Vangi Baath ವಾಂಗಿ ಬಾತ್ is the famed Brinjal (Vangi) Rice (Baath), a mouthwateringly fragrant Karnataka special delicacy from Mysore or broadly, Mysore-Bangalore region.
When someone asks me to suggest what to eat from Karnataka, after Bisi Bele Bath one of the first food thoughts that flashes in my mind, is this compelling evergreen rice dish. It seduces with its looks, taste and subtly heady aroma that lingers much after one has feasted on this one of a kind finger licking good rice preparation.
Luckily last week, the Tarkaari truck wala had brought some lovely tender green brinjals, ones I hadn’t cook with in ages.
Even though it is my most-liked vegetable, I had forgone eating brinjal for a real long while for good reasons..(you can scroll down to read about nightshade sensitivity).
I gave in to temptation just this once, and brought some to re-create the most looked forward to Sunday brunch from my growing up years in Mysore.
Exactly the same way my dearest aunt would make it, the tell-tale aroma wafting through the narrow passage, teasing us to run to the kitchen giddy in anticipation.
While Vangi stands for Brinjal, my aunt would include in her signature recipe a unique combination of Brinjal, Capsicum, Carrots and Peas and I follow it to the T.
I’m sharing our treasured family recipe here, a little piece of my heart so to speak.
Tips to make a great tasting Vangi Baath
Similar to Bisi Bele Bath, Vangi Bath calls for a characteristic spice mix. The secret ingredient behind an authentic tasting Mysore Vangi Baath is a freshly made spice mix Vangi Baath Pudi. The aroma of freshly roasted and ground Vangi Baath Pudi is really unbeatable and can’t be stressed enough.
One of the other key steps is also to cook rice first, ahead of time making sure that the grains are nicely separated and not mushy.
Preferably, use tender long green brinjals for this recipe and buy those that are thin and smaller in size.
The bigger ones will be mature and have seeds and tend to be slightly bitter and are better avoided.
You can make this recipe with the other eggplants varieties too, but the best version is with long green brinjals.
Do not skimp on oil otherwise the end result can turn out dry.
What kind of rice to use?
Use any raw rice like Sona Masoori or HMT.
Fragrant heritage rices like Gobindo Bhog, Jeera Rice will work really well.
Basmati rice is not preferred for this traditional preparation unless there is no other choice.
Steps to make Vangi Baath
Roast and grind Vangi Baath Pudi
Cook Rice and allow to cool for the perfect texture
Prep the vegetables and coconut
Make the Vangi Baath Palya (curry)
Seasonings and mix the Palya and Rice together
Serve with some Southekayi Mosaru Bajji (Cucumber Raitha) and Appala
Brinjal / Night shade sensitivity
Brinjal belongs to the Nightshades family which also includes Tomatoes, Bell Peppers and Potatoes and… surprisingly Tobacco as well.
Brinjal and other nightshades contain certain compounds called solanine. As per modern science, consumption of large quantities of solanine may lead to accumulation of it causing neurological and gastrointestinal poisoning. For this reason, they are often not included in the diet of people with inflammatory conditions as well auto-immune diseases such as IBD and Arthritis.
Findings of modern Science perhaps then corroborate what has been said in Ayurveda in a different manner.
People taking Ayurvedic medicines or on Ayurvedic treatment avoid eating Brinjal. Along with other foods like Pumpkin and peanuts it tops the list of foods advised to be avoided by traditional Ayurvedic doctors for those on medication. It is considered toxic to an already burdened system, due to accumulation of “Aama”(toxins). The precise word used in Kannada for this is “Nanju” which translates to poison. Brinjal has certain compounds that delays wound healing in a body with the Tridoshas (3 bodily humors) vata, pitta, kapha out of balance. Brinjal is also eliminated from the traditional postpartum diet for the same reason.
Substitute for Brinjal in this recipe
You can omit brinjal if you are sensitive to Brinjal or if it doesn’t suit you. A variation with just Capsicum works wonderfully well in this recipe if you can tolerate Capsicum. I make it all the time and it is tastes equally delicious.
I make a variation with lots of assorted colored bell peppers as well and it tastes amazing as well.
The recipe works well with Ivy gourd too.
If you are an unapologetic rice lover like I am, you might also love these rice preparations like Narthangayi Saadham, Maavinkayi Pudina Chitranna, Thondekayi Godambi Sasive Anna, Iyengar style Pongal
Follow this recipe once and chances are it might stay in your kitchen forever.
Vangi Baath is the mouth-wateringly, delicious, fragrant and famed Brinjal Rice, a Karnataka special delicacy from the Mysore-Bangalore region
- 3/4 cup raw Rice (sona masoori)
- 1-1/2 cup water for cooking rice
- 6 long green brinjals (250 gm)
- 2 small or 1 big green Capsicum/bell pepper
- 1 medium size carrot
- 1/4 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 5 tbsp Vangi Bath pudi
- 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut or copra Kobri
- 1 medium sized lemon
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp homemade ghee
- 2 tbsp peanut oil + 2 tbsp for drizzling
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp urad dal
- 2 red chillies, torn
- 12 cashews slit in half
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 2 tbsp raisins - optional
- 2 stalks curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- big pinch hing / asafetida
Wash rice well, rinse and cook it in a pressure cooker.
While the rice cooks, make Vangi Baath Pudi
Wash the vegetables well and towel dry
Cut the green brinjals into three parts and then into length wise quarters.
place the cut pieces in a bowl of water to avoid oxidation (turning black)
Cut the capsicum and carrot pieces lengthwise to similar size so they can all cook uniformly.
Transfer the cooked rice to a wide mixing bowl or basin and let the grains cool and separate
Heat ghee in a big kadai or wide pan on medium heat
when ghee is hot, add peanuts, halved cashews and curry leaves.
fry until the cashews are golden and curry leaves crisp up.
Strain them into a small plate or bowl
Add 2 tbsp peanut oil to the remaining ghee in the kadai
when it is hot and begins to shimmer, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal and torn red chillies
when the urad dal turns golden brown, add hing and turmeric
Drain all the water that the brinjal pieces are soaking in.
Then add the drained brinjal pieces to the kadai and stir well. Allow to cook on medium flame.
when they begin to wilt a bit, add capsicum pieces and sauté followed by carrot pieces and peas
season with salt and stir intermittently until carrot pieces are tender but firm and peas are cooked.
Sprinkle 4 tbsp Vangi Baath Pudi on the cooked veggies and give it a good mix
Switch off the stove. Squeeze lemon juice and mix well
Next add grated coconut or Kobri and mix well
Sprinkle 1 tbsp Vangi Baath Pudi over the rice.
drizzle 2 tbsp peanut oil over the rice and season the rice with some salt only for the rice.
remember the veggies have salt already
Transfer the Vangi Baath Palya over the rice. Use some cooked rice to mop up all the leftover spices from the kadai
Mix the Palya with the cooked seasoned rice gently in folding motion to mix well, preferably using two ladles.
Garnish with the fried nuts and crisp fried curry leaves
Serve immediately with some homemade yogurt or some Southekayi Mosaru Bajji ( Cucumber raitha) on the side with some Appala/papad
Replace ghee with peanut oil to make it completely vegan
This is the Vangi Bath Pudi recipe I stand by