Recently I have been finding one-pot meals very interesting. I never used to like them earlier, only for the reason that I was not familiar with them. At home the only one-pot meal we knew was curd rice, tomato rice, lemon rice, and tamarind rice. Apart from these, I was not used to pilaf or biriyani simply because at home we do not use garam masala. Meal to us meant rice accompanied with a gravy and a subzi. It took me several years to get out of that comfort zone.
Karnataka cuisine has many varieties of one-pot meals. The first meal I had at MTR had some of these including Bisibele bath. Personally not a big fan of that one. But vangi bath or eggplant/brinjal rice has been a favorite ever since the first time. Eggplant rice is a very good option to make when you are expecting guests and need to make rice and roti-subzi. This one-pot meal does not need much preparation, can be made quickly, and gives you ample time to attend to other things. It is a convenient lunch to carry to schools and work places.
Let me add the disclaimer first! This recipe requires a special powder called Vangi Bath masala powder. Like many other ready-to-mix powders that are available in the market (most famous brand being MTR), this powder is also available. I am not sure if it is widely available like a puliyodarai mix! In this recipe, I have not explained how to make the vangi bath mix because I do not know how to. I bought the masala mix from my friendly neighborhood Iyengar’s Bakery that sells masalas, snacks, and some tasty dosas and meals.
Traditional recipe only uses brinjal but I used potato and capsicum as well. I quite loved the taste!
Rice (raw rice/biriyani rice preferred) – 1 glass
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Brinjal – 2 medium sized
Potato – 1 medium sized
Capsicum – 1 medium sized
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Vangi Bath mix – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – of half a lime or as desired
Salt – as needed
Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel potato, remove stalk from eggplant and capsicum. Cut in rectangular pieces (can be cut as desired). Separate the capsicum pieces from the brinjal and potato pieces. Split the green chillies. Keep aside.
Heat an iron kadai and pour oil. Add mustard seeds to the oil. After mustard seeds splutter, add cut brinjal, potato, curry leaves, and green chillies. Add turmeric powder. Stir well to coat oil on the vegetables and close with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes in slow fire stirring occasionally. At 5 minutes, add capsicum pieces. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until all vegetables are tender. Add vangi bath mix and salt. Stir for a minute and turn off fire. Add the cooked rice. If rice is very hot, it might break while mixing. So make sure that the rice has cooled down a little bit. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, and lemon juice. Mix well. Serve with papad and raita.
I made mixed veg raita using cucumber, onion, carrot, curd, green chillies, coriander leaves, and salt. Makes a wholesome meal of carbs, cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables, curd for probiotic, and the fried papad to add a little bit of sin!