Eggplant (solanum Melogena) is a beautiful purple color fruit of solanaceae family. It is native to India and Sri Lanka. Another name of eggplant is brinjal and this name is very popular. Brinjal is also known as king of all vegetables. It is also known as Aubergine, garden egg, egg apple, patlican and melanzana.
Now, eggplants are cultivated in many countries of Europe, Middle East, United States and Africa due to their nutrient benefits and beautiful color. In today’s period Japan, China, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt have become the biggest producers of eggplants all over the world. It is a belief that brinjal has been cultivated in India and china since 5th century onwards. Eggplants are available in many sizes, shapes and colors.
Eggplants are available in market in the autumn season. It comes in the category of nightshade plants like potato, tomato etc. These plants contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine that can become a cause of diarrhea, vomiting and even heart failure. But very few people come in this category who have allergy from eggplant. It is called as mad apple because it is a belief in Europe that eating eggplants can make you insane. Though eggplants are very safe to eat and researches have exhibited its health benefits many times, it is known as mad apple in Europe even today.
Eggplants are a good source of vitamins and dietary fiber. It also contains potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, niacin and copper in some quantity. Brinjal is very good for those who want to control their body weight. As 92 % of eggplant is made of water, it is a low calorie food that can feed your stomach without giving you fatty cells. It is nutritious also, so it is advised to obese people. Eggplant is also good for people who suffer from high cholesterol as its active ingredients are helpful in reducing cholesterol level.
Eggplants due to their anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-LDL properties are very useful for heart patients as they can improve the health of cardiovascular muscles. Eggplants are also good for mental health. It gives strength to brain cells and is helpful for patients of poor memory. Herbalists also use eggplants for treating the patients of swelling, dysentery, bleeding hemorrhoids, heart diseases, tumor and cancer.
Eggplants can be used raw for application on affected areas, but mostly people eat it after cooking. Some people like baked brinjal, some prefer to roast it and some people eat it after boiling it. Roasted eggplants are less soft than boiled eggplants.
You can make a tasty dish after boiling eggplants. For this, first of all boil eggplants in a pressure cooker. Than peel them and mash them with hands. Fry some onions that are cut into small pieces and then add a lot of tomatoes in them. After cooking for some time, add mashed eggplants in the mixture and again cook it for 7-10 minutes. You can also garnish the dish with mint. People in many areas love sautéed, fried, pureed and stuffed eggplants. Some people eat eggplants after adding potatoes in them.