As I mentioned, Rice is the only major ingredient in this recipe.
Parboiled rice/idly rice - 2 cups
Serve with a blob of butter or pickle.
The other side of the adai -
Cut the roasted ones to check for worms.
Slit the green chillies.
Add the cut brinjals and green chillies to the soaked tamarind water.Add salt.
Mash the brinjal,tamarind, chilly using hand. Thats the traditional way of doing it. Can use a masher instead.
Finally remove the pulp by squeezing with your hand.
Temper with mustard. Gravy is ready.
Serve with rice and papad.I love this simple meal.
Grandfather was a gardening freak. He spent most of his time in the garden after retirement. Various types of crotons, roses and hibiscus looked happy and healthy under his care and supervision. He could not stand even one weed or a small tuft of grass on the neatly laid path around the pond, where he liked to walk in the mornings and evenings. A gardener was especially employed to keep the weeds out of sight. He had so much become a part of the garden, that the garden looked virtually incomplete on the days he took off.
Grandfather had a vegetable patch and many fruit trees in our garden. His love for the garden had rubbed off on us too. So we decided to grow our own vegetable garden during our Dasara holidays. Since grand father was too possessive to lend out his gardening tools which he guarded safely in a very huge iron box, my youngest brother successfully pestered father into buying a small gardening set from the Dasara exhibition. We also picked up a few seeds packets from the flower show.
Grandfather graciously lent his gardener for digging and preparing the soil. We were highly excited on the day we sowed the seeds. We took turns to water our vegetable patch, after we returned from school, without even caring to change out of our school uniforms. There was jubilation when the first shoots showed up, and later when the plants had flowered.
We harvested our vegetables on a Sunday morning, and mother promised to cook the same for lunch. Beans, tomatoes, brinjal and spinach were glowing fresh as mother washed them under the tap. It so happened that our old Granduncle landed at our home n the same day. The moment he arrived, he announced a list of food items and vegetables he would not eat, either due to the vows he had made to various deities or due to his personal whims. Mother had prepared a delicious Vangi Bath and she had to skip Granduncle’s leaf while serving, as he would not eat brinjal. All of us enjoyed the garden fresh vegetables and the aromatic Vangi Bath mother had prepared with great expertise. Granduncle saw us smacking our lips, and when Grandfather and father demanded for more helpings, Granduncle could not control his curiosity. Grandfather encouraged him to taste a spoon of the delicacy, he reluctantly allowed mother to server him a ¼ spoon only. Later on he requested a large serving of Vangi Bath and relished it sheepishly, while the four of us hid our grins. Granduncle had to admit, that brinjal was after all not that bad a vegetable, when mother prepared it and he even decided to score off the vegetable from the ‘not-to-make’ list whenever he visited us.
Here is mothers recipes for a lip smacking Vangi Bath.
For Vangi Bath Masala
Coriander seeds – 2 tbs
Bengal gram dal – 2 tbs
Black Gram dal – ¼ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Cardamom – 1
Cloves – 4
Dry red chillies – 12
Dried coconut gratings – 1 TBs
1. Heat ¼ tsp oil
2. Add asadfoetida
3. Next add cinnamon, cardamom and clove and fry
4. Next add the dals and coriander seeds and roast till golden in colour
5. Add red chillies and roast for few more seconds until chillies are crisp
6. Allow to cool and then dry grind to coarse powder.
7. Add copra and grind for fre more seconds
This powder can be stored in air tight containers and stored for a week to 10 days.
The powder looses aroma on prolonged storage
To prepare Vangi Bath
Rice – 250 gram / 1 cup
Tender green brinjal -= ¼ Kg
Mustards seeds ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt – 11/2 to or to taste
Lime – 1 small
Cooking oil – 3 tbs
Cashew Nuts – 50 grams
1.Cook rice in just enough water. Do not over cook. Cool the rice.
2. Cut brinjal into 1’ strips, and keep immersed in cold water to prevent discoloration
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
4. Drain the brinjal and add to the oil, along with turmeric and salt and store
5. Cover and cook in low fire, stirring occasionally. Brinjals cook very fast, so take care not to overcook, and the pieces retain their shape.
6. Add the prepared masala powder and blend with the vegetable
7. Squeeze in the line juice and remove from heat.
8. Loosen the rice until the grains are separated.
9. Add the rice to the vegetable and mix well, until the spice coats the rice
10. Serve hot, topped with fried cashew nuts.
Raita, curd, avail, papad and chips go well with Vangi Bath. The choice is yours!
Mrs Chithvish's recipe:
The Indian tradition reveres the coconut tree because it is 'Kalpa Vriksha' - the all giving tree. Coconut plays a prominent role in all festivities and rituals. No prayer or worship is complete without offering one or many coconuts to the deity invoked. People who built new houses incorporated the coconut trees in the building site - if there were any - in their building plans, so that they could retain them and nurture them.
Whenever a coconut sapling was planted in our garden, mother fed the laborers and gave away gifts to them as a gesture of reverence and gratitude for having brought good luck to the house.
Plucking the full-grown coconuts from the tall tree tops is a special fete carried out by skilled labourers.Father hired them when our trees were overburdened with the yield. We children were asked to stay away inside the house, till all the coconuts were 'dropped' down, lest we got bombarded by the coconut shower.
The professional coconut tree climbers lassoed their feet with the two ends of a short rope. Hugging the tree with their hands and feet, they made an upward thrust to go up the tree, and in no time they scaled to the top.
We stored all the coconuts in a large room in our backyard. The ripe ones were shorn out of the outer tough skin and the fibers, and the edible portion was left to dry. We stored a few for our cooking, and the major portion was sent to the oil mill.
Home made coconut oil was used for massaging new borns.Grand mother extracted the milk from fresh coconut gratings. Then she boiled it in a huge pot until the oil separated from the scum. She filtered the pure oil in a clean muslin cloth and stored it in numerous bottles. She was very happy to give them away to families with new arrivals.
Grand mother prepared mouth watering coconut burfies -candy made out of fresh coconut gratings and sugar in large quantities and stored them in air tight jars. It came in handy to entertain the children who accompanied our visitors. But with us around, the burfies would not even last for a day or two.
Chutney powders, coconut chutneys, various other sweets and porridges made out of coconut , and spicy gravies were all part of our daily menu.
One of the favorite dishes which mother contrived at the sight of an unexpected guest was coconut rice. Cooking rice in coconut milk and then seasoning it is a laborious task. But here is a very simple and easy method to turn out a tasty coconut delight.
Rice – 1 cup
Fresh coconut gratings – 1 cup
Cooking oil - 2 Tbsps
Ghee - ½ Tsp
Salt – 1 Tsp or to taste
For seasoning :
Asafetida powder - 1 pinch
Mustard seeds -1 Tsp
Split black gram dal - 2 Tsps
Bengal gram dal - 2 Tsps
Ground nuts - 4 Tbsps
Red chillies - 4 to 6
Curry leaves – A few
Papad ( optional) – 1
Sugar - 1 pinch
Step -1 : Wash and cook rice with just enough water so that it does not become mushy. Allow it to cool.
Step -2: Break red chillies into small pieces. Crush papads into small bits.
Step – 3: Heat cooking oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
Step – 4: Add black gram dal and Bengalgram dal . Roast until it turns golden in colour. Add ground nuts and let it crack.
Step – 5 : Add the crushed papads and fry.
Step – 6 :Add in the red chillies and asafetida powder and fry for one more minute.
Step – 7: Add the curry leaves
Step – 8: Add the fresh coconut gratings to the above seasoning and roast it in low fire until it turns into a golden colour and lets out a pleasant aroma.
Step 9 : Add salt and sugar and toss for one more minute and turn off the flame.
Step – 10 : Dot the cooked rice with a little ghee and break it until it separates. Then add it to the seasoning and blend well.
Serve hot . It tastes good even without a side dish.
Ripe tomatoes - 8
Carrot - 1
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro leaves - for garnishing
Rasam powder - 1/5 teaspoon.
1. Pressure cook tomatoes, carrots and garlic with 2 cups of water.
2. When done allow to cool. Peel the tomatoes. (Do not throw away the water in which tomatoes/carrot/garlic were cooked). Remember to remove all the skin from the tomatoes.
3. Blend the tomatoes, cooked carrots and garlic in a mixie. Add about 1 and a 1/2 cups of water that was saved from the pressure cooked tomatoes and grind. When done, pour the blanched liquid mixture through a sieve, into a vessel.
4. Bring this liquid to boil in medium flame. Add 1 tsp sugar, salt, rasam powder and finely chopped cilantro leaves when the mixture begins to boil. Stir it a couple of times. May need to add 1/2 cup or more water depending on the consistency you want.
5. Allow to boil. (Do not over boil as it will spoil the taste and flavour). Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from fire. Garnish with fried bread pieces just before serving(and/or one small butter cube). Sprinkle salt/pepper if you want.
No need to add corn flour.
The above quantity will serve 5.