Sunday 13 April 2014

Kamalika's Bhapa Baigun (Microwave version)/ Steamed brinjals in coconut gravy

It comes across as a surprise to most that being a Sikh, our family is more of a vegetarian. As a child I remember my Grandfather was the one who was more excited about any meat. He would bring it home for my Grandmother to cook who happened to be a strict vegetarian. She kept separate vessels to cook any kind of meat. In fact, she would keep a different pan for frying eggs too.
Therefore when my grandparents shifted to my Aunt's place to stay with her, non-vegetarian food at home  became extinct. My father had no liking towards meat and preferred homemade simple vegetarian meals. I guess he had gone on my grandmother. So naturally, food at home also was a simple affair. When people asked me whether I am a vegetarian or  a non-vegetarian eater, I would simple say I am both but more of the first. 
Kolkata Food Bloggers has been the most amazing group I have been blessed to find. All kudos to the spirit of this incredible person Kamalika Chakrabarty who envisioned this group and formed it. It has been over a year and within this time I have found not only an enthusiastic leader in her but a very simple, homely and extremely humble person in her. It is very rare to find someone so dedicated towards her group where day in and out she is thinking and planning about the up gradation. It is only because of her efforts that today Kolkata Food Bloggers is a visible face in the culinary world. 
Kamalika is a great friend and a very giving person. Once when we got together at home she prepared an incredible and lip-smacking spread for me from Chingri Malaikari, Yogurt Chicken and Bhapa Baigun amongst other yummies. Being a vegetarian lover, I fell for the delectable flavours of the Bhapa Baigun more than the prawn and the chicken dishes. 
When Kolkata Food Bloggers announced their new event to celebrate Poila Boishakh with vegetarian dishes from Bengal, I knew this recipe needed a place in the blog. Extremely simple yet so yummy, this recipe has now become our weekend favourite. 
This recipe has no ginger, garlic, onions or tomatoes, the pillars of our Punjabi cooking and yet you will relish it and crave for more. Moreoever this recipe is a quick and modern one where the Microwave method is used. The use of mustard powder further reduces the tedious process of grinding. The recipe calls for a dash of sugar which I almost forgot the first time I made, so do be careful to add that bit as it makes a huge difference to the taste. 

Ingredients : For 2-3 servings
  • 6 medium sized brinjals
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp curd
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste
  • oil for shallow frying
Wash, wipe and cut brinjals vertically in two halves.
Take oil in a pan and shallow fry the brinjal halves.
Drain them on a tissue paper and arrange in a microwave safe vessel.

Soak mustard powder in little warm water for 5 minutes.
Beat curd to remove any lumps.
Take a bowl and add soaked mustard powder, curd, coconut milk, salt, turmeric powder and sugar. Mix well.
Pour this mixture over the brinjals. 
Drizzle some mustard oil on top.

Put the vessel with brinjals in the microwave and switch on for 5 minutes on normal microwave mode.
Check and adjust seasoning.
Microwave for another 10 minutes in 5 minute batch till the mixture thickens.
Serve with boiled rice and plain dal. 

  • You may use fresh mustard seeds paste instead of mustard powder.
  • I have used canned coconut milk, but you may also use fresh coconut milk. 
  • If you like a more sour taste, add more curd.
  • Add green chillies if you love spicy food. 

This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers new event to celebrate Poila Boishakh where we are sharing Vegetarian Bengali dishes.

Happy vegetarian relishing


  1. Replies
    1. It came out amazingly well Linsy and is super easy, do try it sometime.



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