Vangi Baath (Eggplant Rice)

Aadi Perukku is a festival celebrated in Thamizhnadu to pay tribute to the life-sustaining properties of water. I have been posting about this festival for some years now, including the recipes made as offerings to the Gods. This year, the festival falls on August3. So, I haven’t really started preparing the recipes (different flavoured rice recipes). But I did want Hari to take it easy for a day as the weather is really hot and humid. So I told him to prepare any rice dish of his choice with a raita as an accompaniment. He chose Vangi Baath.

1 cup rice (I used brown rice)
1 tbsp ginger, julienned
2 green chillies, slit
1 onion, sliced fine (optional)
2 eggplants, chopped (baingan, kathrikkai)
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
For The Powder
1 tbsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 tbsp Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai parupu)
2 tbsp whole coriander seeds (sabut dhania, kothamalli varai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera, jeeragam)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (til, ellu)
2 tbsp raw peanuts
2-3  dried red chillies
2 tbsp grated coconut
For The Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 tsp split black gram
1 tbsp raw peanuts or cashew nuts
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Wash the rice and transfer to a pressure cooker
Add 4 cups of water (less if you are using white rice)
Cook for 4 whistles (2 whistles if you are using white rice)
Simmer for 5 minutes
Let the pressure release naturally
Open lid, fluff the rice with a fork and set aside to cool
Heat a wok
Add all the ingredients for the powder, except the coconut
Roast till the grams turn golden brown
Add the coconut and stir
Roast for a minute more
Remove from flame and let it cool a little
Transfer to a blender and grind to a fine powder
Set aside
Heat a wok and all the ingredient for the seasoning
Roast for a couple of minutes
Add onion, green chillies, curry leaves and ginger
Saute for a minute
Add the eggplant and toss well
Add salt and mix well
Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or till the eggplant is well cooked
Open lid and add the ground powder
Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes
Add the rice and mix well
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes on low flame (sprinkle a little water, if necessary)
Remove from flame and serve with raita (please refer my cucumber/tomato raita recipe)

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