Eggplant and Rice (Vangi Bhaat)
1 cup basmati rice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 dried red chilies, broken
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, julienned
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Table salt, to taste
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (1-pound) eggplant, diced
2 cups water
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30–35 minutes
A simplified version of an Indian classic. Substitute cauliflower or potatoes for the eggplant if you like. Serve with Potato and Yogurt Salad (page 59).
1. Rinse the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to sputter, add the red chilies, gingerroot, and garlic; sauté for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the turmeric, salt, onion, and eggplant. Mix well and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes or until the eggplant and onion are well browned. Add the rice and mix well; sauté for 1 minute.
4. Add the water and stir for 1 minute. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover loosely with a lid and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. You will see small craters forming on top of the rice.
5. Cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest setting; simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Serve hot. Fluff with a fork before serving.
An Eggplant by Any Other Name …
Also called aubergine or brinjal in India, the eggplant is a native of Asia. When buying eggplant, look for the ones with firm skin. Indian eggplants tend to be less bitter than their Western counterparts.