I simply cannot get enough of this beautiful, deep-coloured vegetable. Call it by whatever name you identify with – whether it’s brinjal as it’s widely referred to here in Asia, eggplant or aubergine.
I love it because it’s supremely versatile – it’s delicious when deep-fried, smoked, grilled, baked, braised, steamed or stewed. Seriously, I am finding it hard to think of more vegetables than all my fingers, that can be prepared in so many ways and still come out on top in terms of texture and taste.
Oh, and did I mention how nutritionally good brinjal is? That lovely deep, dark purple peel contains Vitamin D, which is scarcely present in vegetables, as well as Vitamin E. Brinjals are also believed to cool down our body system, aid blood circulation, and improve healing, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine. And there’s more good news if you’re trying to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Consuming brinjal on a regular basis helps prevent hardening of blood vessels, protects the heart and blood arteries. It helps to reduce high blood pressure as well as prevent a high level of cholesterol. Now, that’s something you can surely take to heart!
As with most of my vegetable dishes, I enjoy preparing brinjal, Chinese-style. And even that’s not in any way, narrowing the field or limiting the scope of what you can do with this vegetable. I’m sharing a traditional Hakka recipe where the brinjal’s hardy, but extremely fleshy texture is first softened and browned until golden by a quick deep-fry. It is then stir-fried together with minced garlic and dried shrimp, and flavoured tastefully with a dark soy sauce and seasoning blend. Simple. Sumptuous. Satisfying.