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
- Red Chillies – 3 or 4
- Udad Dal – 2 tsp
- Chana Dal – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon – 2″ pieces
- Cloves – 4 or 5
- Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Star Anise – 1 Segment
- Oil – 2 tsp
Ingredients for the Rice
- Rice – 1.5 Cups
- Small/Baby Brinjals – 8 to 10
- Onion – 1 Medium sized (optional)
- Cashew Nuts – 8 to 10
- Peanuts – 2 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
- Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Red Chillies – 2 or 3
- Curry Leaves – A Few
- Salt to Taste
Method for Making Vangi Bhaat Masala
- Heat the oil.
- Fry udad dal and chana dal till golden brown.
- Add the cloves and cinnamon. Fry for a minute.
- Add coriander seeds, star anise segment, and red chillies. Fry for a couple of minutes.
- Set aside to cool.
- Grind to a fine powder.
Method for Making the Vangi Bhaat
- Pressure cook the rice with 2.5 Cups of water.
- Spread on a plate to cool.
- Cut the brinjals into quarters.
- Chop the onion finely.
- In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the split cashew nuts and peanuts.
- Fry for about 2 minutes or till the peanuts start to pop.
- Add the red chillies and fry for a minute.
- Add the onion and fry till it is transparent.
- Add the brinjal pieces and fry till cooked.
- Add the Vangi Bhaat masala and fry for about a minute.
- Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery.
- Cook till the jaggery melts.
- Add the curry leaves.
- Add the rice and mix well.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Serve hot with papad, vadiyalu or vadams.
- 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.
- Sambar Sadam (Sambar Rice) (aahaaramonline.com)