Rice and wheat make up our world. Or at least, they make their appearance at almost every meal we eat. To change this up bit, we decided to try putting millets on the table a few times a week. Steamed millets are a great wholegrain starch option, and the family is pretty happy eating these with rajma or dal in lieu of rice. Millet upma with vegetables cooks quick enough to be on the breakfast menu even on harried weekdays, and for dessert there is the wholesome and creamy Millet Kheer.
Vangi Bath is a classic Kannadiga fried rice, loaded with eggplants and other vegetables, and spiced up with a unique masala powder redolent of coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Eggplants are a must here, and if you’ve struggled with getting your kids to eat this oft hated veggie, then you may want to try this recipe. We fry up the veggies in a pan while the millets cook in a pressure cooker, and the masala powder is usually something we have on hand, from the store or shared by a generous relative. Served with a thick raita and some crisps, Millet Vangi Bath makes for a delicious dinner or lunchbox filler.
Millet Vangi Bath
- 1/2 cup barnyard millet
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons urad dal
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 6 baby eggplants, sliced into thin wedges
- 1/2 red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into sticks and steamed *
- 10-12 French beans, cut into 1.5″ lengths and steamed *
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons vangi bath powder
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
- Heat a pressure cooker and add the millets. Roast well for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously. Once roasted, cool and then transfer to a sieve and wash the millets.
- Put the roasted millets and 1 cup of water in the same cooker. Pressure cook for 2 minutes once the first whistle blows and then set aside for the pressure to release on its own.
- Meanwhile in a large pan or kadhai heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and urad dal and let the seeds sputter. Then add the curry leaves, onions, eggplant and capsicum. Cook on medium heat, stirring often until the eggplants are well roasted and soft.
- Add the carrot and beans and fry for a minute.
- Now add the salt, chilli powder and vangi bath powder. Stir well.
- After a minute add the millets and gently stir so that everything gets mixed.
- Serve topped with the roasted peanuts.
*You can also steam the carrots and French beans along with the millets in the pressure cooker to save time though they do tend to get a little overcooked this way.
We love a fresh vegetable raita with the vangi bath and this one is made with grated carrot, chopped cucumber and tomato. The seasoning is light – rock salt and fresh cracked black pepper.