Rice with aubergine, coconut and cashews


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This recipe, Vangi Bhat, is from the coastal state of Karnataka where people generally eat a range of vegetarian and seafood dishes cooked with coconut. This makes a delicious and substantial vegetarian main course. Serve with cucumber raita for a balanced meal.


  • 225 g/8 oz/generous 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant)
  • 50 g/2 oz/4 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 ml/1 tsp garam masala
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut, ground until fine
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp cashew nuts
  • cucumber raita, to serve


  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Soak in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes and leave to drain in a sieve (strainer).

  2. Cut the aubergine into quarters lengthways, then cut each quarter into 1cm/½in chunks. Soak in a bowl of cold salted water for 15–20 minutes, then rinse well.

  3. Melt the ghee or butter in a heavy pan over a low heat, then add the cinnamon and cloves. Let them sizzle for 25–30 seconds.

  4. Add the onion. Increase the heat slightly to medium and fry for 9–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn a golden-brown colour.

  5. Add the drained rice, aubergine, salt, garam masala and half the chopped coriander. Stir-fry gently for 2–3 minutes, then add 450ml/¾ pint/scant 2 cups lukewarm water.

  6. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and cook for 8–9 minutes.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat and scatter the coconut and cashew nuts on top. Replace the lid and leave the pan to stand for 8–10 minutes.

  8. Fluff up the rice with a fork and transfer it to a serving dish. Serve garnished with the remaining chopped coriander and with some raita to accompany it.

Per portion Energy 461kcal/1932kJ; Protein 8g; Carbohydrate 62g, of which sugars 9g; Fat 22g, of which saturates 13g; Cholesterol 35mg; Calcium 72mg; Fibre 5.9g; Sodium 1000mg.