Secret Veggies, 8 Ways To Include Brinjal In Food For Fussy Kids

The often misunderstood brinjal, also known as baingan, eggplant or aubergine is a veggie that's often unfairly overlooked in the realm of culinary delights. Now, you might wonder what magical powers this seemingly ordinary purple fruit (yes, it's technically a fruit, not a vegetable) holds within its deep purple skin. First of all, it's low in calories, making it a saviour for those who wish to sneakily indulge in delicious dishes without guilt. Plus, it's loaded with calcium, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, waving its nutritional wand to keep our bodies healthy and happy.

But even though this reasoning would be enough for adults to relent and eat it once in a while, kids don’t hold the act of eating vegetables to the same standards. In a competition, brinjal falls in the same category as karela and bhindi as vegetables that are to be avoided. 

This might be because brinjal has a unique texture that some kids might describe as slimy, making them decide it’s not worth trying a second time. Moreover, its purplish hue can be rather intimidating to young taste testers. 

So if you want your kids to eat brinjal, reap its benefits and (hopefully) one day start loving it themselves, it’s time to get creative. Brinjal has a secret weapon - the power to transform itself into various dishes. From sneaky pastas to undercover curries, the brinjal can seamlessly blend in and let other flavours take the spotlight. So, kids, while you're busy enjoying that lip-smacking curry, little do you know that the unassuming brinjal has worked its magic to make the dish all the more delectable and nutritious!

Video Credits: Bong Eats/YouTube

Try these 8 secret dishes to get your kids to eat brinjal without fear:

Eggplant Pizza Topping:

Chop the brinjal into small pieces and sauté them with some olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Use this mixture as a pizza topping along with other favourite toppings like cheese, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The mild flavours of the brinjal will blend well with the other ingredients, making it less noticeable.

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce:

Puree roasted or grilled brinjal along with other vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and onions to make a delicious pasta sauce. Serve this sauce with spaghetti or penne, and your kids won't even realise they're eating brinjal.

Stuffed Paratha:

Prepare a filling using mashed brinjal, mashed potatoes, and spices. Stuff this mixture inside whole wheat dough to make stuffed parathas. Cook the parathas with ghee or oil until golden brown. The kids will enjoy the parathas without suspecting the brinjal inside.

Brinjal Pakoda:

Similar to Bengali beguni, deep frying brinjal is a way that's loved by all. Slice the brinjal into thin rounds and dip them in a batter made of chickpea flour, spices, and water. Deep fry these slices until crispy. Serve these brinjal fritters with ketchup or a yoghurt dip, and your kids will enjoy them as a crunchy snack.

Brinjal Koftas:

Grate or finely chop aubergine and mix it with mashed potato, paneer or even chicken mince along with seasonings and breadcrumbs to make brinjal balls. The aubergine blends seamlessly with the other flavours, adding moisture and nutrients without altering the taste. Serve in a curry or sauce for a no-fuss brinjal meal.

Brinjal Nuggets:

Slice the brinjal into nugget-sized pieces, dip them in a breadcrumb or panko mixture, and bake until crispy. Kids will love these nuggets, and the aubergine will be perfectly disguised.

Brinjal Muffins:

Puree cooked aubergine and add it to muffin batter along with some sweet ingredients like bananas, honey, or chocolate chips. The aubergine adds moisture and nutrients, making the muffins more wholesome without affecting the flavour.

Brinjal Stir Fry:

Slice aubergine thinly and include it in a colourful stir-fry with peppers, onions, corn and other vegetables, tofu, and your choice of sauce. The stir-frying process will soften the aubergine and help it blend in with the other ingredients.