So how many of us actually have a belching expression on hearing the name of the veggie Brinjal? The first thing what we hear from the kids is “nope mommy not the brinjal atleast” So what we need to do is to make them understand what is so special and different about this vegetable and how can we incorporate this vegetable in healthy as well as in a tastier way to their meals!!
Eggplant or Brinjal is a very low calorie vegetable and has healthy nutritional value and profile. The veggie is also popularly known as Aubergine in the western world. These vary in size, colour which could vary from purple to green & white; and shape which could either be oval or thin & elongated. Botanically Brinjal is a fruit and not a vegetable.
Whatever may be the colour, the shape or size of the brinjal it contains many nutrients which are beneficial to the human health as well as phytochemical compounds such as flavonoids. With Brinjal the anthocyanins (water soluble pigments) give it; its distinct dark purple colour.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) , consuming foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease even if a small portion is consumed it would have health benefits.
Several studies have also shown that consumption of the flavonoids known as anthocyanins has played a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Many of the nutritional benefits are gained from consuming eggplants which lie hidden in the skin of the vegetable. Let us understand the “Nutritional Profile” along with the “Health benefits” of this beautiful vegetable:-
One cup of raw eggplant contains 20 Calories, 0.8 grams of Protein, 4.82 grams of Carbohydrates, 0.15 grams of Fats and 2.5 grams of Dietary fiber.
One-cup serving meets 10% of daily fiber needs, 5% potassium, 3% vitamin C, 5% vitamin B-6, 1% iron and 2% magnesium.
- Folic acid
- Eating brinjal is an effective way of maintaining blood cholesterol levels.
- Aubergine is a good source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid as well as beta carotene. Aubergine is low in calories.
- Taking a mashed form of brinjal or soup adding asafetida and garlic in it helps get rid of flatulence.
- Additionally, it is effective against the formation of free radicals. It can also help in maintaining the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Taking soup made of mashed brinjal and tomato helps in digestion and increases appetite.
- In order to increase appetite and digestion, take soup made of mashed brinjal and tomato, along with some salt and pepper.
- In order to cure enlarged spleen caused due to malaria, eat soft baked brinjal along with raw sugar on empty stomach, preferably in the morning.
- Brinjal is not beneficial for person having excessive bile humor and one who has acidity problem.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all parts of the plant can be used to stop intestinal bleeding. The fruit of the plant is used as an antidote in cases of mushroom poisoning Some of the dishes to which this vegetable can be added are:-
- Begun Bharta
- Ratatouille (the french dish)
- Variety of Curry (made with lots of spices)
- Sambhar (added to pulses to make sambhar, a South Indian dish)
- Dips & Pickles
- Salads etc
- And the tasies of all of them Baba Ganouj
Here are some interesting Recipes, that are sure to make you mouth water
Eggplant salad with Garlic & Parsley (Serves 4)
2 Eggplants (Brinjals)
1 Green Bell pepper (seeded & chopped)
1/3 cup Fresh parsley leaves (approximately-25gms chopped)
1/2 cup Lemon juice(2-3 lemon)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 in no Garlic cloves
1 tsp Ground cumin seeds
¼ tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Salt
To taste Pepper
- Pierce the skin of the eggplant with a fork in few places.
- Place the eggplant directly in the medium flame & turn it occasionally. The skin of the egg plant should shrivel.
- Remove the eggplants from the heat once they are thoroughly charred.
- Keep it aside for some time until it cools down.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, scoop out their flesh and put in a colander & discard the peels.
- Press the eggplant flesh firmly against the colander to remove excess liquid.
- Mash the eggplants with a fork in a large bowl.
- Combine the mashed eggplant flesh with the tomato, bell pepper, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, chilli flakes,salt and pepper.
- Stir and serve
Eggplant Pizza (Serves 2)
1 Large Eggplant (Brinjal)
250gms Tomato paste
1 Tomato (ring shaped-circular)-dry roast them
1 Green Bellpepper (ring shaped-circular)
½ Onion (ring shaped-circular)
50-75gms Cottage Cheese
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 in no Garlic cloves
1 tsp Oregano
1tsp Chilli flakes
To taste Salt
To taste Pepper
- Slice the Egg plants into disc shape.
- Rub the olive oil over it and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Bake it for about 25mins at 400 degrees
- Dry roast the tomato slices
- Turn over the brinjal slices and spread the tomato paste over it
- Then remove it onto a plate
- Place the dry roasted tomato slices, green bellpeppers and onion rings onto it.
- Garnish it with flakes of garlic and grated cottage cheese
- Bake it for 10 more min
- Spice it with a dash of oregano and chilli flakes and Vola your Health Eggplant Pizza is all ready to eat!!
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