Vangyachi Barith is an exotic, super-delicious Maharashtrian dish made from roasted eggplant and aromatic spices. The large variety eggplant is roasted directly on the flame until the skin is peeled off, mashed and tempered with spices.
This dish is commonly known as Baigan ka bharta in Hindi. Smoking the eggplant before cooking gives an incredible smoky flavour to the dish. Vangyachi Barith is a dry spicy dish that can be served with Indian breads like chapatti, roti, naan, bhakri (jowar or bajra roti) and also goes very well with steamed rice. Vangyachi Barith is an integral part of the traditional Maharashtrian Thali. Eggplant or brinjal is an incredible vegetable that can be cooked in numerous ways giving us amazing delicious dishes like Aaloo Baingan, Baingan masala, Gutti vankai koora, Baingan Achari, Baghare baingan etc.
Baingan bharta is an exceptional vegetarian dish that is generally prepared in both Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Traditionally done, the eggplant (vanga, baingan, brinjal, aubergine etc) is grilled over charcoal or direct fire to infuse the dish with a smoky flavour. The smoked eggplant is mashed or chopped finely and added to an array of spices to give a smoky spicy and tangy flavour. There are many versions of making the Baingan ka bharta. Some use tamarind paste for that extra sourness while in Maharashtrian cuisine tamarind paste, Kokum or curd is used for getting the sourness in the dish.
Eggplant has a delicate skin and a sweeter, finer flesh and when cooked their texture turns creamy and is rich and unique in flavours that tastes extremely delicious when combined with other veggies too. The flavour it offers is subtle with a melting consistency and smoky taste. Vangyachi Barith is cooked in mildly spiced coconut and peanut gravy spiced with green chillies, red chilli powder and little garam masala making the dish lip-smacking and yummy. The freshly roasted and ground coconut and peanut powder enriches and elevates the flavours and taste of this dish.
For preparing this mouth-watering Vangyachi Barith, firstly rub some oil to the surface of the eggplant and put it over direct flame. After a minute turn a little bit. Likewise keep turning it so that the whole surface gets the heat. After the skin of eggplant loosens up from the inner flesh, insert a knife and check if the inner portion of eggplant has turned soft. Remove eggplant from the fire and place it in a vessel. Cover the vessel with a plastic wrap or any other lid so the skin comes off easily. When it cools down, peel the skin off and take only the inner flesh of the eggplant. Scoop out black seeds, if any. Chop it well until slightly mashy. Crush green chillies, garlic cloves and finely chop onions. Keep aside.
Heat generous amount of oil in a pan and when the oil is heated enough, add cumin seeds. As they splutter, add fresh curry, onions, and sauté well till onions are translucent. Add spring onion, crushed garlic, green chillies and sauté well till the raw flavours are gone. Add little turmeric powder, hing, garam masala, red chilli powder. Sauté for few minutes and add salt and mix well. Add 2 tsp of curd, little peanut powder and grated coconut powder and sauté well. Add the eggplant mixture and give it a good stir. Mix all the ingredients and allow this to cook for about 5 minutes. Finally garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Jowar ki Bhakri, roti, naan or rice.
Roasting can be done in a conventional oven or a toaster oven at 400deg.F for around 45 minutes to one hour. (Use microwave only if it has grilling option).
Apart from being a wonderful veggie, eggplant is a good source of vitamin A and antioxidants. Eggplant also contains fibre, minerals, folate and vitamin B.
Do try this simple yet delicious recipe. Click on the below link to view the making of this dish: