Deep Dive Into Eggplant’s History, Nutritional Value, and More

Whether you call it aubergine, eggplant or something else entirely, you may find baingan (as commonly called in hindi) it in restaurants and kitchens all around the world. The plant is formally known as Solanum melongena. Although eggplant is more popular in American English, the British English name aubergine is more common in that country. It's known as brinjal in South Asia, melanzana in Italy, berenjena in Spain, and aubergine in France, among many other names around the world. This vegetable's mild, earthy flavour is renowned to complement many recipes, and it comes in a wide range of forms, sizes, and colours. 


The eggplant, or aubergine, has been cultivated for thousands of years, and its history is intriguing. It is thought to have been grown in India around 5,000 years ago, however it originated in South Asia. Sanskrit manuscripts from ancient India refer to aubergine (written as vatinganah) as evidence of the vegetable's prominence in Indian cuisine. Throughout Indian history, aubergine has been mentioned in various cookbooks, including the ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, the 12th-century cookbook Manasollasa, and the 17th-century cookbook Supashastra. During the Arab conquests, aubergine made its way from India to the Middle East and eventually to Europe. The fact that it is now used in so many different types of cuisine all around the world is a testament to the many cultures it has been exposed to throughout its journey. 

There are references to eggplant recipes in the ancient Indian cookbook Manasollasa, which was likely composed by King Someshvara III in the 12th century. This book, also known as Abhilashitartha Chintamani, is a treasure trove of culinary information. It exemplifies the widespread use of aubergine in traditional Indian cooking at the time. Further elaborating on eggplant's culinary significance in traditional Indian cookery, soup recipes based on eggplant are mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit work Supashastra, which is dedicated to soups and stews. The aubergine has played a significant, cherished part in Indian cuisine for centuries, as seen by these historical references. 

Popular Eggplant Dishes  

Begun Bhaja: Begun Bhaja is a popular Bengali meal that consists of thinly sliced aubergine that has been marinated in a mixture of turmeric, salt and occasionally chilli powder, and then shallow-fried till crisp. 

Baingan Bharta: Famous in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajsthan and Maharashtra, Baingan Bharta is prepared by first roasting aubergine, then crushing it, and then combining the mashed aubergine with chopped onions, tomatoes, and spices. 

Bharli Vangi: The spicy filling of Bharli Vangi, stuffed aubergine from Maharashtra, is made with coconut and peanuts. 

Baingan Mirch Ka Salan: A specialty of Hyderabad, Telangana, Baingan Mirch Ka Salan consists of eggplant and green chilies braised in a peanut and tamarind stew. 

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu: A dish from the Tamil Nadu region of India, Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu is a spicy and sour blend of small eggplants, tamarind, and a variety of South Indian spices. 

Gutti Vankaya Kura: A delicious curry from Andhra Pradesh, India, called Gutti Vankaya Kura, in which eggplants are packed with a seasoned peanut and sesame paste before being cooked. 

Health Benefits 

Because of their high vitamin content, eggplants are beneficial to health in many ways. They are great for managing weight and keeping the digestive system healthy because they are low in calories and contain a lot of fibre. Antioxidants like nasunin found in it help shield cells from damage caused by free radicals, hence lowering the likelihood of developing chronic illness. Vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins can be found in eggplants and help maintain a healthy immune system and strong bones. The minerals potassium, magnesium, and manganese found in them help keep the heart healthy and the body running smoothly. Eating eggplants is one way to improve health and nourishment in your life.