I feel like every dish I write about is a memory, and is associated with an important person or moment in my life. Well, I’ve spoken of quite a few things about my childhood, about mum and dad, but there is this one other constant in life – my partner, my husband, my best friend (as I’d say to him the bestest). I can say we literally grew up together – well at least our adult lives. From the age of 18 onwards he was in my life, and continues to be my pillar. He is not just someone who supports me no matter what but is also sometimes my worst critic – trust me everyone needs someone who is that. And that is what I love about him. He grounds me but also gives me wings to fly. When it comes to food, he is one of the easiest and least fussiest eaters. He doesn’t tend to have any massive food cravings either (cue: I am constantly craving things) nor does he usually have food requests. So the day he saw two plump aubergines sitting on the kitchen counter, he excitedly asked if I’m making Vangyache Bhareet. Well I had to make it for him, and in a Maharashtrian way – the one with crushed roasted peanuts.
My recipe has a secret ingredient, so keep reading and you’ll find out what it is and you’ll wonder why? But trust me when I say it makes it 10x more delicious and creamier. I find aubergines really versatile, and not just in Indian cooking where they can be made with a stuffing in a curry, or like this Vangyache Bhareet – which is a mash of sorts, or just cut into bite size chunks making a Baingan Batata Rassa / Aubergine Potato curry – which is a semi curry loaded with tamarind and coconuts. Aubergines tend to be used a lot in Asian cooking too, Sichuan and Japanese cooking are some of them. I can’t wait to try new dishes and grow my collection of Aubergine recipes.
Vangyache Bhareet literally translates to Aubergine Mash. The smokiness of the aubergines lends a unique taste to the dish. The nuttiness comes from this secret ingredient – Peanut Butter – which not only gives the dish that earthy sweetness but also adds the creaminess, taking this mash to a whole new level. Jaggery or sugar adds the sweetness bringing all the ingredients together. This salty sweet almost umami inducing mash is the perfect accompaniment to rotis.
A firm family favourite, I’m sure you are also going to love this dish. Do let me know if you try out the dish.