Begun / Baingan Bharta or Mashed Brinjal
The Covid-19 situation has been a life changing stage for many of us, and most of you would agree to that. An extensive period of eight months without schools, colleges and offices has really opened up our eyes to a vast majority of unconventional entertainment options because the outside world was closed off for us. And lets not pretend to say that Netflix, and Prime videos were entertaining even after three months. Many of us turned to fitness while others turned to their hidden knack of cooking ( which was quite a disaster for some). I agree, 2020 has been a tough year for me. My medical reports suggested cysts in my ovaries and the doctor named the condition as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
My PCOS Story :
I struggled with my weight throughout my teenage years. Facial and body hair was a constant threat to my self esteem and hormonal acne and dark spots added to the pressure. However never did I think it was a disease or in fact any medical condition. However when I joined my nursing college, I became suspicious about this so called “ genetic disorder” ( yeah, my parents told me that,as my mother and grandmother had a small path of moustache) and started reading about the symptoms. The missed periods, facial hair (hirsuitism) and inability to lose weight all added to the dreaded condition of PCOS. Long story short, I was medically prescribed in August 2020 and was instructed to come down to a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise( do not forget about the bunch of medications)
To know moreabout the symptoms of PCOS , click here
Diet? What is that?
This is one of the most frightening aspect for me throughout my life. As many of us can relate, no form of trendy diet is ever sustainable ,especially if you are from an Indian Bengali household. Your mothers become the best masterchefs when you are just trying to eat a little less oily , and a little more salad in your meals. So if there is anything which I learnt during my hit and trial method for “dieting” is that NEVER DIET. Eat everything and eat healthy. You love potatoes and rice? Worry not, have it in small amounts. You love sweets? Great, have it once a week. If your body craves for it, never deprive it of that thing completely, just discipline it .
What I love about PCOS? It teaches you the art of healthy homecooking.
Want to know more about the diet you should follow if you have pcos? Click on what to eat if you have PCOS
Your best friends during PCOS?
Your food. Obviously . PCOS or even diabetes type 2 is a lifestyle disorder which emerges from unhealthy food mostly. Lack of healthy greens, carbs and proteins, makes your hormones go haywire which leads to such diseases. Improve the relationship with veggies ,fruits, healthy proteins like chicken, meat, fish and eggs and healthy unrefined carbohydrates. The things which you might want to cut off are white bread, packaged food, soft drinks, alcohol and sugars. It does not matter if you have them once in a while, but daily consumption can lead to worsening your condition.
Why brinjals/ eggplants / begun?
Now you must be really confused with the term “begun” because it means no talents or nutrition in Bengali. Now please do not be misled by its name. This bright purple coloured vegetable is rich in antioxidants and phytovitamins which help in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Moreover brinjal is low in carbohydrates which is very effective if you are insulin resistant ( which happens in 85% of PCOS women).
To know more about the nutritional facts of brinjal, click here .
Begun Bharta / Mashed eggplant is a flavourful and powerpacked dish which is made through out North India during the winters and sometimes even during summers depending on the availability of the ingredients.
Brinjal – 1 large
Onions – 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic – 6-9 cloves, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 1-2 medium, finely chopped
Green chillies – 2-3
Coriander leaves – 3-4 tablespoons
Potato – 1 medium (optional) boiled
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – as per taste
1. Roast the brinjal over fire on a gas stove until it turns soft. Peel off the skin completely.
2. Heat oil on a non stick pan, and sauté the onions, tomatoes and garlic cloves for a few minutes.
3. Mash the brinjal and potatoes together. Add the green chillies, salt, and sautéed onions, tomatoes and garlic cloves.
4. In the pan used for frying the vegetables, add the spices and a bit of water and let the spices cook completely. Add in the mashed brinjal and potato mixture and fold in the spices properly on high heat.
5. Add the coriander leaves and serve hot with roti.
Pro tips –
1. The potato is added to give the added stickiness and bind the mixture properly. If your want you can omit it.
Want to read more about our vegetarian recipes? Click here
Interested in vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes without onion and garlic? Click here