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Showing posts with label Chinese eggplant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chinese eggplant. Show all posts

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!

August 29, 2018

Quick N Easy Stuffed Eggplant

This may sound cheesy but I miss home. I miss my parents. I know they are just a bus ride away but absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

You don't really know what you have until you move away and become a grown up and have to do everything on your own. I miss helping my mom in the kitchen. I was her little helper...regardless of how old I got, that will always be the case. 

After work, I stopped by the local vegetable market and bought some Chinese eggplant and fresh coriander. Coriander, garlic, ginger and onions are a must in South Indian cooking. 

I knew exactly what I was going to do with the eggplant. It's one of my favorite ways to eat this type of eggplant and it's easy to make, as per my mom. I gave it a try last night and as you can see from the picture below, it came out well. I didn't burn it or over season it. 

The best part was that my husband really liked it. He ate more than half of the pieces in this plate. I am definitely going to save this recipe and make it as often as I can. 

If you like eggplant, give this dish a try...

- 4 long and slender Chinese eggplant
- 1/4 cup of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry coconut powder
- 1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Salt (for rubbing inside eggplant and seasoning) as per your taste

Remove the stalk from the eggplants and then slit them longitudinally. (Caution: do not slit all the way through the eggplant so that it splits into two pieces.) Then rub salt lengthwise and apply oil on the outer surface with your fingers. Next, cut each eggplant into 3 inches long. 

Arrange the eggplant pieces on a microwaveable plate and microwave them with a cover for 4 minutes or until soft. 

Add tablespoon of oil to a medium saute pan on low-medium heat. Transfer the eggplant pieces to the heated pan and fry up to 5 minutes or until all the pieces have cooked through and browned. Remove the pieces from heat and place in a plate to cool. 

Scoop the coconut powder in a small cup, sprinkle some water and microwave for 15 seconds to re-hydrate it. 

Mix together the coconut powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dry garlic chutney, and fresh coriander. Adjust salt per taste. Stuff a little bit of this mixture in between the slit of each eggplant piece. The stuffed eggplant is ready to be served. 

I love eating the eggplant with warm plain white rice mixed with ghee (or clarified butter). The flavor from the spices and the eggplant's sweetness complements the rice well. I feel right at "home". 

***Quick Tips
- You can use freshly grated coconut instead of dry coconut powder. 
- We like using the dry garlic chutney because it has all the ingredients (coconut powder, salt, and chili powder) in one.  You can buy it in a packet at any Indian store; it is also available on Amazon in a bottle. 

What dish reminds you of home? Leave us a comment. We love hearing from our readers.