Vaangi Bhaat (Spicy Eggplant & Rice) वांगी भात

Sadhana Ginde


Vegetarian, main dish, spicy, Maharashtrian

Sadhana Ginde

I was born in England and raised in the US, but my soul and spirit are completely Indian. Most of my childhood summers were spent in India, soaking up the culture and traditions of my heritage and creating memories that I will cherish forever. One of my fondest memories is sitting around the traditional Indian kitchens, fascinated by the flurry of culinary whirlwind activity occurring around me.

This recipe is from my maternal grandmother, late Shrimati Annapurna Divekar (1920-1994).

She was only one of the seven girls who graduated from high school in Belgaum in 1938, with high scores in English and Mathematics. But what I remember most about her is her cooking!

As a Maharashtrian who moved to Bangalore after she got married, she was highly skilled in cooking from both regions. She prepared her own fresh masalas daily and cooked everything from scratch. Vaangi Bhaat is a delicious one pot meal, a wonderful combination of eggplant and rice combined with lovely aromatic spices. This is a typical Maharashtrian specialty but enjoyed throughout Southern India as well. My grandmother made this dish whenever we visited\; we would eat it with home-made papads (thin, crispy lentil wafers), a delicious combination.

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Spicy Modak

Sushma Dhanesh Nagarkar


Vegetarian, snack, spicy, Maharashtrian

Sushma Nagarkar

Sushma Nagarkar got her M.Sc. Maths, Honours School from Panjab University. She lives with her husband Dhanesh in Nagpur. Her daughter is an ophthalmologist, and her son is a mechanical engineer.

I got married in 1979 and came to my in-laws' place at Nagpur. My husband has two brothers and two sisters, three of whom live in Nagpur.

We are a religious family, and celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and Mahalaxmi Puja in Bhadrapada (Hindu lunar calendar month, usually in August-September).

The preparation starts about a fortnight before the Puja day as about 100 people dine on the Puja day.

Every day, the women gather at my husband's older brother's home, where my late mother-in-law, Shrimati Gangabai Nagarkar, lived.

Gangabai Nagarkar

Sweet modaks are made on the first day. These are sweets and Prasad for Ganpati.

We make lots of sweets and snacks, such as laddu, shev, karanji, chakli, and anarse. Nobody ­­- not even small children ­- are allowed to eat them until the Puja is over.

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