Dim Begun – Scrambled aubergine eggs

September 29, 2011

There’s been an interesting development. We bought a house. A whole one. With a staircase and a roof. Excuse me if I sound a little shell-shocked at this outcome. Shoot me, however, if I populate it with more offspring, furry live animals or toys. (Shoes and clothes, on the other hand, are perfectly acceptable).

Now here I was thinking we would never be seduced by a patch of green and a few decent schools. What a change a few years makes.

A new house means a new kitchen everyone. And this alone calls for celebration! Quick Indian Cooking is about to get a new HQ. A space that is actually designed for Indian cooking. Shiny black floor tiles and glossy white units aren’t best matched with turmeric powder and lemon juice after all.

An architect is on the case, under my watchful gaze and a precariously-dangled wooden rolling pin. He has a tough job ahead. The brief: to create the most gorgeous, functional and special space for £2.75. Now there’s a challenge.

In the meantime, I am dreaming dreams about floral aprons, flour-dusted hands and perfectly-stacked rotis with two charming angels playing happily with plastic bricks. In reality, I’ll be in my heritage-look trousers and shoe boots, trying to feed them porridge and make the dash to work while they squeal “my don’t like it, my don’t want it”.

Still, they’ll have plenty of space to grow now. And eventually, they will listen to me and do as I say because I am the mother. Or so I think. On the threshold of our new home, I wanted to dedicate this post to all other deluded mothers and father out there, swapping their old lives for the uncharted.

This recipe for Dim Begun – a lightly spiced egg and aubergine saute – comes from no other than my little sister’s childhood friend and flatmate. It’s her mother’s recipe, which she sent to me in a series of bullet points starting with “ma said” and unsurprisingly ending with “but I didn’t listen to her”.

I loved it, all three times I made it. Even though I never did write the recipe down until the very last attempt. If change tastes this good, I’ll have a second helping, thanks.



Feeds 4:

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Half tsp white sugar
  • Half tsp cumin powder
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil


Chop the aubergine into small, bite-sized cubes and plunge into ice cold water. They tend to rise to the top, so I stick them in a pot and stick the lid on. This helps them cook later, without just soaking up all the oil in their pores.

In the meantime, chop the onion into small pieces and finely mince/grate the ginger. Next, bring the oil in a large, preferably non-stick pot to heat and when it’s hot, add the sugar. As it caramelises, stir in the onion and ginger and saute until golden.

Then mix in the turmeric and jeera powders, and drain and toss in the aubergine pieces. Stir the whole lot well together, cooking the aubergine. You could lower the heat to a medium and cover the pot, stirring regularly.

In about 10 minutes, the aubergine would have softened but retained it’s shape. Now push the whole lot to one side of the pot. Then crack the two eggs directly into the pot and gently scramble them and mix them into the aubergines.

To serve, stir in salt to your taste and chopped red chillies. This is simply divine rolled inside rotis or served as a side dish to rice and dal.




29 Responses to “Dim Begun – Scrambled aubergine eggs”

  1. silva Says:

    April 22nd, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    hey i just tried this recipe. even my mom used to cook this but i never got it correct following her instructions. thanks a lot.

  2. tista Says:

    February 23rd, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    hi mallika. it seems u have made our ( bengali’s) dim begun an international fame. its delicious.

  3. healthy cooking oil Says:

    February 11th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I love spicy food and from the image itself we can make out it would to spicy in eating. Thanks waiting for some more spicy dishes recipe

  4. Granola Bar Recipe Says:

    February 3rd, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I love asian foods, especially indian foods. i will make this dish my dinner

  5. maha Says:

    December 30th, 2011 at 7:47 pm



  6. xyz Says:

    December 24th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    came across ur blog..seems like u copy nigella lawson’s style n try to act like her.

  7. xyz Says:

    December 24th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    came across ur blog..seems like u try n act like nigella lawson..

  8. Shubhanvi Says:

    December 20th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Congratulations and Celebrations for owning a new house.

    I am relatively new to this blog but have become a fan cos the recipes are less fussy and great tasting. I can feel the Bengali passion for cooking and the enthusiasm while reading the intro to the recipes . Keep up the good work. Is your book available in India? One more thing that I wanted to know is whether the red chillies serve any purpose by going in last or should we put them along with the begun.

  9. Heather P Says:

    December 12th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Congratulations on your house, hope you are enjoying your first holiday season there. Can’t wait to try this recipe it sounds amazing!

  10. Simon Says:

    December 12th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I tried the Dim Begun for my family and they loved it – thank you. I have been cooking for last 2 years as a profession and dim begun is great addition.I’d never have thought to put those ingredients together would create such a delight and yeah congrats on the move!

  11. Catering Supplies Says:

    December 7th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I am glued to this blog, Indian Cooking is the most inventive on the planet and with this information I will be cooking some amazing meals for my new wife.
    Thank you.

  12. London Accountant Says:

    December 5th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Congratulations on the move! I tried the Dim Begun and loved it – thank you. I’d never have thought to put those ingredients together on my own.

  13. radha Says:

    November 18th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hi- been exploring this blog and loving it. When will you be back? New kitchen, new recipes. Looking forward to it all. Congratulations.

  14. Sailaja @ Indian Food Says:

    November 18th, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Congrats girl! Way to go…5 years..awesome feeling, isn’t it?

    Congrats on the move too. Want to see your new spacious kitchen, do post pictures. :)

  15. Cooking « robynandindia Says:

    November 13th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    […] felt much more confident, and tried out a simple and tasty recipe found on an Indian cooking blog (  I have found quite a few of these, and will share any good recipes I find. I am determined to […]

  16. Megha Says:

    November 9th, 2011 at 1:39 am


    I just came across your blog looking for some great quick indian recipes which I can survive for easily in my hectic life here in London as a student. Honestly, I don’t like to cook and I don’t find many indian ingredients easily nearby and not willing to go far for them either (No time :( ) I would really appreciate if you could suggest some great recipes (absolutely spicy indian but vegetarian) and also where I could get the ingredients from (those that will be available anywhere in London).
    Thanks hon.


  17. chinmayie @ love food eat Says:

    November 3rd, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Congrats Mallika!A new house and a new kitchen sounds great! Looking forward to more great posts from your new HQ!

  18. Swati Sapna Says:

    October 23rd, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Hey Mallika! Congratulations on the move. Do put up pictures of your kitchen once its done up! Am sure a lot of us will be truly interested to see that :) WHich foodie wouldnt love a new, fully equipped, modern kitchen??!
    Dim Begun is something I had never heard of…! Very interesting dish.

  19. Jim Says:

    October 18th, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Great news! Congrats on the house!

  20. BongMom Says:

    October 14th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Congrats Mallika on the lovely new house. Dying to see the spanking new kitchen and of course eventually they WILL listen to the mater.

  21. Ann Says:

    October 8th, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Congrats!!! This is exciting news — especially the part about the big kitchen! May it provide many wonderful meals for you and your family. I can’t wait to try this latest recipe.

  22. Swapna Says:

    October 8th, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Hey, Congrats on the house!! I just bought your book and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I know no one READS cookbooks… but your’s was so entertaning! Loved it!

  23. Anushruti | Divinetaste Says:

    October 5th, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Your move sounds idyllic Mallika! All the very best for the big move!

  24. Shefali Dinkar Says:

    October 1st, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Fantastic dish…what else can be expected of this blog? Keep the good work going. Cheers.

  25. mandira Says:

    September 30th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Congratulations Mallika on the house and the 5 years of blogging. Kids behaving like angels… that doesn’t even happen to me when I’m dreaming.
    The recipe looks good. I have a couple of beguns from the farmer’s market, will try this over the weekend.

  26. Sia Says:

    September 30th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Wohooo… That’s fantastic news. Congratulations :)

    n abt kids behaving like perfect angels? well, one can dream ;)

    Mallika, congratulations on completing 5 years of blogging. We both started our blogs at same time (I remember u telling me u started ur blog just one day before me). I don’t blame u if u forgot abt this milestone with all other things happening in ur life.

  27. ritika Says:

    September 30th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    many, many congratulations on your new home… a how to video in your new swanky place is in order non?
    yes please?

    and this dim-begun recipe looks perfect for a Thursday dinner after 12 hours at work :)

  28. dasguptat Says:

    September 30th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations on your name home.
    May it be filled with happiness, laughter,mirth and love.

  29. Sarah Says:

    September 30th, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Congratulations on the house! That is very exciting.

    We have two eggplants in the garden that just won’t stop producing. I’ll have to give this recipe a try since we are getting really tired of the few ways I know how to prepare them.

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