Vangi Bhaat (Vankaya Annam or Aubergine/Brinjal/Eggplant Rice)

Vangi Bhaat or Vankaya Annam
Vangi Bhaat or Vankaya Annam

Vangi Bhaat is one of those classic dishes that is popular at Maharashtrian weddings and religious functions. I have always loved its mild flavour and am tempted to make it every time I see small plump brinjals (vangi = brinjals in Marathi) in the market.

Adding the star anise segment is a secret that one of my Maharashtrian friends told me about and I love the fragrance that star anise lends to the dish!

Ingredients for the Vangi Bhaat Masala

  1. Red Chillies – 3 or 4
  2. Udad Dal – 2 tsp
  3. Chana Dal – 2 tsp
  4. Cinnamon – 2″ pieces
  5. Cloves – 4 or 5
  6. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  7. Star Anise – 1 Segment
  8. Oil – 2 tsp

Ingredients for the Rice

  1. Rice – 1.5 Cups
  2. Small/Baby Brinjals – 8 to 10
  3. Onion – 1 Medium sized (optional)
  4. Cashew Nuts – 8 to 10
  5. Peanuts – 2 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
  8. Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
  9. Oil – 2 tbsp
  10. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  11. Curry Leaves – A Few
  12. Salt to Taste

Method for Making Vangi Bhaat Masala

  1. Heat the oil.
  2. Fry udad dal and chana dal till golden brown.
  3. Add the cloves and cinnamon. Fry for a minute.
  4. Add coriander seeds, star anise segment, and red chillies. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. Grind to a fine powder.

Method for Making the Vangi Bhaat

  1. Pressure cook the rice with 2.5 Cups of water.
  2. Spread on a plate to cool.
  3. Cut the brinjals into quarters.
  4. Chop the onion finely.
  5. In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add the split cashew nuts and peanuts.
  8. Fry for about 2 minutes or till the peanuts start to pop.
  9. Add the red chillies and fry for a minute.
  10. Add the onion and fry till it is transparent.
  11. Add the brinjal pieces and fry till cooked.
  12. Add the Vangi Bhaat masala and fry for about a minute.
  13. Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery.
  14. Cook till the jaggery melts.
  15. Add the curry leaves.
  16. Add the rice and mix well.
  17. Add salt and mix well.
  18. Serve hot with papad, vadiyalu or vadams.

Tips

  • You can add about 2 tbsp of copra or freshly grated coconut to the Vangi Bhaat masala.
  • You can add about 1/4 tsp of turmeric to the step 12 when making the rice.
  • You know the brinjal is cooked when you can cut it with the spoon or ladle.
  • You could add a splash of water in step 11 to make the brinjals cook faster.

 

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