Eggplants are one of the healthiest vegetable on earth. It belongs to same family as tomato, potato and chillis/peppers.
Health facts: Eggplants contain several nutrients and more importantly phytonutrients like phenolic compounds, such as caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids such as nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. Nasunin is not only a potent free-radical scavenger, but is also an iron chelator. By chelating iron, nasunin lessens free radical formation with numerous beneficial results, including protecting blood cholesterol (which is also a type of lipid or fat) from peroxidation; preventing cellular damage that can promote cancer; and lessening free radical damage in joints, which is a primary factor in rheumatoid arthritis. Eggplant is also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. It also contains sufficient amount of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Here is a traditional grandma’s stuffed eggplant curry recipe (stuffed baby brinjal) for those who wants to get benefit of eggplant. The recipe serves 6 people.
• Indian (baby) egg plants – 12
• Red Chillies -8
• 2 to 3 inch tamarind
• Coriander seeds -1 and half tsp
• Fenugreek seeds -1/4 tsp
• Cooking oil – 2 Tbs
• 10-12 curry leaves
• Grated fresh coconut – one cup
• Salt, to taste
• Wash the eggplants in warm water.
• Without removing the stalks, slit each egg plant at the base to four parts – keep the stalk intact.
• In a pan, add little oil and roast red chillies
• In a little oil, roast separately the red chillies, coriander seeds and methi seeds.
• Grind coconut along with roasted red chillies, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, tamarind and salt to a coarse paste, adding just the required amount of water.
• Now stuff the ground spice inside slit eggplants.
• In a little deep frying pan heat one to 2 Tbs oil and add mustard and curry leaves for seasoning. When mustard splutters place stuffed eggplant and remaining any masala that is left.
• Sprinkle little water and cover the lid.
• Cook the eggplants over medium flame. Open the lid and turn the eggplant to cook evenly on all around. Do not break eggplant while turning.
• After the water evaporates dish will look dry and eggplants will appear cooked. Now turn off the flame.
• Serve hot stuffed eggplant curry with rice, roti, puri or chapati.