Vangi Bath

Vangi Bath (Eggplant Rice)

Eggplant – the vegetable that goes by several names, Aubergine, Brinjal, and Baigan to name a few, is not your definite crowd-pleaser. While there are a lot of people who love this humble, unassuming vegetable, there is also a significant group who have their reservations about it.

I was one of those people sitting on the fence, never fully believing in the culinary capabilities of this vegetable. But, that was before a friend of mine invited me to try his mom’s Vangi Bath (Eggplant Rice) for lunch. That lunch changed my perspective, and I became a big fan of Vangi Bath, as well as the hero ingredient, Eggplant (Aubergine/Brinjal).

 

Vangi Bath (Eggplant / Aubergine / Brinjal /Baigan Rice)

 

Vangi Bath (Eggplant Rice/Aubergine Rice), for the uninitiated, is a popular rice-based delicacy from the Karnataka cuisine, where small pieces of aubergine is cooked with select spices (vangi bath masala), and mixed with rice making it a meal in itself.

This delicacy now features in my favourite one-pot meals, or more appropriately in my favourite one-pan meals.

When I thought of cooking this flavoured rice myself, I knew that none of the recipes I can find online will match up to the original, great taste that converted me to a vangi bath lover. After exchanging many emails and Whatsapp messages with my friend, who lives in the US now, I drafted a recipe. A couple of attempts later, and with some tweaks that I managed myself, I present you the “take-it-easy” version of vangi bath!

I hope the creative freedom that I took, which altered the colour of the dish from a purist’s perspective, have still done justice to the recipe’s original kick-ass flavours and taste! In a true “take-it-easy” way, I have made the spice mix from scratch, but without making it too complicated.

You can use any good shop-bought, ready-to-use vangi bath powder mix, but where is the joy in cooking then!

Vangi Bath (Eggplant / Aubergine / Brinjal Rice)

Vangi Bath (Eggplant / Aubergine / Baigan Rice), is a popular rice-based delicacy from the Karnataka cuisine, where small pieces of aubergine is cooked with select spices (vangi bath masala), and mixed with rice making it a meal in itself.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Karnataka
Servings: 4 serving

Ingredients

For Vangi Bath powder

  • 4 chilies dry kashmiri
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon channa dal
  • 1/2 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon

For frying

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon coconut dry - grated (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 onion medium (2 small)
  • 350 grams eggplant (brinjal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups rice cooked
  • to taste salt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 sprig coriander leaves (OPTIONAL)

Instructions

  • Prep the ingredients - thinly slice the onions, and slit the green chilli lengthwise. Cook and keep the rice ready. I used Basmati rice, but any white rice will do.
  • We have two set of spices - one for the vangi bath mix, and the second one for frying in oil.
  • Heat a pan, and dry fry the vangi bath mix ingredients. I usually add dry chillies after the other ingredients turn golden brown. Dry chillies might burn if you add them in the beginning.
  • Set aside to cool. Blitz in a mixer to fine powder. This is our vangi bath mix.
  • Cut the eggplants (brinjal) to small pieces. Only the green variants of eggplant are used in the traditional recipes. I, however, used both green and purple varieties to get a good balance of colours!
  • Heat some oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, followed by bay leaf, cumin seeds, and cardamom.
  • Add onions, curry leaves, and green chillies. You can add some grated dry coconut (copra) at this stage (Optional).
  • Once the onions are tender, add the eggplant pieces.
  • Add turmeric, salt, and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on a low flame till the brinjal pieces are tender.
  • Add the ground Vangi bath mix. Mix well, and cook for a few minutes (without closing the lid) stirring occasionally.
  • Add 2 tablespoons water so that the rice (when we add it) will be moist enough.
  • Switch off the flame. Add 3 cups of boiled rice. Mix well so that masala gets evenly distributed, and the rice gets fully coated. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Adding olive oil is optional, but it enhances the flavours.
  • Vangi bath has a mild tanginess from the lime juice. Ideally (as seen in traditional recipes) you should squeeze in some lime juice to the rice. But I kept lime wedges separate so that it can be squeezed fresh just before eating. Garnish with some freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Enjoy with some cucumber raita (or any raita/cold yogurt).

Notes

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5 Comments

  1. Tried this today. For being such a quick fix is had a really intriguing amount of flavours, every bite seemed to have a slightly different nuance. Also the combination with raita made a huge difference, or even with just yogurt after our raita got finished. Looking forward to more inspiring recipes to come.

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Hi Julia, Thank you very much for trying out my vangi bath recipe. I am gleaming with joy reading through your comments. I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’ll find more recipes on this blog interesting to try out!

  2. I loved your narration … will keep visiting your website
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Smith Sonian

    good one…love the pics!

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