Aubergines are the perfect replacement to meat to create meatless master pieces and they never fail to impress me. Today, I am bringing a dish which has become a recent favorite with my family and we make it pretty often! So, let us migrate to the south of India today and prepare some delicious Aubergine rice pilaf / Vaangi Bhaat.
Vaangi Bhaat or Spiced Aubergine rice is a quintessential Karnataka rice preparation which is prepared using aubergines and a very special masala. People make this dish with different variations and while many people omit the onion and garlic in the preparation (specially around festivities), I love to add to onions in mine.
I have been doing many aubergine recipes lately and it was about time that I combined rice with aubergines. I invariably eat stuffed aubergines with a side of lentils and rice and to me, that is the perfect sunday lunch. When I prepared stuffed aubergines last time, I ended up using the leftovers to prepare a quick stir fried rice pilaf and it was such a delightful combination! A little research on the internet and I got to know about Vaangi bhaat which instantly caught my attention and I decided to give it a go!
I have to admit – this dish is not only irresistible, it is simply addictive! The first time I prepared it, I did not have all the spices for the special pilaf masala, so, I just went ahead with whatever I had and it was still so darn good !! I ended up getting all the ingredients for the spice mix the very next day and made a big batch of the special masala. Now I can whip up this amazing pilaf at a moment’s notice 🙂
So, I am sure all this talk is making you as hungry as I am… so, lets get cracking on the recipe .
Aubergine Rice Pilaf with Indian Spices
Aubergine rice pilaf with Indian spices (Vaangi Bhaat)
- Eggplants – 2 medium sized (about 3 cups of eggplant cubes)
- cooked rice – 2 cups
- oil – 1 tablespoon
- ginger- 1 inch , minced
- tamarind paste – 1 tablespoon
- Red onion- 1 medium ,chopped
- Salt to taste
- peanuts – 1 tablespoon
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- fresh coconut – 1 tablespoon, grated (can use frozen)
Vaangi Bhaat Masala
- Oil- 1 tablespoon
- sesame seeds – 1 tsp
- 2-3 whole dried red chilies
- Urad Dal – 1 tablespoon
- Chana Dal – 1 tablespoon
- Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Fresh coconut – 2 tablespoon ,grated
- raw peanuts – 2 tablespoons
Preparing the Vaangi Bhaat Masala
- Take a skillet and heat it up. Add 1 tsp oil and roast the urad dal and chana dal till lightly golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
- Add the rest of the oil and roast sesame seeds, dried red chilies, coriander seeds and raw peanuts till slightly golden brown. Mix with the roasted dals. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a coarse masala. The Vaangi Bhaat masala is ready.
For the Vaangi Bhaat pilaf,
- In a non stick pan, heat the oil an roast the raw peanuts to golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
- In the same pan, add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, onions and saute on medium high till golden brown.
- Next, add in the chopped eggplant and add in salt. Mix and cook on medium high till the eggplants are soft and cooked.
- Now, add in 1 tablespoon of the Vaangi bhaat masala, tamarind paste and mix well. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes (to make sure the masala is cooked)
- Finally, add in the cooked rice, fresh coconut and fresh cilantro. Gently combine and serve hot.
Like eggplants as much as I do ?? Try these recipes :