Bolanger, Bygan, Eggplant?

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So I have to admit that even though I loved when my mom and granny cooked this dish (known as bolanger..pronounced Bow-Lan-Gee or Bah-Lan-J) when I started cooking this dish on my own, the fascination was lost. For some reason, I could never get it quite like mom and grannys. I have later found that it was because #1, I never squeezed the seeds out properly and thus my dislike for the seedy stew and #2, I always UNDER cooked or OVER cooked the vegetable and #3, I never got the quality of the vegetable because of the combinations of seasonings or lack there of used.

This was one of those foods that granny would give you 3 bolangers in a big bowl with a knife and tell you to get to work. Peeling, slicing and chopping, then washing and 'deseeding' were all a part of the process. As I later experimented with cooking, I developed my method (emulated of course) and began mastering my beloved dish. You can add any meat you would like such as salt fish, shrimp, chicken, been, pork, etc. or leave it meatless for a vegetarian version.

Bolanger, Bygan, Eggplant Recipe

2 Large or 3 Medium Bolangers (Eggplant)
1 small onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
3-4 heads of green onions or 1 tbsp of green seasoning
2 small tomatoes chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 chicken cube (optional)
3 tbsp of ketchup
2 tbsp of kecap manis
1/4 tsp of burnt sugar or 1/2 tsp of browning sauce (optional, purely for color)
1 tsp of pepper sauce or 2-3 wiri wiri peppers chopped finely
2 lbs of chicken ( I like to use thighs skin removed & cut into small pieces)
1/2 pound shrimp
1-2 tbsp of oil

1. Peel, slice the bolangers as shown below as if you were preparing french fries. Chop the bolangers into 1in squares. (it doesn't have to be will be stewed)

2. Wash bolangers in a strainer and squeeze them with your hands to get the seeds out. Set Aside.

3. Remove the skin from your chicken and cut up into small pieces or thirds if using thighs, clean you and season with salt & pepper and crumble the cube over and mix.

4. Heat oil on medium-high, add onions, garlic and green onions and saute until tender.

5. Add chicken until browned. Add tomatoes, ketchup, kecap manis and browning. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add bolangers, mix and cover skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook until bolangers become tender. (20-30 minutes)

6. Add shrimp in the last 5 minutes of cooking and mix to incorporate. Serve stew on top a bed of white or brown rice.

As with any recipe, you can add and take away or substitute ingredients to your liking. Feel free to email me with any questions. Cheers!

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Cynthia said...

I would pick out all the eggplant and eat the rice with the chicken and shrimp. The only way I like eggplant is in a choka or as biganee.

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