Vaangi Bhaat Recipe (Maharashtrian Style Brinjal Rice)

Vaangi Bhaat or Brinjal Rice is a quintessential Maharashtrian rice preparation made using Brinjals, flavoured with some spices. Usually the purple-black variety of Brinjals is used. Like most recipes, there are many variations of Vaangi Bhaat too. This no onion/garlic preparation is simple and is part of many festivities. The Vaangi Bhaat spice mix can be made ahead and stocked.  Brinjal (Baingan / Eggplant), Rice, Asafoetida (hing), Salt, Oil, Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu), Turmeric powder (Haldi), Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, Cloves (Laung), Whole Black Peppercorns, Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini), Dry coconut (kopra), Dry Red Chilli, Coriander (Dhania) Seeds, Cumin seeds (Jeera)   4 to 5 Brinjal (Baingan / Eggplant) 1 cup Rice 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing) Salt , to taste 2 tablespoons Oil 2 teaspoons Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu) 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi) Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , for garnish To be ground together: 6 to 7 cloves Cloves (Laung) 7 to 8 Whole Black Peppercorns 1 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) 2 tablespoons Dry coconut (kopra) , grated 2 to 3 Dry Red Chilli 1 tablespoon Coriander (Dhania) Seeds 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)     20   30     To begin making the Vaangi Bhaat recipe, first wash and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.Wash and remove the stems from the brinjals. Slice them and put them in a bowl of water.In a small pan dry roast (separately) the ingredients under ‘To be ground together’.Cool and coarsely grind them together in a blender.In a heavy bottom pan/wok, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter, drain and add the brinjal slices.Add hing and turmeric powder. Stir and add about 2- 2 ½ tablespoons of the ground spice mix.Saute for a minute and drain the rice and add to the brinjals.Mix and add the required water (water quantity may change depending on the quality of rice).Add salt, stir and cook covered till the rice is done. Once it is ooked, garnish it with the coriander leaves.Serve Vaangi Bhaat with Lauki Raita, Burani Raita or any other Raita of your choice.