is tasty, looks stunning and best of all is a simple dish to prepare.  It has several layers of flavour - the fried eggplant, the lightly spiced yoghurt sauce and then the aromatic mustard oil tadka enhanced with spices.  It is easy to prepare and is a great accompaniment to most meals.  We have no doubt it will form part of your repertoire whenever you serve an Indian meal.

    1. Slice 1 large eggplant into rounds.
    2. Soak the eggplant in a brine (2 tsp salt and 2 cups of water) for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    3. Mix together 1 cup yoghurt with 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.  Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
    4. Drain, then pat dry the eggplant.
    5. Apply 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp chilli powder to the eggplant.
    6. When ready to eat, pan fry the eggplant.
    7. Place cooked eggplant in a serving dish.
    8. Pour the yoghurt sauce over the cooked eggplant.
    9. TADKA:  In a small, deep pan, heat 2 tbsp mustard oil then add:  1/2 tsp mustard seeds. When they pop add: 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 4 dry chillies, 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and 3 green cardamom. 
    10. Stir-fry on low heat till the spices smell aromatic - about 2 minutes. Turn off the stove.
    11. Pour tadka over the yoghurt sauce and serve immediately.