Vangi bath which translates to eggplant rice is a popular dish in Southern India. In this dish eggplant is cooked with spices then combined with cooked rice to make the vangi bath. Delicious as a main course or accompanied with a side of yogurt, for a delicious one pot meal give this eggplant fried rice a try.
About the recipe
There are many ways to make vangi bath, here I chose a simple recipe to try. First I cooked the rice. I actually made a mix of quinoa and basmati rice. Step 2 While the rice is cooking, I stir fried the eggplant with onions, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and curry leaves. Step 3 By the time the eggplant is cooked the rice should be ready as well. I then combined the rice and spiced eggplant together.
Here are the fun ingredients that make this rice taste outstanding.
Here are the fun ingredients that make this rice really delicious – toasted lentils and roasted peanuts that are crushed together into a coarse meal. The lentil and peanut mixture gives the dish a wonderful toasted nutty texture. Toasted sesame oil is also drizzled over the rice which adds its own wonderful flavor and aroma.
If you’re looking for a creative way to use eggplant give this eggplant rice a try. It’s a wonderful one pot meal that tastes great served with a side of yogurt raita.
Vangi Bath. Eggplant Rice
3 Japanese eggplants or 2 medium regular eggplant – about 4 -5 cups. Cut eggplant into small chunks. Place them in a bowl of water to prevent them from browning.
1 cup Basmati rice or a blend of 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup rice – cook according to package directions with a pinch of salt.
1 large onion thinly slice
10 curry leaves
2-3 green chilies finely chopped – remove seeds to keep it mild
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp asafetida powder
1 tsp fenugreek powder (methi powder)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste or juice of 1 lemon
Toasted sesame oil (optional)
Cilantro for garnish
Lentil mix: 1 tbsp chana daal (yellow split peas), 1 tbsp urad daal, a fist full of roasted peanuts. If you don’t have these lentils you can toast any combination of lentils to get that unique nutty toasted fragrance.
Make the lentil and peanut mixture: Toast the lentils on a pan until fragrant and slightly browned about 2-3 minutes. Turn the stove off. To the warm lentils add 1 tsp cumin powder and the peanuts. Combine and transfer to a small bowl. Let the mixture cool. Then blend in a spice mill into a coarse meal. Set aside to use later.
While the rice is cooking cook the eggplant – In a large pan warm 2 tbsp oil. To the oil add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to pop a little then add the cumin seeds and toast for 2-3 seconds. Add asafetida and fenugreek powder and mix into the oil – just for a second or two. Immediately add the green chili, onions and curry leaves. Cook onions until translucent. Add turmeric and mix in.
Next add the eggplant, salt to taste and cook until eggplant is tender. Once the eggplant are tender add tamarind and brown sugar and stir in.
Combine the cooked eggplant with the cooked rice and then the toasted lentil mixture. Gently mix everything together so as not to mush the rice and eggplant too much. Taste and adjust for salt. Eggplant rice is ready.
Drizzle with 1 tbsp sesame seed oil and garnish with fresh cilantro. Vangi bath is ready! Serve warm with a side of yogurt.