It is a Dish generally served in Wedding Vegetarian Dinners and Feasts, a piece or two to each guest. It is also prepared in small quantities for Domestic Meals, usually as a Side Dish like a pickle.
‘Vangun’ is one Brinjal, and ‘Vangan’ more than one.
1. Brinjals, preferably of long varieties – 1/2 kg
2. Mustard oil – 1 cup
3. Tamarind – 100 gm
4. Sugar – 2 tsp
5. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
6. Cloves – 2 nos
7. Asafoetida – a pinch
8. Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp
9.Turmeric – 1 tsp
10. Ginger Powder – 1/2 tsp
11. Aniseed Powder – 1/2 tsp
12. ‘Garam Masala’ – 1/2 tsp
- After cutting tips of the stems and the sepals, slice lengthwise the Brinjals along with the stems, through the middle, into four or 8 sec-tions, each piece about an inch across. If Black or White Round Brinjals are used, these have to be sliced into more sections. Wash and keep aside in a colander to drain water.
- Meanwhile, in a cup of boiling water, in a steel bowl, soak the Tamarind. When it gets soft, mash it with the fingers, in the water in which it was soaked. Remove from the Pulp the hull pieces, stones and strings by fingers or by strain-ing it through a colander into another steel or glass bowl.
Method of Cooking
- In a steel ‘Kadahi’, on medium heat, deep fry the Brinjal Slices, turning these often with a perforated ladle (H- ‘Jharna’), so that these fry uniformly on all sides, to a golden brown colour. Take these out with the help of the perforated ladle, draining all oil.
- After removing the ‘Kadahi’, for a minute or two, from the stove, in order to bring down the temperature of the oil a bit, add Cumin Seeds, Cloves and Asafoetida. Stir with a broad steel spatula (H- ‘Palta’), while adding the Red Chili Powder and Turmeric, along with a tablespoon of water. Resume heating while stirring the Oil and the Spices till oil takes colour and begins to separate.
- Add a cup of water and the Tamarind pulp, Sugar, Salt and Aniseed and Ginger Powders. Mix with the spatula, and add the fried Brinjal Slices. Let boil for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the Brinjal Slices frequently with the spatula. When the gravy thickens and oil begins to separate, add ‘Garam Masala’ and mix it with the spatula. Stop heating and transfer to a steel bowl for service.
When fresh Brinjals are not available, even Dried Brinjal Slices (K- ‘Vangan Hachi’), after soaking these in hot water for about 15 minutes, are used.
Note: Radish Slices are also cooked as above, and the Dish is called ‘Choeki Muji’. (E- Sour Radish) (H – ‘Khatti Muli’).