Friday, June 2, 2017

Vaangibaath ( Eggplant Rice/ Brinjal Rice)






The other day my friend and I were out running errands and we felt like going to a South Indian Restaurant. While the North Indian restaurants are ubiquitous, South Indian are harder to come by. I don't know exactly why.. However I think the western world relates Indian cuisine mainly to flatbreads ( rotis, paratha, naan), chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, aloo gobhi and chole than to the South Indian cuisine of dosas and idlis. Dosas are nothing but pancakes and crepes while idlis are steamed rice-lentil cakes both of which form the mainstay of South Indian Cuisine.Anyways, we happened to go to Dosa Hut ( translates as pancake hut) to eat some nice and crispy masala dosa. 




While we were done, my friend ordered some Vaangibaath "to go" for her hubby and her for dinner. She doesn't know how to make it and was craving it. Her ordering Vaangibaath made me crave it too.. I realized I had not made Vaangibaath in a long time. I decided to make it. Vaangibaath or Vangibath is nothing but Eggplant Rice. "Vaangi"
means "eggplant"or "Brinjal" and "Baath" is rice. Basically it is rice and eggplant cooked together with flavorful spices to make it something like a pulao( pilaf). It is quite simple and easy to make. I had some chimes eggplant in my fridge and I made it for lunch the next day. It is usually served with some chutney or raita ( yogurt based salad). My husband and I both relished it.







You get Vangibath powder in the store. I don't like to keep a whole bunch of pre-mixed spice mixes in my pantry if I am only going to make the dish sporadically. I keep a bunch of basic spices and mix it when I want a specific mix. For Vangibath I use sambar powder and add a couple of other spices to it. I use sambar powder to make my bisibelebath too. Here is my quick version of Vaangibaath.







Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 15 minsCook time: 20 minsTotal time: 35 mins



Ingredients:


White rice ( Basmati or any long grain rice is preferred): 2 cups
Water: 4 cups
Onion: 2 medium, chopped lengthwise
Cashew halves: 1-2 tbsp ( optional)
Eggplant, long variety ( Chinese eggplant): 3-4 medium-sized.
Oil: 2 tbsp ( I used coconut oil; any cooking oil can be used).
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch piece
Cardamom:4 pods
Bay leaf: 1 small
Sambar powder: 2-3 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Jaggery or sugar: 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp  for garnish ( 1 tbsp)

Method:


Wash and soak basmati rice in water for atleast 30 mins. Drain and keep aside.

Heat oil in a sauté pan or pressure pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamom. If adding cashew halves, add them now. Sauté for 15-20 seconds.




Add the sliced eggplants. Sauté for 3-4 mins until the eggplant slightly wilts. Now add the sambar powder. Mix well. Add the washed and drained rice. Add 4 cups water, salt, jaggery and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to low.



Cover and cook for 15 mins.





When done, fluff the rice using a serving spoon.
Garnish with freshly grated coconut and/or coriander leaves.





Serve hot with raita/cucumber-tomato slices and/or chutney of any kind.







Enjoy!   I can't wait to bring this to Angie's Fiesta Friday#174! I am sure this will be something new to everybody!

Cooking made easy:


If using a pressure cooker, don't use weight or whistle.
If it is convenient for you, you can use the Vaangibath mix that is readily available in stores.

Tip for healthy living:

Cooking with minimal oil reduces the overall calorie and fat content of the meal. A rule of thumb is that any dish that uses water for cooking, does not require much oil to cook.

Food for thought:



He who angers you conquers you. Elizabeth Kenny



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