Friday, April 4, 2014

Vangi Bhaat

Eggplant is an extremely versatile vegetable and my favorite. I love it in any form, shape or cuisine. Vangi bhaat or brinjal rice is one of the many famous rice dishes of southern India. There are two main variations of this dish - Maharashtrian and Karnatak. The main difference is in the spices. The following recipe is the Karnataka variation which uses coconut  and curry leaves. Typically long purple or green eggplants are used here. You can use the Chinese long eggplant (be sure to not overcook it), or use the small Indian ones as I have done (they taste great). Prepare the vangi bhaat masala (recipe here) in advance and then making this dish is super quick. 

1 cup cooked white rice
7-8 small Indian eggplants, thinly sliced
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp each dhuli urad and chana dal
Pinch hing (asafoetida)
2 sprigs of curry leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp vangi bhaat masala
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
  1. Heat oil in a pan, crackle mustard seeds, little urad and chana dal and pinch hing.
  2. Add curry leaves and thinly sliced eggplant and fry on low till it cooks and softens but not mushy. 
  3. Add cooked white rice, salt, vangi bhaat masala and lemon juice. Stir fry till all the flavors blend in. 
  4. Taste to adjust the amount of salt, lemon juice and vangi bhaat masala as per your taste. 
  5. Serve garnished with lightly fried cashews alongside raita.

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