Monday, May 4, 2015


Over the last one year, I have been travelling quite frequently to many places on business assignments. Being a pure vegetarian, as always, I prefer to eat home cooked food.   There would be very limited options for me to choose from the outside World as I don't take eggs too.  I have a small cooking travel kit with me which includes a small electric cooker, small plate, utensil, ladle, spoon, etc.  I carry with me the essential spice powders and rice.  Most of the times, I do a very limited cooking and manage with that. 

One such lifesaver dish is this eggplant gravy.  I always found big sized eggplants in the super markets in the places I have visited.  Usually, tamarind is added to this dish to give a tangy taste but I skipped tamarind and added tomatoes as I wanted to make it simple and cook with the available ingredients but I must say it is equivalently tasty. The picture shown below is taken at home.  In India, we get smaller size eggplant as shown in the picture which we call as "brinjal".  

Eggplant/Brinjal - 1/2 kg (In India we get smaller eggplants as shown above in pic)
Onions - 2
Tomatoes - 3 (Big size)
Vangibhath Powder - 3 tsp (Refer below step to make vangibath powder)
Turmeric powder -1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

To Temper:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves 
Green chilies - 1 (Optional)

To make the Vangibath Powder:  

Dry roast the below ingredients and powder it.  Can be stored for a month. This can be brought in Indian store as well.
Asafoetida – a small piece
Red chilies – 8-10 (adjust according to your spiciness level)
Bengal gram – 4 tsp
Urad dal – 2 tsp 
Coriander seeds/dhaniya – 3 tsp

1.  Cut onion, tomatoes, and eggplant in small cube size, 
2.  Prepare the powder as narrated above.  I always prepare this and store in air tight container.  Can be used for a month.

3. In a pan, heat oil, add the tempering ingredients one by one.  Add onion and tomatoes.
 4. Add turmeric powder and required salt.

5. When the tomatoes have turned slightly mushy, add the brinjal to that. Mix well.
6.  When everything blends together, transfer the contents to a vessel, add water, and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. If this is done on an electric cooker, add water, close the lid, and cook until the brinjal is cooked well.

7. Once the pressure is released, add the ground powder and mix well.  Let this boil for 2-3 minutes until the powder blends with the vegetable.

8.  Serve this as an accompaniment to rice.  Can be served as an accompaniment to idly, dosa, appam, pongal too.

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