Description: Brinjal belongs to the family of Solanaceae, also known as nightshades, and are cousins of potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers. They hang from vines and some varieties actually look egg shaped- which is why the name "Eggplants". The skin is glossy and usually deep purple in color, while the flesh is creamish and spongy in texture.
Commonly used in: Stir fries, bhartha, baked, sambhar, curries, fritters, stuffed, raitha, etc.
Health benefit: Among other things, it is a good source of dietary fiber and minerals like manganese, copper and potassium and Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B6, foliate, magnesium and niacin. Brinjals contain phytonutrients which include phenolic compounds which act as antioxidants. The Chlorogenic acid and nasunin in brinjals are potent antioxidants and prevent the formation of free radicals, thereby protecting cell membranes from damage.