The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


August 21, 2023

World Eggplant Day - Is Eggplant a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Did you know the eggplant is a fruit? Eggplant is a berry by botanical definition. It is related to tomato, chili, pepper, and potato.  Like the tomato, its skin and seeds can be eaten, but, like the potato, it is usually eaten cooked. I can't imagine biting into an eggplant like an apple or a peach. I always thought it was a vegetable and used it as such.

Photo by Nina Luong on Unsplash

In other parts of the world, eggplant is known as brinjal, aubergine, or baigan. In honor of World Eggplant Day which was last week, we compiled the dishes we love for all of you.  Have you eaten these dishes before? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. 

1) Eggplant Pizzettes - When we are tired from cooking all the time, we like to switch it up and make these mini pizzas. The base is naan, topped with eggplant bharta and mozzarella/pepper jack cheese. 

Eggplant Pizzettes

2) Eggplant Raita - If you enjoy yogurt dips like Babaganoush and artichoke dip, then you have to try Indian yogurt dips or raitas. We make them with all sorts of vegetables like eggplant, green bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, long squash, beetroot, etc. This eggplant raita is great with toasted naan, pita, or with rice. 

Eggplant Raita

3) Stuffed Chinese Eggplant - My husband loves this dish. He can eat all of the pieces on this plate. I love it too because it is so easy to make. The secret is to buy fresh long eggplants. If they are too old or wrinkly, it will take for the eggplant to cook. I stuff the fried eggplant with dry coconut, spices, and fresh cilantro. You can serve it as a side dish or eat it with rice/quinoa. 

5) Eggplant Bharta - This is another one of my favorite dishes because after I make the bharta, I use it on the pizzas as well as grilled cheese. If you haven't tried this combination yet, what are you waiting for? I love the sweet, tangy, and spicy flavor combinations. 

6) Guttivankaya (Stuffed Indian eggplant) - This is a typical Andhra dish and the masala is key. It tastes good with potatoes as well. Bagara Baigan and this dish are popular in South Indian restaurants.  

7) Eggplant Pulusu (Roasted Eggplant Stew) - This dish is made using the American eggplant variety. Traditionally, the eggplant is roasted over a fire, then the flesh is removed and cooked with spices and red onion. Our recipe is much easier. 

We hope you enjoyed reading about the various dishes we make using American, Chinese, and Indian eggplant varieties. What other eggplant varieties have you cooked with or eaten? Lastly, whether eggplant is a fruit or not, we leave it up to you to decide. Happy eating!

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