One of the least eaten or liked vegetables has to be brinjals aka aubergines or egg plant. For some reason, this is a very acquired taste. But this was one vegetable that was cooked regularly at home in one form or the other. I think one reason for this has to be that it is my mother's favorite veggie. She made it in so many different ways and made sure that all her kids loved it as much as she did. One never realises how many different ways the same veggie can be made until such time that we sit down and start writing about it. It then hits you like a tonne of bricks that this was the same veggie in an entirely new avatar.
But I had never eaten vangi bhath till I got married. Thats when my mother in law mentioned this dish for the very first time. Loving brinjal as much as I do, I was totally excited about the combination of rice and brinjal. The icing on the cake was the fact that the end product had a very sweet, spicy and tangy taste all at the same time. Quickly learnt how to make it and it has been a staple on our dining table ever since.
Very easy to make particularly with the MTR Vangi bhath masala so readily available.
2 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cups brinjal cut up into little bits
3 tablespoons gingelly oil
2 tablespoons cashewnuts
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
2 tablespoons MTR Vangi bhath masala powder
1 lemon sized ball tamarind soaked in water and juice extracted
1 teaspoon powdered jaggery
Mix the tamarind juice, vangi bhath powder and jaggery till well blended.
Heat one tablespoon oil. Fry the cashewnut bits till golden brown. Keep aside.
Heat the remaining oil. Fry the mustard seeds till they crackle. Add the curry leaves and then the brinjal bits.
When well fried, add the tamarind/vangi powder paste to it. Cook till raw smell of tamarind disappears.
Add the cooked rice to this and mix well till the masala coats each grain of rice well.
Garnish with the cashewnuts and serve hot with papads.
Vangi Bhath Masala Powder:
Grated coconut- 3 tablespoons
Chana dal - 2 tablespoons
Urad dal - 2 tablespoons
Coriander seeds- 2 tablespoons
Sesame seeds- 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cloves - 2
Green Cardamom - 1
Jeera - ¼ teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds- ¼ teaspoon
Red chillies - 5
Cinnamon- 1" piece
Asafoetida - a pinch
Heat a pan and dry roast the grated coconut till a light golden colour and keep it aside.
Roast red chillies to light brown color and keep aside. Dry roast all other ingredients. When cool, grind all the roasted ingredients together to a fine powder.