Friday, August 22, 2008

Kingg of Vegetables

Let me introduce to you to Solanum Melongene - the king of vegetables - with its crowning glory like a jester and doning a shiny brownish - purplish coat. It is commonly known as Eggplant or Aubergine or Bringal or colloquially known as Baingan in India.
It is available in various parts of the world in different shapes and sizes as seen in the picture below
Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetable. If not convinced now you surely will by the end of this post.
As a respect to the Kingg we have dedicated an entire week to it. In this post I shall take you around the world exploring its uses in different cuisines. In the coming days fellow Cookers Vrij and D'Sinner will showcase recipes from the south and north of India.

My liking for eggplant is two fold - first it is native to India. Wikipedia gives a very detailed description of the same and secondly 2/3 of the worlds eggplant is grown in New Jersey where I reside.

Starting the journey with the homeland India we have the :
- Hyderabadi Bhagare Baingan - presented by Vrij next post
- Baingan Bharta - presented by D'Sinner after that.

- Aloo Baingan (Potato Eggplant Curry) - this dish can have variety of tastes depending on the spices and the region it is made in India.
- Karnatakas Badnekayi Gojju - Eggplant dish cooked in tamarind juice and jaggery with chilly powder from South Central India.

- Gujarati Undhiu - A large variety of vegetables are skillfully combined with baked wheat koftas flavored with greens and its unique spices from Western India.

In the Chinese Cuisine a common found recipe is :

- Braised Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce - This popular Szechuan dish is made with Chinese eggplant, which is thinner and longer than the short and thicker eggplant that is commonly available in supermarkets .

Moving to Italian Cuisine few dishes are:

- Eggplant Parmigiana - It is a recipe where layers of cut, sliced and drained eggplants are baked with marinara sauce and layered with grated Parmigiana cheese.

- Eggplant Rollatini - Sliced eggplant rolled around Mozzarella cheese topped with tomato sauce.

- Eggplant Caponeta - This hearty Sicilian dish makes a tasty appetizer served with crusty bread. It can also act as a side dish or salad.

- Grilled Eggplant - This can be had as an appitizer as it is grilled in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Also a variation of this is to grill green peppers, onions, zucchini and have it as a Grilled Eggplant Sandwich - either as a panini in Foccacia bread (image link) or regular Italian bread (image link).
Moving on to Middle Eastern Cuisine :

- Baba Ganoush - Eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame - mashed and mixed with spices and served with dressing of oil and pomegranate concentrate. It is eaten as a dip with Pita Bread (image link)

Most of the food mentioned above has been tried and tasted by me - besides this here are some interesting links
- Eggplant Salads from Around the World
- Beer Battered Deep Fried Eggplant
- Various other Eggplant recipes - this link shows the versatality of the King - if you are stilll not convinced. It not only shows the use of eggplant around the world in Pasta, Vegetables, Dip, Appetizer and Accompaniment but also includes Ukranian Cenea which even though contains onions and garlic is deemed as Russian Desert. This weekend I am going to try and eat this.

Also fellow readers - if you have any interesting recipes for eggplant please do share it with us. We will publish it and dedicate the post/recipe to you. All the names of the dishes are hyperlinked to online recipes - click away.

Hope you enjoyed this post and are now ready to sing Eggplant is Kingg sans Snoop Dogg though.
Egging and out - ceedy


  1. This one is a simply fantabulous post... never ever thought that the Kind could indeed be that versatile. Amazing!

  2. wow...

    I knew about its use in a few recipes but these are a number to count..

    between, have u tasted the eggplant pakoras-they are yummm... :)

    i wish we can have all these recipes...

  3. wow!! this is great! i neva thot i can do so much with a stupid baingan!! spcly d chinese dish looks so yummmmm!!

  4. haha guess what i just had bainga ka bharta for lunch....

    n yeah i love eggplant in my sandwich the freshly grilled....n that italian dish looks soooooooooooooooooooooooo good...will chekc it out soon

  5. @vrij

    Thank you - so be ready with the Hyderabadi Baigan and you bet I will make it and send pics again to you guys :)

  6. @d'sinner

    Yeah - and I have left out a few.

    Yes I have tasted eggplant pakoras - they are yummy

    All the recipes are there - click on the names (underlines) - they are all hyperlinks.

  7. @gunj

    since your posts are so philosophical always - this post should show you that YOU can be verstile too if you want hust like the Eggplant

  8. @princess

    good....enjoy it and like I said to d sinner - all the titles are hyperlinked.

  9. Whoa... was wondering what veggie was the King, but was stumped when i saw this.... have to say, Brinjal aint one of my fav veggies... need a lot of motivation to eat it...tho we do make it often at home[gramma loves it in various forms... curry-south indian style, like sambar, called Gotsu, thogaiyal-kinda like chutney] :)

    have also eaten a baked dish at an aunts house.. she had layered brinjal n potato n then had a tomato gravy cheese on top and baked it.. dont remember what it tasted like tho!!!!

  10. bhai ji.. maine apne vichar toh vyakt kar hi diye... bhookh bhayanak lagne lagi thi.. bahut saari wali...

    ab khaya aloo ka paranta and now in office.. kaam kar rahe hai, neend aa rahi hai.. pata nahi kya hoga!!

  11. and also to tell u again... baigan ka bharta is my favorate dish, and bharwa sindhi bainggan too!! :D


  12. Too many options...
    yummy, isnt it..

  13. @aarthi

    hope this cleared the issue :)

    let us know if you do try out any new dishes from the list...

  14. @ankur

    visiting this blog during office hours is injurious to your health

  15. @ankur

    they will be served in coming days....

  16. Eggplant is the king:). one can make so many dishesh with egg plant. I would have to try Beer Battered Deep Fried Eggplant...that sound like my type of receipe...anything with beer is great stuff:).

  17. I hate baingan ... dont even remember if i tasted it ever :)

    anyways didnt knew that it is so versatile ... nice informative post ... now i know what all i have to avoid in order to avoid baigan :-p :)

  18. woah ! i looooove baingan ! yummy it mom makes this simple n awesome baingan sabji...n i sooooooo love it!

    the Hubby doesn't like baingan at i hardly get to eat it these days. Its too boring to cook for 1 person.Actually I've come across many ppl who dislike eggplant.

  19. very loved veggie...always wondered how people could hate it.
    And to think I just was about to make stuffed brinjals for lunch today...
    great post here

  20. @kp

    yes dude...eggplant is fun if you like it....

    also have you tried beer battered onion rings they are awesome----i know I know -you will say - health...exercise....but still try it.

  21. @hiren

    Well it is a common thing - those who like it love it....and those who dont avoid it...

    it is the same with okra (bhinda)....I can eat like truck loads of it and my cousin here will not even take a bite....

    well chalo...atleast I still helped you in some way (B positive is our mantra I guess)

  22. @pavi!!!!!!

    Your mom must be making Badnekaye Pallya with Saaru and sulpa Tuppa right :)

    I love that combination...but cant get it anymore :(

  23. @prats

    kewl....glad you liked it....and hope you try something that Vrij and Dsinner proposed

  24. @Ceedy: Woah! even i don't know so much kannada! n yes! i love that comby

  25. @pavi - hahhaha hengidiya??? chanagidini!

    you forget I have treaded those southern my past life :P


  26. i will return Ceedy, lemme try it one by one!

    u rock ;)

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