In a typical Bengali meal something bitter like Kerela fry, Sukto, Neem leaves fry, Neem begun, Moringa flower etc is served at the beginning as it is believed having something bitter at the start of a meals, cleanses the impurities of our body.
Neem begun is a very simple and easy to make dish, with only few ingredients and is one such interesting Bengali dish, which is consumed during spring, summer or during seasonal change due to it’s medicinal value.
It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and helps to control blood sugar level, kills bacteria, improves the skin quality, cleanses the blood, increases immunity and many other benefits.
My hubby being a Punjabi never had this before and today when I made this neem begun, I ask him to taste it. Initially he was hesitating to have it but when I told him it is less bitter then bitter gourd, he gave it try and I was shocked looking at the expression of his face.
He loved the sweetness of eggplant and the bitterness of neem and immediately ask me to make some roti. Within few minutes my neem begun was finished.
- 250 grams eggplant (Cut into small cubes)
- ½ cup fresh neem leaves (preferably soft and new leaves)
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- 2-3 green chilies (silted into half)
- 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash the neem leaves and spead it into a paper towel to dry well.
- Heat oil in a frying pan, add the eggplant, green chilies and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and keep aside.
- In the same pan stir the neem leaves until turn crispy.
- Add the fried eggplant, salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with hot boiled rice with few drops of ghee.