Vangi Batatyachi Bhaji OR Brinjal and Potato Subzi in Maharastrian Style / Aloo Baingan Ki Sabzi in Maharashtrian style
You may be knowing by now i.e. if you have been following my posts on travel specifically, that I am a huge fan of buying local produce and trying recipes with them. My trip to Kolhapur couple years ago (a very amateur attempt in writing my experience on the blog) led me to making the green chilli pickle with their very famous lavangi green chillies that are spicy beyond belief. Another trip to Dapoli during summers led me to buying (correction – plucking) the mangoes and making two types of relish / pickle / chutney that were based from the Maharashtrian cuisine namely Methamba and Sakharamba.
My recent visit to Saputara led me to buying a lot of fruits (as you may have seen through the pics on the post) especially grapes and strawberries. With the strawberries, I created a dish apt for Valentines – Breakfast Platter of Multigrain Pancakes with home made strawberry syrup and fresh strawberries on the side. I also happened to buy some farm fresh vegetables, namely Potatoes, Aubergines or Baingan and Tomatoes upon my return, as I do with most road travels atleast within Maharashtra and tried to replicate a vegetable that was part of the Gujrati Thali I had at a hotel in Saputara.
Eggplants, baingan or Aubergines are used widely in Indian Cuisine and each State has its own Special. While the North Indian cuisine celebrates the vegetable by smoking it and making it with a spicy masala mixture called Baingan ka Bharta, the South Indians, prefer adding them into their quintessential sambar (tamarind and lentil based dal) or making a Kathrikai Roast or Kara Curry (spicy stir fry veg). The Bengalis love their Begun Bhaja or Eggplant fritters. In Maharashtrian Cuisine, these Eggplants (with thorns specifically) are mainly used for their speciality dish called Bharleli vangi. These varieities have soft flesh and cook really well amalgamating with the spices, especially the Goda Masala which I have used here. They also use these Eggplants or Vangi (In Marathi) to make a simple soulful rice based dish called Vangi Bhaat (Brinjal Rice) that makes good use of the leftover rice spiced up with the aubergines and the Goda Masala and pairs well with any curd based raita or plain Amti / Dal.
Now, the vegetable that we had at the restaurant, though tasted fabulous, had loads of oil so I have tried to make it as healthy as possible at home by using less oil. Also, the potatoes were slightly deep fried (wedges style) and used which I have totally ignored by cooking it along with the other vegetables on low heat.
The potatoes were fresh and tender, hence I decided to keep the skin on and just sliced it. Juicy tomatoes further lend their sweetness with a right balance of tanginess to the dish. Some of the best onions to Mumbai arrive from Nasik so was happy to include the lovely red onions that were so fresh and juicy. Some basic masalas available at home and I could cook a great meal for us, with the husband even commenting that the vegetable tastes exactly like what we ate at the thali restaurant. Job well done? Mission accomplished with low oil cooking!
The recipe doesn’t demand much of your time and can be made for your everyday cooking too. Pair it with some rotis or dal chawal and you have a clear winner on your dinner / lunch table.
Recipe for Vangi Batatyachi Bhaji OR Brinjal and Potato Subzi in Maharastrian Style / Aloo Baingan Ki Sabzi in Maharashtrian style
Prep Time – 15 mins
Cook Time – 20 mins
Serves – 3 nos.
- Brinjal – 4 nos. medium size Sliced
- Tomatoes – 1 nos. Large Sliced
- Onions – 1 nos. Large sliced
- Potatoes – 1 nos. Large or 2 medium sliced
- Roasted Jeera / cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1.5 tsps
- Goda Masala – 1 tsp
- Red chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Hing – a pinch
- Oil – 1.5 tblsp
- Jeera or Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Water – few splashes for cooking
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- Wash and slice all the vegetables. Soak the Aubergines in some salt water so it doesn’t turn brown until we prepare the pan etc for cooking.
- In a kadhai, add oil and once it heats up, add some cumin seeds and hing.
- Now add the onions and saute it for some time until they are transluscent.
- Add the tomatoes and mix it well. Once they have cooked for few seconds, add the sliced potatoes and brinjal.
- Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and goda masala powder along with roasted jeera powder and mix well.
- Now add some salt, mix well again and let it cook over low heat for atleast 20 minutes. Keep stirring the vegetables in between to avoid them burning at the bottom. Since the oil is less, few splashes of water at regular intervals help in cooking. Don’t pour water, just splash may be a tblsp or so, else it will turn completely mushy.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with some rotis, phulkas or theplas (variety of Indian flatbreads) or any rice variety.
Recipe Notes –
- I have used the Aubergines that had thorns (local variety). You can use any aubergines that you get at your local markets. Just avoid using the fat ones that we use for bharta. Smaller ones are ideal.
- Goda Masala is essential and cannot be skipped. It truly defines the essence of Maharashtrian cuisine.
- Some add a dash of tamarind paste and jaggery to the dish but I have skipped it since I wanted to replicate the dish I had tasted.
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