Vangyache Bharit

I haven’t yet posted an eggplant recipe this summer despite my obsession with this incredible vegetable, and here’s the story why: I planted half a dozen eggplant seedlings this year, but being the slow-learning gardener that I am, I planted them a little too late. It was only a week ago that I finally started seeing tiny, bulb-like eggplants sprouting, and they are still too small to be picked. At the same time, I’ve been deluged by other veggies from my garden and have been trying to resist buying more from the market simply because I have no room to store any more.

Then this week my neighbor, Heather, offered me a beautiful purple eggplant she got from her CSA. I grabbed it, brought it home, and as I cut blissfully into its succulent flesh I realized just how much I had missed the little fellow.

Since it was a weeknight and I was running short on time, I decided to do what my mom did in a hurry: make Vangyache Bharit, a Maharashtrian-style mashed eggplant dish whose more popular north Indian version, Baingan Bharta, is often found in restaurants here.

While I love Baingan Bharta, I have a special place in my heart for Vangyache Bharit which is a very different recipe, despite the similar sounding name. Baingan Bharta is made with a cooked tomato-based sauce and is spicier, while Vangyache Bharit is creamy and tangy and mellow with yogurt and requires no cooking other than roasting the eggplant. Which in turn makes it a perfect dish for a hurried meal.

Besides, it’s perfect comfort food, reminding me of times long gone and never forgotten.

There are many versions of this dish, including some that add tempering at the end, or add ginger and garlic and other spices or condiments, but I prefer to stick with this super-simple version that I find the most delicious, not least because it allows the eggplant’s subtle but amazing flavor to shine through

Enjoy, all!
Vangyache Bharit

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, slit in half. Place in an oiled, oven-safe pan, cut side down, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. (My mom would roast this directly on the open flame of the gas stove, but I use a toaster oven which is perfect for this. If a knife pierced through the center slides in easily, it is thoroughly cooked and ready. Remember, half-cooked eggplant will be bitter and tough and will turn you off this delightful vegetable forever, so don’t take shortcuts here).

1/4 cup shredded coconut (I use pre-shredded coconut from Whole Foods because that’s all I get here, but freshly grated coconut would be wonderful).

1/4 cup soy yogurt (it works beautifully in this dish as a replacement for regular yogurt)

2 green chillies, minced

1/4 cup packed mint or coriander leaves, thinly shredded

1/2 medium onion, finely minced

1 tsp roasted cumin powder (optional)

1/4 tsp red chilli powder (optional– don’t add if you don’t like too much heat because there’s already some from the green chillies)

Salt to taste

Scoop the flesh of the roasted eggplant into a bowl. It will be golden brown and really tender. Mash with a fork until you don’t have any large lumps.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

This is perfect with any spicy dal-rice combination or with biryani. I also love to just scoop it up with a chapati.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

Comments

  1. Pari says

    Hi. What a coincidence, even I posted a eggplant maharashtrian dish. This particular dish that u have posted is a regular at my place but we call it Kaccha Bharit as it calls for raw ingredients.urs look really creamy.

  2. Vegan Deluxe says

    Oh. My. God. Baingan Bharta is my favorite indian dish, but this looks absolutely phenomenal. Don’t worry, we planted our eggplants too late, too. I finally harvested 2 and made Eggplant alla Norma http://bit.ly/f66lV Pictures of the cutest lil eggplants are on my blog posting. I’ll let you know when I try your dish :)

  3. Gita says

    This is a different dish for me,nice combination of yogurt and eggplant. Soy yogurt sounds interesting though I never seen them in the usual supermarkets I go…I guess I to start searching more extensively :)

  4. BangaloreBaker says

    I make something similar too. In kannada it is called Badanekayi mosaru bajji. Mosaru is for yogurt. It doesn’t have onions and cumin. But the tadka has mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and hing. Garnished with cilanthro. Very similar.

  5. TBC says

    Vaishali,
    I made your pumpkin kuzhambu. I rarely make anything other than Erissery (a typical Kerala preparation) and a couple of other plain and boring dishes with red pumpkin since I do not have too many recipes which use this as the major ingredient. Thank you for this recipe. :) We liked it a lot.
    Eggplant- now that’s one of my least fav veggies- next only to mushrooms. But I did make something from Sailu’s blog using brinjals recently and absolutely loved it!
    This dish of yours looks interesting.

  6. Empowerment Engineer says

    Vaishali, I just made your Vangyache Bharit recipe. Being a Punjabi girl who grew up on a steady staple of Baingan da Bharta, this dish was a revelation! Well, it kind of reminded me of baba ganoush but really, I think it is in its own class. Loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>