Bharli Vangi is a traditional Maharashtrian dish that is a favourite, hit menu on all important and festive occassions and yes even otherwise too. Bharli Vangi is a versatile recipe and there are many versions to this recipe. Some like it spicy and tangy and sweet while others like it with peanut powder. I’m sharing my version of bharli vangi that is spicy, tangy and with gravy. Sol kadi is a favourite digestive beverage that aids digestion, hence is a regular accompaniment with spicy foods. I have posted the recipe of the same in my earlier posts. 
RECIPE :
Ingredients

  • 6 small tender purple white striped brinjals with thorny stalks
  • 2 tbsp oil + 2 tsp oil to roast the spices
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4th tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black pepper
  • 1/4th” piece of cinnamon
  • 8 seeds of black cardamom
  • 1 petal of star anise
  • 1/2 of small bay leaf
  • Tamarind to taste
  • 3 dry bedgi chillies
  • 1 dry guntur chilly
  • 1 to 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (adjust to individual taste. I have added more as I like it spicy and this recipe is a spicy version. Also kashmiri chilli powder is less spicy but gives a very nice colour to the gravy)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder + a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD :

  • Rinse the brinjals, make 2 slits crossways on the bottom rounded end halfway of the brinjal to stuff the masala. Trim the stems and scrape the thorns. Dip the brinjals in salt water to prevent it from discolouring untill the masala is prepared. Also dipping the cut brinjals in salt water removes the bitterness in brinjals if any. 
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a nonstick/ceramic pan, add onion, roast till golden brown, transfer to a plate and keep aside.Roast the fresh grated coconut in the same pan till brown taking care not to burn it. Remove it and in the same pan roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon in 1 tsp of oil till fragrant and till you get the aroma of roasted spices. Remove it and dry roast the chillies a bit. Grind the roasted spices, roasted coconut, browned onions, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and tamarind to a thick smooth paste using little water. Add a little salt and make the paste even.
  • Drain the water from the brinjals.Stuff the masala into the slit brinjals.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick/ ceramic pan, add asafoetida, a pinch of turmeric powder, then place the stuffed brinjals, add the remaining masala, salt and hot water to get an even consistency. 
  • Cover with a steam release lid and cook and simmer till the brinjals are soft and tender. Insert a pointed knife to check if they are done. Once or twice turn the brinjals so that they are cooked from all sides.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves as a side dish with bhakris/ rotis, dal rice and sol kadi as an accompaniment.

NOTE :

  • It is said that a lot of flavour lies in the stems of the brinjals, hence the stems are retained while preparing bharli vangi.
  • Roasting the spices well,onions and the coconut till brown gives the flavour and colour to the gravy.
  • I personally love steaming hot rice topped with bharli vangi and sol kadi. This trio tastes awesome. 

TIP :

  • Small, plump striped purple white brinjals with thorny stems are considered to be best suited for delicious bharli vangi.