Monday, August 19, 2013

Vangi Bath (Eggplant Rice)

Vangi bath – or Italian rice, as we used to call it in our house, is really simple to make.  Eggplant is not everyone’s favorite vegetable.  In fact, I know someone who eats pretty much all veggies, but hates eggplant.  I love it though and try to make it one every couple of months. 

Vangi Bath (Eggplant Rice)

Now, the story behind the name  - Italian rice.  When my kids were younger and had started going to school and daycare, they went through a phase of not wanting to eat anything Indian.  So, if I wanted them to eat something, I made up names for it.  To make Vangi bath into Italian rice, I would put it on a microwave safe plate, sprinkle some grated cheese on top, and microwave it for about 30 seconds – just enough to melt the cheese.  And there, in a jiffy, was Italian rice.  My kids loved it.

I don’t have to trick them anymore.  They do complain occasionally – if we have a lot of Indian meals at a stretch, but as long as I make pasta or pizza or Mexican occasionally, they are happy.

Here is what you need:

(Serves four easily)

  • To powder:
    • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
    • 1 Tbsp. channa dal
    • 4 – 6 red chilies
    • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp. white sesame seeds
    • 2 tsp. urad dal
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • a few peanuts
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. channa dal
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 red chilies, broken
  • few curry leaves
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, diced into cubes (about 2 cups worth)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice, cooked and cooled (any left over rice , that is not sticky, will work)
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil


Here is how I made it:

  1. In a saucepan, dry roast all the items given under the “To Powder” list.
  2. When it cools down a bit, grind these into a coarse powder.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, peanuts, channa dal, and hing.
  4. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the curry leaves and onions.
  5. Sauté for a few minutes, till the onions become translucent.
  6. Add salt and turmeric.  Mix well.
  7. Add the eggplant and cook on medium heat, till the eggplant is cooked.
  8. Add the powdered spices and mix well.  Turn off the heat.
  9. In a bowl, take the cooked rice, add the eggplant mixture and the sesame oil.  Mix well.
Serve hot with appalams (papads)

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