We have our own special version of vangi bhaat (eggplant or brinjal rice), which we have been making in our family for as long as I can remember. However, the OH and I love the Kannadiga version of vangi bhaat too, which is quite different from our version. After reading up a lot about this style of preparation on the internet and soliciting the guidance of a few relatives, I finally decided to try making it Kannadiga-style in my kitchen yesterday. It turned out pretty good!
Ingredients (for 2 people):
1/2 glass of rice (cooked a little bit less mushy than we normally do for sambar or rasam rice. I used about 2 glasses of water and gave it 3 whistles in a pressure cooker.)
Salt to taste
A few curry leaves
Turmeric powder to taste
2 medium-sized onions (chopped length-wise)
Red chilli powder to taste (if using)
2-3 brinjals (cubed – I used the long, green ones.)
1 tablespoon oil
Hing (asafoetida) to temper
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A few peanuts (for garnish)
Juice of 1 lemon
For the spice powder:
A few peanuts
1 tablespoon fresh, grated coconut
1 teaspoon til
1-1/2 teaspoons chana dal
1-1/2 teaspoons urad dal
3 dried red chillies
1-1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
A small stick of cinnamon
1. Dry roast all the ingredients for the spice mix in a pan. When they cool off, grind everything into a powder in a mixer. Keep aside.
2. Cool the cooked rice. Crumble it and keep it aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is nice and hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
4.Add the peanuts and fry till they turn a dark brown in colour.
5. Add the chopped onions and curry leaves. Cook till they become brown in colour.
6. Add the chopped brinjals, salt and turmeric powder to taste, and the spice powder. Cook till the brinjals turn soft, sprinkling water/adding oil as and when necessary.
7. When the brinjals are well cooked and the spice powder loses its raw flavour, lower the flame of the gas and add the rice. Mix well, till everything comes together nicely. Let everything cook together for a few minutes.
8. When the rice is just about done, add the lemon juice to it and mix well. Cook for a minute or so more.
Serve hot with onion raita or fried vadaams/papads.