Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vaangi Bhaat made in brown basmati rice

Vaangi Bhaat made in brown basmati rice

I have not been a fan of brinjals since childhood. My mom would literally force it down my throat whenever it was made. So over the years I have never naturally picked up brinjals during my grocery trips and somehow I was very fine with it. during my courtship days, I got to know that my husband loves brinjals and asked me if I knew to cook them. I was in a spot. I did tell him then about my aversion to this specific vegetable but I also promised to cook it for him. So post our marriage, he was waiting for the day I made something using brinjals. Well to defend myself, I have cooked it at-least thrice over the last two years of being married. So yes, I am getting there. So far I stuck to the conventional South Indian recipes of cooking this vegetable but I really wanted to experiment and try something more with them. In my growing years, I had Maharashtrian neighbors who made this dish called vaangi bhaat. I decided to try it today with my own twist. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did having it.

My next aim is to make my husband's favorite - Eggplant Paremsan someday. :)

Goda masala - I used the ready one, you can even make your own by roasting spices like bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, dhania seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, peppercorns and red chillies. These can be stored in airtight containers and used for any other vegetable dishes.
2 tbsp hung curd
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
10-12 Brinjals/eggplant/aubergines
Spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, hing and salt
2 cups of basmati brown rice, cooked with 1 bay leaf for fragrance
Cilantro and coconut for garnish
Roasted almonds for garnish is optional
Oil for cooking

Cut the brinjals in medium size and soak it in salt water for 10-15 minutes. This ensures that there is no discoloration and it takes out the bitter taste if any. In a non stick pan, add 1 tbsp oil, temper the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the onions and green chillies. Add a pinch of hing. Let it cook. Now add the chopped brinjals and turmeric powder. Sprinkle some water and cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for few minutes. Now add the goda masala, curd and salt. Stir it very well. Continue to cook it with the lid on top. Add water if necessary. The brinjals take some time to cook. Once they are, then add the cooked rice.Mix it well. Check the salt and add if necessary. Let it rest for a minute or two. Garnish with shredded coconut and cilantro. You may add roasted almonds if you want. Add a dash of desi ghee on top, before serving it warm with some curd or raita.

Tip - While making any rice dishes like pulav, fried rice or biryani, always cook the rice few hours before. Let it cool down completely. This will ensure that your rice doesn't get all mushy when mixing it.