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Vangi Bhaath of Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur is popular for being home to the Malanadu cuisine and is also referred to as ‘The Land of Coffee’. The town is quite popular for the food found here, especially the snacks which include Banana or Nendranga Chips, Akki Roti, Kakkadu etc. A lot of people also enjoy the Udupi cuisine that is borrowed from its neighboring state of Tamil Nadu and consists of Idli Sambhar, Dosa, Medu Vada etc.
But rice, pulses and fish constitute the staple food in the region. One of their favorite vegetables is Brinjal or Aubergines. They have several dishes made with aubergines, one of which is Vangi Bhath, in which ‘Vangi’ refers to brinjals and ‘bhath’ refers to rice and these are the two primary ingredients of this delicacy of Chikmagalur.

Now let’s find out how to make this lip smacking and stomach filling dish.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients of Vangi Bhath
  • Rice (1 cup)
  • Ginger Julienne (1 tablespoon)
  • Green Chillies – (2 Slit)
  • Sliced Onion (1)
  • Curry leaves (1 spring)
  • Chopped Green Brinjal (2)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar (1 teaspoon)
For the Powder of Vangi Bhath
  • Oil (1 teaspoon)
  • Urad Dal or Ulundu Paruppu (1 tablespoon)
  • Channa Dal or Kadala Paruppu (1 tablespoon)
  • Coriander Seeds or Mullu Malli (2 tablespoon)
  • Cumin Seeds or Jeerakam (1 tablespoon)
  • Sesame Seeds or Til or Yellu (1 tablepoon)
  • Raw Peanuts (2 tablespoon)
  • Dry Red Chillies (2-3)
  • Grated Coconut (2 tablespoons)
  • Ingredients for Seasoning
  • Mustard Seeds or Kaduku (1 teaspoon)
  • Asafoetida or Hing (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Urad Dal (1 teaspoon)
  • Channa Dal (1 teaspoon)
  • Raw Peanuts (1 tablespoon)
  • Turmeric Powder or Manjal Podi (1 teaspoon)
Savoury Vangi Bhaah of Chikmagalur

Cooking Method of Vangi Bhath
To start with, wash the rice under running water and place it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Make sure that the rice is completely dipped in water and if you prefer you can simply boil it in a pot and drain the excess water. Wait for around 2 whistles and let wait till the pressure is released completely and the lid opens. Once it is released, turn over the rice with a fork so that they don’t stick with another. Keep the rice aside to let it cool down.

Now take a large pan or big wok, heat a teaspoon of oil in it, add the whole spices like the cumin seeds, raw peanuts, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, Urad dal, Channa dal and sesame seeds and fry them for some time until the peanuts turn golden. After this add the coconut and roast it for about a minute ensuring that it doesn’t get burnt. Let the mixture cool down and pour all of it a mixer and grind it into a powder and keep it aside.

Following this heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the ingredients listed under Seasoning like the mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, Urad dal, Channa dal and raw peanuts. Sauté these ingredients for 2-3 minutes in medium flame and add the sliced onions, ginger julienne, slit green chillies and sauté a little more. Then add the brinjals and fry them well along with the mixture and salt so that it mixes well and the spices are absorbed by the aubergines.

Cover it and let it cook for around 6-8 minutes until the aubergines are properly cooked and soaked in the mixture. After this add a little bit of sugar and the Vangi Bhath powder that was prepared earlier and let it mix well with the aubergines. Finally add the rice and mix it properly with the masala till the rice turns into the colour of the spices.

At the end cover the preparation and allow the rice to steam for 5 minutes but at really low heat so it doesn’t stick to the base of the wok or get burnt. Once complete, this rice can be enjoyed with chilled Raita or only curd.

This particular dish is a sought after preparation in Chikmagalur and is prepared on special occasions or at the arrival of guests at home. It isn’t a quick dish but when it hits your taste buds, you’ll realize it was worth the time invested behind it.

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