Today’s recipe essentially belongs to the southern part of India. Something I am not too used to, yet I have never been able to resist this dish since the time I have got introduced to it. The first time I had this dish was in Bangalore at a friend’s place. And I was completely blown away by the aromas and flavors of this dish. Personally I don’t quite like eggplants, but if it is cooked in this form, I can eat it all day! Vangi Bhaat is a flavorful dish prepared often in South India on special occasions like festivals and family functions. Small eggplants are used in Vangi Baath and the spice powder is blended using freshly roasted ingredients.
Although this dish is a part of Karnataka’s cuisine, it is very popular in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and even Maharashtra. The secret ingredient for this Vangi Bhaat is the spice mix freshly prepared at home. It is mostly a home-made dish and hardly served in restaurants.
This recipe is very simple and perfect for luncbox. The Vangi Bhaat spice mix can be prepared in a large batch and stored in the fridge for a long time. For all you people out there who do not like eggplants, this will be your frequent go-to eggplant dish once you’ve had it…..believe me you will love it !
Small Eggplants – 6-8 (Diced up)
Cooked rice – 1 cup
Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
Curry leaves – 7-8
Peanuts – 10-12 (slit into half)
Fresh Coconut – cut into small pieces
Chana dal / Split chickpeas – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick- 1
Cloves – 4-5
Whole black peppercorns
Dried red chillies – 3
Coriander seeds – 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Goda masala – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – finely chopped
Salt – as per taste
Dice up the eggplant into small pieces. Soak them in water to avoid discoloring.
Cook the rice in a pot of boiling water. Once the rice is done, drain and keep aside.
Prepare the vangi bhaat spice powder.
Roast chopped coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried red chillies, chana dal, black peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon. Roast for a few mins until the spices are aromatic. Once roasted, take it off the heat and let it cool. Once cool, grind them into a fine powder.
I prefer to cook the eggplants separately with spices first and then add them into the rice. However usually the norm is that the eggplants are cooked together with the tempering. You could do that as well.
Add some oil in a pan. Cover and cook the eggplants with some goda masala, red chilli powder and salt until well done.
To prepare the rice, take some oil in a pan. Add the finely chopped onions, curry leaves and peanuts. Also add the turmeric powder. Fry for a few mins.
Add the blended spice powder that we prepared earlier. Mix well.
Add the cooked rice. Mix well.
Now add the cooked eggplants and chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some garam masala on top. Mix well. Taste and adjust the salt.
Once mixed well, Vaangi bhaat will be ready to serve. Garnish with some extra coriander leaves on top.
Relish this spicy eggplant rice with some raita and you are sure going to love it!! :)))