When I was a kid, I was told Brinjal or Eggplant or Aubergine (whatever you call it) is the king of vegetables. Why? Because the fruit has a crown. That matter ended there and I never bothered about it. And another reason is that it’s not one of my favourite.
When I started cooking, I never cooked this vegetable until one of my roommate taught me to make “Begun Bhaja”, pretty simple bengali recipe. Of course I liked and decided to make it.
Sometime later I got more ambitious and asked mumma for her recipe for brinjal curry. Well, I goofed up! I got complete mixed up with the proportion of spices. The end result was so horrible I decided never again to try making Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal.
Two months later it struck me, why is this vegetable called king of vegetables? What is so exotic about it? I decided to google it up as I do for every other thing! (sometimes I think, I would have never been where I am if google had not been there :P). Wikipedia, our free encyclopedia over the internet has a very good description of Brinjal (I have embedded the link for inquisitive readers). In short apart from the green coloured crown on Brinjal, it can be cooked into a variety of dishes. One can argue that onion, potatoes and tomatoes are more widely used. But you see they do not have crowns on their head!
Well having read so much I decided to give Brinjal a try again and cooked Ratatouille. To my Indian readers, who are completely unaware of this dish, may I tell them that Ratatouille is not only a movie but is a dish as well which is completely vegetarian! In fact in the movie Ratatouille, Remy (the rat) cooks this dish in the end to impress Ego (the critic). My presentation was not exactly in the movie but I can say with pride that finally I cooked Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine/(or whatever you call it) and it did taste great! Many thanks to the Ratatouille recipe on wiki cookbook.
Some of the many dishes that can be made from this vegetable are:
- Begun Bhaja (Fried eggplant)
- Ratatouille (the french dish)
- Variety of Curry (made with lots of spices)
- Sambhar (added to pulses to make sambhar, a South Indian dish)
- Dip (in hindi its called bharata or chokha. made by roasting the eggplant)
- Salads etc…
Next time you think that Brinjal is an awful vegetable, remember that its the King of Vegetables and does deserve the due respect! Trust me, it does taste exotic :)