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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Maharashtrian Vangi Bhaat (Eggplant Rice)

          This is a very popular rice dish from Maharashtra, where rice is cooked with eggplants and the typical Maharashtrian spice mix called Goda Masala. It is mildly tempered with cumin, mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves and peppercorns. 

          It is a one dish meal and is generally had with some salad, papad or simple raita. There are two versions of Vangi Bhaat. The spices used are different in Maharashtra and in Karnataka. But nevertheless both the varieties are simply delicious.

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, soaked for an hour
  • 4-5 long eggplants, chopped to 1" pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/ tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. goda masala (see below for the recipe)
  • 12-15  roasted cashew nuts
  • coriander leaves to garnish

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the asafoetida, peppercorns and the curry leaves.

          Now add the chopped eggplants, turmeric powder and salt and saute till light brown. Add the rice, half of the cashew nuts, goda masala and 1 1/2 cups water.

          Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Remove when cool and serve, garnished with cashew nuts and coriander leaves.

Goda Masala-

  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 3 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

          Dry roast the coconut first till golden brown. Keep aside. Then roast all the other ingredients for a minute on low flame. When cool, grind them into a powder and store in an air tight container.

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