Vangi Bhaat

I have always had Vangi Bhaat at the top of my 'Bucket List' it is now slightly refined. It ought to be the Eerinagere /Mysore Badanekayi aka fingerling eggplant Vangi baath. How can I describe the serendipitous reappearance of this miraculous vegetable (or botanically a fruit) and all the joy it has brought....This summer, we have been going to pick-your-own-farms. Just could not resist the freshness of the vegetables there. And imagine my delight when I see these beauties hanging in the thorny bushes!
Ah! I said, 'we are in for some serious luck'. We snipped all the eggplants we could find and dumped them in our wagon.


Once we were home, it was all about Vangi baath or brinjal rice. I cannot figure out the origins of this dish. Vangi sounds so much alien in Kannada, or may be 'Vangi' was the old Kannada usage. Or may be it came to Karnataka with the Maratha invasion, and we indigenous Kannadigas tweaked the recipe to mke it our own. Never know where it all started. There are several recipes in my family for this particular dish, but my Mom makes it the best. Sorry Ammaji (my maternal grandma and the best cook in my world) you loose to Amma (Mom) when it comes to Vangi Baath.  This time when my Mom was here, I standardized her recipe.  The spice blend can be make in large quantities and used for both BBB and VB but I prefer to make small batches and using it all up. The longer the spice blend sits on the shelf,  the more it will resemble saw dust!! So here it goes.

We will need,

Fingerling eggplant / Mysore Badanekayi  2 lbs
Expeller pressed peanut oil  1/2 cup
Mustard seeds  1/4 tsp
Cummin 1/2 tsp
Hing a generous dash
Curry leaves a generous handful
Tamarind  extract  3-4 tsp (or tamarind the size of a lemon soaked in a 1/4 cup of water)
Copra/ Kobbari  grated, about 1 cup loosely packed
Rice   2 to 2.5 Cups
Ghee and lemon juice to taste (optional)
Salt to taste

For the spice blend

Dhania 4 tbsp
dry red chillies (Byadagi) 15-20 (adjust according to taste)
Channa Dal / Kadalebele  2 tbsp
Urad Dal/ Uddinabele 2 tbsp
Marat Moggu 2
Cinnamon 1"


Method:
  • Wash rice in several changes of water and cook it with about 4-5 cups of water till al dente, soft but still has its integrity. Spread it on a large plate and allow it to completely cool.
  • Toast the spices for the blend on a heavy and hot skillet one by one till fragrant. Remove and cool. Pulse it in a coffee grinder till the mixture is fine-coarse, finer than say breadcrumbs, but not as fine as the prepackaged spice powders. 
  • As the skillet is hot throw in the Copra and heat it through. Keep stirring and once fragrant remove from heat. Cool down and  pulse it in the grinder to get a coarse powder. Set it aside.
  • Wash and clean the eggplants. Remove the tops and cut it lengthwise into 1 to 1.5 " strips. Place the cut eggplants in a large bowl of cold water. This prevents the eggplants from discoloring.
  • Heat oil in a large and heavy Kadai/ Bandali. Throw in the mustard seeds, cummin, hing and curry leaves in quick succession. Once the spices crackle, throw in the cut eggplant strips. Sprinkle some salt and stir a few times gently. 
  • Once the eggplants change color and cooked half way through, throw in the spice blend. Stir well to coat the eggplants. Reduce heat to 'low' and cook the mixture for 5-10 minutes till the spices sizzle and are fragrant. 
  • Now add the ground Kopra, tamarind extract. Cover and cook till the  mixture oozes oil on top. Keep stirring at regular intervals else it will burn. Remove from heat.
  • Once the mixture or gojju is ready, Take a small quantity of gojju about 1/2 cup and start mixing it into a cup of rice, gently making sure that rice does not break. Add more of gojju or rice to get at the desired taste. (I like mine with a lot of gojju) A tsp of ghee and a dash of lemon will be a great addition at this point. Adjust salt and serve immediately. 
A note on the quantity: This quantity should normally serve about 4 people, but if it me and Honey, then may be two or three !!! This is the reason I never specify about 'number of servings. Well each persons appetite is different! How are we to know how many servings this recipe will yield!! 




14 comments:

Renu said...

I love these brinjals, lucky you managed to get it. 'vangi' means brinjal in marathi, but how the name is prevalent in mysore region I am not sure of.

Rachana said...

I love aubergines and I love rice and this looks like a perfect dish for me :-)

Pavithra said...

One of my fav ..looks too good.

n33ma said...

Channagide!

Sunshine And Smile said...

I used to make this a lot .. it's really been a while since i made that ..
www.sunshineandsmile.com

Tina said...

Delicious...

Shanthi said...

Spicy and perfectly done

Santosh Bangar said...

i never saw white long brinjal i saw small but vangi bhat is looking delicious

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Renu, Marathas invaded Karnataka repeatedly during the later last centuries of the past millennium..That is not at all surprising :)

@Rachana, hopefully you will give it a try and your family enjoys it :)

@Pavithra...in the same boat :)

N33ma, thanks ri :)
@ Sunshine...Hope you will dish out sometime soon ::)

Thanks Shanti, Santosh and Tina...

@ Santosh.. well the one we get in Southern Karantaka is kind of light green but here I found a perfect white one. But who cares for the colour as long as it tastes good :)

SravsCulinaryConcepts said...

perfectly done and well presented !!

Ongoing Event - CC-Roti Pachadi/Chutney

Renu said...

oops, sorry I probably didn't read about the marata invasion thing.Anyway reminded me of my moms vangi baath, got to make some soon. :)

Sush said...

vangi bhaat nodi bayalli neeru banthu, nanagoo swalpa parcel kalisthira?

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Sarvs, thanks a lot!
@ Renu... yep.. hope you make some very soon..

@ Sushma, hu ri! Address kalishi parcel madbitini.. ee sari 4 kilo badanekayi gojju madtiddini ..fingers crossed..all should end well!!

R Sudhir Kumar said...

I have eaten all sorts og vangi bath with more salt , with less salt and other experiments, Sudha though has left those days far behind. Siddu loves Vangi Bath, Nice pic!