My first taste of vaangi bhath was after marriage, when my sahadharmini made it. It looked a bit dodgy and avoidable, but my palate proved it otherwise. Nothing like vaangi bhath with dahi and roast pappadoms. I never made vaangi bhath, but decided to document it for the future generations, who might enjoy it.
I felt that the process for making vaangi bhath was a bit tedious, which my wife pooh-poohed. She maintains a separate food blog and is the “chief cooker” at home and might be right. But I let you decide the same, not from the pictures or the recipe, but judge only after making the same.
So, as always we start with ingredients. As this dish is called vaangi bhath, you can easily guess that vaangi and rice are integral to this. so here we go in detail. These ingredients are for “well-eating” 2 individuals. There are around three-four steps involved in making a perfect vaangi bhath and I will group the ingredients also like wise.
1. Rice (My measurement for 2 people is to take 3 fist-full of raw rice, others follow the image)
2. A bit of turmeric powder (only a bit)
Take a bit of mustard seeds(rai), coriander seeds(dhaniya), cumin seeds(jeera), urad dal, chana dal(split peas), turmeric powder (haldi), red chillies and kadi patta.
Again a bit of mustard seeds(rai), cumin seeds(jeera), chana dal(split peas), red chillies, kayam (asafoetida powder), kadi patta and a bit of oil.
Other main ingredients
Tamarind concentrate, vaangi (aubergine/eggplant) and obviously salt to taste.
Now if you dont have a few items in the masala, ignore them and make the dish, it would not taste bad just because you skipped a couple of masala’s. So lets dive straight into the preparation with the ingredients that we have gathered.
Take the rice and wash it. Add water and turmeric powder and cook it. I know, I know, thats not very helpful, but there is nothing more in cooking rice. The water proportion goes like this, for 1 katori/cup of rice, 2 katories/cups of water. Once you have done that, you cook either in a hob or you can microwave it. When cooking in a hob, ensure that once the water starts boiling, you close the vessel, reduce the flames to low and allow the rice to cook. it will easily take around 15-20 minutes to cook.
While the rice is getting cooked, lets prepare our masala. For this, take all the masala ingredients listed and saute them. You dont need to add oil to saute them. Just do it directly on the pan without any oil.
Now you need to mix them well and saute them till they appear a bit roasted.
Now, you can remove them.
Grind this mix into the vaangi bhath masala.
Ok, now chop the aubergine/eggplant/vaangi to cubes, if you have not done it already.
Nows the time to prepare tamarind water. Add a spoon of tamarind concentrate to a katori.
Add water to the concentrate and dilute it to get the tamarind water (wow, I am brilliant). Now if you dont use tamarind concentrate, prepare it the way its done back home. Take dried tamarind, soak it in water and later mash, sieve and use the tamarind water.
Now check the rice and wait for it to cook before proceeding. Now we are entering the final process in making vaangi bhath and it will be good to have the cooked rice ready, unless you have got some expertise in cooking already.
Now take the kadai (or the vessel you want to make vaangi bhath in) and put 2 teaspoon of oil. Add the seasoning ingredients and saute well.
Now while sauteeing, add a bit of kayam (asafoetida) powder.
Once the seasoning is well sauteed, add the chopped aubergines/eggplant/vaangi to it.
Mix occasionaly while it cooks.
The vaangi is cooked, when they appear transculent as in the picture below.
Now add the masala we prepared earlier to it and cook for a couple of more minutes.
Mix it well.
Now add the tamarind water to the mixture and stir well.
Allow it to cook till it appears to be a paste. Now add salt to taste.
Now we add cooked rice to this.
And mix the rice well.
The vaangi bhath is ready. Serve it with raita or plain yoghurt, with a couple of roasted pappadoms.