27 January, 2009

Vangi Baath: Curried Memories!

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Vangi Baath

Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…

Small girl was staring at the grandfather clock ‘tic toc’ing since last half an hour. She was waiting for her father to return from work. She was hungry, sleepy but determined to wait till he returned. She couldn’t know what time it was but her mother had shown her that her father would be back when the small hand on clock points to seven and the large one to six.

Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…

Oh this old, old clock… “May be it is slow because it is getting older, just like Gampa (grand pa)”, she thought. Why, the long hand seems to be stuck at three from long time.

Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nine, ten… she counted missing ‘eight’ and felt happy about able to count till ten that her Ajji had taught her that day. “Come my little darling and have your dinner”, said her mother smiling. ‘No Amma, I am waiting for Appa to come home. Then I will impress him tonight when he returns with this new lesson I learnt and I will ask for that doll with red saree for my birthday”, she said loudly to her mom. Mother looked at her little girl who will be celebrating her third birthday in month’s time and made mental note of buying the doll which her daughter liked.

Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…
Tic toc…

Vroom… little girl heard her the sound of her father’s bike approaching and started to jump up and down clapping and giggling that sounded similar to the sound of her jiggling silver anklet. “Appa came… Appa came… Appa came…” she chanted and ran to her father spreading her hands like a bird flying in the sky with its wings spread out widely. As her father lifted her, she planted sloppy, wet kiss on his cheeks and giggled as he tickled her tummy.

With non-stop chatter she watched with adoration as her father as he came to pick her up after taking bath and went inside the Pooja room. There he made her sit on his lap and taught her new Ganesha Shloka and put small red tilak of Kumkum and fragrant Sandalwood on her forehead. After promising her to buy her favourite doll for her birthday, both father and daughter went to dining room. There her mother was waiting for them along with her aunts, uncles, grand parents and elder cousins. Freshly cut green plantain leaves were placed in two long rows along with small wooden planks serving as seats. As the cook started serving two types of palyas, pickle, salt, raita, and rice, little girl kept on chatting with her father telling him what new things she had learnt that day from her grand parents and cousins.

Just when she was about to start eating, she saw cook-uncle serve odd coloured rice with some black pieces in it. She hesitantly picked handful of rice along with strange looking black pieces and started to closely examine its contents. There were some lentils and mustard and also two of her favourite things, roasted cashews and peanuts. Slowly she started to pick peanuts and cashew pieces and popped them into her mouth. They were crunchy and delicious, just the way she had thought them to be. Then slowly she picked roasted lentils and put them in her mouth. Oh, they were crunchy and tasty too.

Then slowly she picked one of odd looking black thingy and took a small bite of it. Munch, munch, munch… “Mmm, not bad”… One more bite, and this time it was little bigger bite. Munch, munch, munch… “Mmm, it’s bit tasty”, she thought to herself. Next she picked small mouthful of rice and put it into her mouth. “Oh my god!!! It is so spicy yet tasty”. “Water, oh spicy… water please”, she screamed. She could feel the water coming from her eyes as well as her nose. But the worst thing was seeing her cousins laughing at her.

That was the first time she had first hand experience of eating spicy food. And that was the day I was first introduced to spicy Vangi Baath, many southern Indians favourite way of serving Eggplants. I was not even 3 yrs old when I had first tasted this Curried Eggplant Rice and the memory of it is so fresh that I feel as if it had happened just few days back. It’s really strange how the thought of certain foods can take you down the memory lane. It’s strange how our memory is connected to certain taste that we had experienced long back. And it’s really strange how we remember even minute detail of something happened decades back. Ask me something that had occurred just few days back and I can bet my full years salary and I won’t be able to recall it. But ask me something that had happened decades back and I can tell you minute of minute details without fluttering my eyes!!! Strange, indeed… Curried rice and curried memories....

Coming back to the recipe part, yes it is Vangi Baath’s turn today. Being hardcore (?!) Brinjal/Eggplant lover I was surprised to note that I haven’t had posted my all time favourite recipe of Curried Brinjal/Eggplant Rice. This most famous Southern Indian Rice was cooked at least once in every fortnight at my parent’s home. Since my Dad loved anything cooked with this King of Vegetables, it was no surprise for Daddy’s girl to fall in love with it instantly. If you have already prepared the spice powder, then it a matter of few minutes to whip up this delicious, spicy Rice. I usually prepare Vangi Bhath Masala Powder from scratch and stock it in refrigerator and use it as and when required. But if you don’t have patience to make it at home, then simply pick a packet of MTR Vangi Baath powder which is usually available in any good Indian Groceries. But let me tell you some secret, nothing can beat homemade fresh batch of Vangi Baath Powder. Served with dollop of chilled Yogurt and crisp Papads, this is one meal to enjoy any time of the day. I am sending this bowl of Vangi Baath which is my dad's favourite food to dear Alka who is hosting a lovely event called Just for You.

Photobucket
Vangi Baath

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Vangi Baath Masala/Spice Powder
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Makes: Around 1½ cups
Shelf Life: 2 months when refrigerated in an air tight container
Recipe Source: Amma
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Medium to Hot

Ingredients:
1 cup Channa Dal
¾ cup Urad dal
¾ cup Coriander Seeds
1 tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
1 cup Dry Red Chillies (I used combination or regular chillies and Byadagi Chillies for Spice and Colour)
½ cup Desiccated Dry Coconut
3 inches Cinnamon Sticks
4 Cloves
½ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1 tsp Salt
3 springs of Curry Leaves
1 tsp Oil
Method:
Dry roast channa and urad dal separately till they turn light golden brown in colour and keep them aside.
In a same skillet dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies, hing, poppy seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves till they turn light golden and fills the kitchen with heady aroma, about 2 mins, on medium flame. Keep them aside to cool down completely.
Now dry roast desiccated coconut till it turns light golden, about 1 min and keep it side to cool.
Heat oil in a pan and roast curry leaves till they turn crisp, about 1 min and set it aside.
Once all the lentils and spices have cooled enough grind them to fine powder. Store this Vangi Bhath Masala Powder in an air tight jar and keep it in refrigerator.

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Vangi Baath (Curried Brinjal/Eggplant Rice)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins (60 mins if using freshly prepared rice)
Serves: 3-5
Recipe Source: Amma
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Medium
Serving Suggestion: With any Raita/Yogurt or with Papad/Chips

Ingredients:
5-6 cups Cooked Rice/2 cups uncooked Rice (Preferably Basmati or Sona Masuri)
8-10 Baby Purple Brinjals/Eggplants, stems removed, halved and then sliced into ¾ inch wedges and placed in cold water
2 tbsp Vangi Baath Masala Powder (Use homemade or store brought, Adjust acc to taste)
1 small marble sized Tamarind Pulp, soaked in ¼ cup hot water for 10 mins and juice extracted
1 tbsp Jaggery/Brown Sugar (Optional, Adjust acc to taste)
1-2 Green Chillies, slit (Optional)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
2-3 tbsp Roasted Peanuts or Cashews
Salt to taste

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Channa Dal/Split Bengal Grams
1 tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Lentils
2-3 Dry Red Chillies, halved (Adjust acc to taste)
2-3 springs of Curry Leaves
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
2 tbsp Oil
Photobucket
Vangi Baath

Method:
Cook rice in enough water and let it cool completely. Then take this cooked rice and add tbsp of oil to it. Mix well making sure that every grain is separate. Keep it aside till needed.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When it starts to pop and splutter, add channa dal, urad dal, halved dry red chillies, hing and curry leaves. Sauté till the lentils turn golden brown.
Now add baby brinjal wedges and slit green chillies if using and stir fry continuously for 5 mins till oil and lentils are coated well.
Now add tamarind water, jaggery, vangi baath powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste and mix well. Cover and cook at medium heat for 5-8 more minutes, stirring in between.
When the brinjals are cooked well add cooked rice and roasted peanuts and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes till every grain of rice is cooked through and the spice mixture is coated well.
Serve this delicious Vangi Baath with cool Raita and Papads and enjoy.


Notes:
Fry finely chopped onion after tadka and before adding brinjal pieces if needed.
Add potatoes, green peas and capsicum/bell peppers in place of brinjals to enjoy this delicious rice if you are not too fond of eggplants.
Replace tamarind with few tsp of lime/lemon juice.
Use Ghee in place of oil if you are not counting all those calories.

Wishing all my fellow Indians a very
Happy Republic Day.



43 Spicy Trails :

Altoid said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I looooooooooooove the spices and the flavor of vaangi baath. This tops in the list of my most favorite rice dishes. Mostly I use MTR vaangi baath powder, and since I am not much of an eggplant person, on a regular basis I make it with green pepper, though habba time always means I revert to its authentic version.

And yes, it brings back some very good memories of being back home. Somehow some foods invariably do that...fond memories and good food!

Ashwini Kenchanna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Wow,lovely intro fot the vangi..Am surprised that you remember at what age you first the vangi...All baths are my favourite...Vangi bath is one of them.. We make with the green vangis..As I dont get them here I substitute them with capsicum.. Cahews give them a lovely taste...Haa this makes me want eat vangi bath right now....

Sandeepa(Bong Mom's CookBook/DesiMomzClub) said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Girl, where have you been ?? Didn't see at my corner and thought you were on a break. So good that I came and checked, looks wonderful as ever

Sandeepa

Mishmash ! said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia, how 've u been?

You remember it so vividly....i dont remember a single thing from that age...some of my patchwork memories starts by 4 1/2 only :)

never tasted vangi baath.....

Curry Leaf said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Love the post and the plate looks yum.HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY

Smitha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Aha! Vangi Baath...I love it.. If it were to be my last day on earth I would eat Vangi baath for breakfast-lunch-dinner!!!

Maya said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

How wonderfully put!! I agree with you wholly, I remember some of the minutest details from when I was a kid, but its hard to think and recall of something which happened yesterday..Vangi bhaat is a hot favorite. Your pic is too good..

Rathna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Wow. Gorgeous looking vangi bhaath. I love your pictures and your recipes. You should be a writer. Reading your post was definetly interesting. I love vangi bhaath very much. It's one of my favorite rice dish. I've bought brinjals yes'day...will definetly make your version right away. Thanks for sharing Sia :-)

I've started a event at my blog called " Made for Each Other " If you are interested, please send in your entry :-)

Alka said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Lovely recipe,lovelier captures but loveliest write up..thats what food do to me...almost every food is associated to some good or bad memories....its strange but true that most of the memories still locked in active portions of my brain are related to childhood and food...hardly anything beyond that
Hugs
Alka

Nags said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

shame on me, a true brinjal lover, for not having tried this dish yet!

Happy cook said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sia i have neve rmade this at home, just ate them from other peoples house.
This looks so yummy delicious.
Bookmarking it .

Shreya said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

hi Sia, love this post!! The picture of the little one tasting and asking for water and loving the dish all came to my mind so clearly while reading:-) Your recipe is awesome, and I must confess I have never had vangi bath, but I am compelled to give it a try as I have all the ingredients...thanks for sharing your memories and the recipe...

Cham said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

U make me drool over ur vanghi bhaat for the breakfast!

Sukanya Ramkumar said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

That was a lovely recipe. Look so good. Perfect pictures. YUM! YUM!

Nithya Praveen said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia,am not sure if am here for the first time.I loved ur blog.Eggplant is my fav veggie and i always use MTR Vangi Bhath powder,will try ur method the next time.Great pic!

meeso said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

What a great post, and food looks mouthwatering!

Pavithra Kodical said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Vangi bath is my all time favorite..
I was going through your blog and saw an interesting article on photography..Thanks so must for posting, It was very helpful:)

LG said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

hmm....I can almost feel the aroma of Vangibath. It is such a virtual treat Sia. We make VB with green long brinjals.

Vibaas said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

OMG, it looks sooo yummy. I made this some time back and took a pic and it looked dirty :P I deleted it :D

Loved reading about your good memories too :)

Vij said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Lovely prelude n lovely dish! i love Vangi baath n urs looks so brillaint.

Lovely clicks Sia.

Raaga said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I love vangi bhat... though I cannot remember the first time I ate it :-) just know that I am hooked ;-)

lovely :-)

Jyothsna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I'm not a brinjal lover but I do wanna have vangi bhaat now...!! And I think I'll like it!:)

Asha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Aiyyooo! How did I miss this wonderful looking Vangi Bhath post!! I have been so busy these days, brain doesn't work during week days too,I have stopped blogging on weekends except at Cynthia's since she posts only one on weekend.
I forgot that this Sunday is Super Bowl and forgot to bring the snacks etc. I had drive to store this morning(very bad fog here) and bought everything, or else Tushar is going to eat me alive! :D

Will try your Vangi Bhath, when I get Badanekayi next time that is! :))

Mallika said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've been dying to try this recipe and everywhere uses the ready masala. Can't wait to try yours from scratch.

Vaishali said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Nice story, Sia. I love the leisurely description, and can quite imagine the little girl taking her first tentative bite of the vangi bhat.
I do love this dish: it's a huge favorite in our home, and always a lifesaver on a busy weeknight.

Andhra Flavors said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I loved vangy bath. That plate looks yummy.

soma said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

You still remember?! Its is strange that some memories so far back just stick right? THis is not something which I grew up eating, but fell in love with it after I ate in a friend's place. A reminder that its time I make it again. Love Brinjals.
Soma(www.ecurry.com)

Rathna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia,

Here again, tried your Vangi bhaath. Came out really tasty and yum. All the plates came out really clean :-)

sra said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

The one and only time I ate vaangi baath was during a school excursion, and I don't remember the taste. Recently, quite unlike myself, I bought some ready-mix and am waiting to make this.

Eishwarya said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia,

Firstly wow your recipes are so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them . There are some recipes of yours which i tried and came out so well , that how i wish you were there to tell you just two words `Thank You`. And i also like the way you share your stories and photos ,don`t ask me i droll over them at times.

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@Rathna,
I am glad that u and ur family enjoyed the vangi baath :) thank u for letting me know.

@Eishwarya,
Thank you for ur kind words :) It's always a pleasure to know that someone has tried the recipes from my blog and loved it.

notyet100 said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

as always ,..loved ur post...:-)

Ramya's Mane Adige said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I made vaangi bhaat as well yesterday, but replaced eggplants with green beans :). yours looks delicious...

Alka said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Oh thnks for sending it to me....der se hi sahi aur virtually hi sahi,atleast i got a bite of yummy food from u.....i am honored dear :-)

Rumela said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Wow!! Vangi Baath.....this is just Scrumptious. that is looking great and, I am sure that taste great too. the spicy byadagi chillies flavor enriches the taste of these Vangi Baath.The Photos are amazing... I am already feeling hungry.Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

Thanks

Rumela
my site

NKP said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hello Sia, Thank you for the great recipe...I tried the vaangi baath with bell peppers and and it came out awesome. I posted it on my blog here:
http://whatdoimake.blogspot.com/2010/02/capsicum-rice.html
I dont know how you cook so fast - it took me much longer to make the whole thing. But thank you for posting your recipes - this is a GREAT resource!

planecrazy said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I was searching for a vangi bhaat recipe for some baby eggplants left over from a stuffed eggplant dish. After browsing through a few recipes, I chose this one and boy did it turn out to be fabulous!!! Now, only if my wife starts eating eggplants, I would be in heaven with this recipe. Thanks.

planecrazy said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I happened upon this recipe while searching for a vangi bhath for some baby eggplants leftover from a stuffed eggplant dish. Boy, did it turn out to be fabulous!! Now, only if my wife stops hating eggplants, I will be in heaven cooking vangi bhaath for her :). Thanks.

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@planecrazy, glad to kw u enjoyed it:) and my hubby here is allergic to eggplants and its the only veg he can't eat!!! i feel quite bad that as he is missing out something really good :)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kavita Pujari said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia,

Just made this awesomely delicious recipe. Loved, loved loved it, especially my DH who actually is not too fond of eggplants but loved this recipe. Thanks.

P.S. Am totally addicted to your blog, love your recipes, ramblings and especially your gorgeous photographs. Makes us a part of your culinary adventures.

Awesome job.

Kavita Pujari

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@Kavita Pujari, you just made my day :) It gives me tremendous joy when a reader tries the recipe and loves it. I am really happy to know that you and your partner enjoyed this favourite recipe of mine. Thank you for taking time to leave feedback.

Faseela Noushad said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

yummy rice...

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