Closely related to the tomato and potato (WTF??), the brinjal (or Eggplant… or aubergine) fruit comes from of the nightshade plants… and has its roots (excuse the pun) from India, where it was domesticated!
If you really want to get technical… it is actually classified as a berry (another WTF?) as it contains many small, soft seeds that are edible…. which often have a bitter taste as they contain nicotinoid alkaloids (yes people… this also makes it a close relative to tobacco! But I wouldn’t suggest smoking it!)
The name Aubergineis from the French, meaning diminutive of auberge (a type of peach) while the 18th century European cultivars which were yellow or white and resembled a goose’s egg, named it Eggplant and finally…in Indian, South African, Malaysian and Singaporean English, it is called Brinjal– derived from the Portuguese beringela. (To be 100% honest – there is also the words Melongene, French derived from Italian melanzana, Caribbean Trinidad calls it meloongen and the Hindi’s call it Bainga)
I never used to like it… no idea why… but recently after having some of it fried and served to me, I am now addicted!
1 brinjal, peeled and sliced
Olive oil for frying
- The really important part about this piece of produce is that it can be really bitter – so the best course of action is to place the slices onto some roller towel, add salt and leave those horrible bitter juices to bleed out… once this has happened, rinse them, turn them over and repeat (I find that this takes about 20minutes each side)
- Then fry gloriously in some olive oil