Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vangibath (South Indian eggplant rice)

On left: vangibath; On right: vangibath dry roast

Armed with some eggplant, I decided to try out a dish my mother made when I was growing up. Vangibath, or eggplant rice, is a dish which originates in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is sweet, spicy, and sour at the same time, and pairs well with plain yogurt.

You can purchase vangibath powder from any Indian supermarket - look for the MTR brand - but as I do not live near one, I made my own. Additionally, I used basmati brown rice instead of white rice to include additional fiber. In terms of eggplants, use fresh ones. I had some Asian eggplants, so I used those.

I used a recipe from Dil Se, but made a few modifications. While I used 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate, I would recommend only using 1 to cut down on the sour flavor. To compensate, I wound up adding some brown sugar into the mix.

Here's the recipe:


2 medium sized Asian eggplants, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups cooked basmati brown rice
2 tbsp Tamcon tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp brown sugar
Salt to taste

For masala powder:

2 tbsp dry coconut

1 tbsp channa daal

1 tbsp urad daal

For seasoning:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp channa daal
1 tbsp urad daal
2 red chilis
1 tbsp cashews, in small pieces


1. Cook the rice with enough water and seperate the grains with a fork.
2. Fry the eggplants with a little oil in a saucepan until it almost gets cooked.
3. Dry roast the masala ingredients and grind them into a fine powder.
4. On medium heat, saute all of the ingredients for the seasoning together. When it starts spluttering, add the tamarind concentrate and the ground masala.
5. Simmer for 5 minutes
6. Add the eggplants and salt.
7. Cover the vessel and allow the eggplants to cook until tender.
8. Mix the prepared mixture with the cooked rice and brown sugar.

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