Known as the Aubergine in UK, the Eggplant in North America, Australia and New Zealand and the Brinjal in South Asia and South Africa (Botanical name : Solanum melongena) this species of nightshade which originally grew as the thorn or bitter apple later was cultivated into its perennial present edible vegetable form which has many small, soft seeds.
The Qimin Yaoshu, a 544 BC ancient Chinese agricultural treatise and numerous Arabic books reveal that Aubergine was introduced by the Arabs in the early middle ages. The 12th-century book on agriculture by Ibn Al-Awwam explains of growing Aubergines. However, the aubergine is unrecorded in England until the 16th century when the word "eggplant" was originally applied to white cultivars.
To avoid discolouration, the Aubergines are usually cut just before cooking, placed in water and salted to reduce their bitterness. The fruit mainly rich in water content is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces and due to its texture and bulk, it is sometimes used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian cuisines.
Owing to its versatile nature and wide use in both everyday and festive Indian food, it is often described as the "king of vegetables".
Enjoy this kind of vegetables in Sarla Ravindran’s tasty Kathrika Gosthu !