“Vangi” in Maharashtra refers to Brinjal, Aubergine or Eggplants. While Maharashtrian cuisine is filled with delicacies made with this versatile sabzi or vegetable, the recipe in discussion today is particularly my favourite i.e. the Vangyache Kaap or the Pan Fried Crispy Eggplant Slices.
Vangyache Kaap is an effortless recipe with basic ingredients available in your kitchen shelf. It is the perfect side to your Varan Bhaat (dal chawal) or Khichdi combination. You don’t require an elaborate sabzi on the side with a kaap for company. You can call it an appetizer or vegetarian side, either ways, one cannot ever get enough of this delicious crispy eggplant dish.
If you are a crazy Eggplant lover like me, you must try this easy to prep and cook recipe soon. If you love main course options with Eggplant or Baingan, do try the Maharashtrian Vangi Batatyachi Bhaji OR the North Indian favourite, Baingan Bharta. Both bring out the best flavours of Aubergine or Baingan extremely well and can be served as a side to flatbreads like rotis, parathas, bhakri and/or the staple dal rice combo.
Kaap is similar to fritters, except there is no deep frying involved here. It is pan fried with oil as required to cook the Eggplant discs slowly, until they are crisp and golden brown. Looks wise, it is very similar to Begun Bhaja from the Bengali cuisine, yet different in many ways.
The prep work for the kaap may not be very time consuming but the actual cooking process does take a bit of time, especially if you prefer to wait patiently and allow the aubergine to cook in less oil.
Few tips to Cook Vangyache Kaap or Crispy Eggplants
- Use an Eggplant / Brinjal / Vangi / Aubergine variety that has less seeds and is fleshy. It is best to use the large fat / thick variety of aubergine or eggplant especially used for Baingan Bharta. It can be easily cut into slices and has more flesh, less seeds with a thick skin to hold the kaap in place while cooking.
- While soaking the eggplants in water after slicing, ensure salt is added to the water.
- Always ensure the flame is low while cooking kaap. It takes a while to get the golden texture on top and it requires patience especially if you add less oil and prefer to pan fry like me.
- Use oil that has neutral flavour to bring out the best flavours of eggplants and spices used.
- Do not be in a hurry to turn over the kaap while cooking. It will break the slices. Lift with tongs and gently turn over to cook the other side. Pour few drops of oil on the sides at regular intervals to ensure cooking and prevent burning and charring of the eggplants.
Sharing this recipe for the A to Z challenge this month wherein we choose to cook with key ingredients Alphabetically. This month it was time for Alphabet ‘E’ and I chose my key ingredient ‘Eggplant’ to make this uber delicious Maharashtrian Vangyache Kaap or Pan Fried Crispy Eggplant
The A to Z Challenge was initiated by Jolly Makkar and this is my 5th post for the theme. Recipes in the challenge you might be interested and can try out at home are Roasted Almond and Choco chip icecream, Broccoli Corn balls , Khamang Kakdi , Sugar Free Dates Rose Pista Ladoos.
Let us now look at the easy recipe of Vangyache Kaap and make some over the weekend for the entire family.
Recipe for Vangyache Kaap / Pan Fried Crispy Eggplant
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook time 40 mins for 15 slices
Serves 4 nos.
- 1 Medium Size Brinjal or 15 slices
- Any neutral Oil as required to cook the aubergines
- Salt to taste
- Water required to soak the eggplants
Ingredients for spice mix and coating the eggplants
- 4 tsps of Red chilli powder or Lal Mirch
- 2 tsps of Turmeric powder or Haldi
- 1 tsp of Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 tsp of Hing or Asafoetida
- 4 tblsp of rice flour
- 4 tbslp of roasted rava or sooji
- 5 tbslp of besan or gram flour
- 1 tsp of salt
(1) Slice the Eggplants or Baingan and soak them in salted water until the prep work for the spice mix is done.
(2) In a large plate, mix together red chilli powder, hing, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala powder.
(3) In another large plate, mix together besan or gram flour, rice flour and rava or sooji and keep aside.
(4) Drain the water from the eggplants, pat the dry with a kitchen towel and remove excess moisture if any.
(5) In the meanwhile, heat a non stick large pan and add oil.
(6) Now take a slice of eggplant, rub both sides of the eggplant with the spice mix as explained in (2) above. Refer to pic below
(7) Now pat the brinjal on both sides with the coating of besan, gram flour and rice flour as explained in (3) above. Pat excess flour, if any.
(8) Place them carefully on the hot non stick pan, add few drops of oil on the sides and allow it to cook over low flame.
(9) Repeat the process with the rest of the Eggplants.
(10) Keep turning over the aubergines and pouring few drops of oil at intervals to avoid burning.
(11) Serve piping hot with dal rice or khichdi and dahi.
Recipe Notes –
- For Gluten Free Version of this Recipe – Skip the hing or asafoetida and the semolina or roasted rava coating.
- Add the spice mixes based on your taste and preferences. Some prefer it more spicy whereas others would prefer less heat.
- I prefer adding all the 3 – besan, rice flour and semolina for the coating. Each lends a unique touch to the recipe. Rice Flour provides the crispiness, semolina the crunch and besan controls the excess moisture and prevents the aubergines from getting soggy while cooking.
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