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  1. Almond
  2. Anise
  3. Apple
  4. Apricot
  5. Asparagus
  6. Aubergine
  7. Avocado
  8. Azuki bean
  9. Bamboo shoot
  10. Barley
  11. Basil
  12. Beet
  13. Bell pepper
  14. Blackberry
  15. Black-eyed pea
  16. Black pepper
  17. Black salsify
  18. Blueberry
  19. Bran
  20. Brazilnut
  21. Breadfruit
  22. Broccoli
  23. Brussels sprout
  24. Bulgur
  25. Capsicum
  26. Carambola
  27. Caraway
  28. Cardamom
  29. Carrot
  30. Cashew
  31. Cauliflower
  32. Celery
  33. Cereal
  34. Cherry
  35. Chestnut
  36. Chickpea
  37. Chile pepper
  38. Citron
  39. Clementine
  40. Cocoa
  41. Coconut
  42. Coffee
  43. Coriander
  44. Couscous
  45. Cranberry
  46. Cucumber
  47. Cumin
  48. Date
  49. Dill
  50. Fennel
  51. Fenugreek
  52. Fig
  53. Garden cress
  54. Garlic
  55. Ginger
  56. Ginseng
  57. Globe Artichoke
  58. Gooseberry
  59. Grape
  60. Grapefruit
  61. Greengage
  62. Guava
  63. Haricot bean
  64. Hazelnut
  65. Juniper
  66. Kentucky coffeetree
  67. Khaki
  68. Kiwifruit
  69. Kumquat
  70. Leek
  71. Legume
  72. Lemon
  73. Lentil
  74. Lettuce
  75. Liquorice
  76. Lupin
  77. Lychee
  78. Macadamia
  79. Maize
  80. Mandarin
  81. Marjoram
  82. Melon
  83. Mentha
  84. Millet
  85. Mustard seed
  86. Nutmeg
  87. Oat
  88. Olive
  89. Onion
  90. Opium poppy
  91. Orange
  92. Oregano
  93. Parsley
  94. Parsnip
  95. Passion fruit
  96. Pea
  97. Peach
  98. Peanut
  99. Pear
  100. Pecan
  101. Peppermint
  102. Pineapple
  103. Pistachio
  104. Plant
  105. Plum
  106. Pomegranate
  107. Potato
  108. Pulse
  109. Pumpkin
  110. Radicchio
  111. Radish
  112. Raisin
  113. Rambutan
  114. Rapini
  115. Raspberry
  116. Redcurrant
  117. Rhubarb
  118. Rice
  119. Rosemary
  120. Runner bean
  121. Rye
  122. Salvia
  123. Semolina
  124. Sesame
  125. Shallot
  126. Sinapis
  127. Sorghum
  128. Soybean
  129. Spearmint
  130. Spinach
  131. Squash
  132. Strawberry
  133. Sugar cane
  134. Sunflower seed
  135. Sweet potato
  136. Tamarillo
  137. Tamarind
  138. Tangerine
  139. Thyme
  140. Tomato
  141. Turnip
  142. Vanilla
  143. Vicia faba
  144. Walnut
  145. Watercress
  146. Watermelon
  147. Wheat
  148. Wild rice
  149. Zucchini


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This article is from:



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Eggplant" redirects here. For the color, see Eggplant (color).

The aubergine, eggplant, or brinjal (Solanum melongena) is a solanaceous plant bearing a fruit of the same name, commonly used as a vegetable in cooking. It is closely related to the tomato and potato and is native to southern India and Sri Lanka. It is an annual plant growing 40 - 150 cm tall (16 in - 57 in), often spiny, with large coarsely lobed leaves 10-20 cm long and 5-10 cm broad. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is a fleshy berry, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms. The fruit contains numerous small, soft seeds. (Semi-)wild types can grow much larger, to 225 cm (84 in.) with large leaves over 30 cm long and 15 cm broad.


The aubergine is an important food crop grown for its large, pendulous, purple or white fruit. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asian countries since prehistory but appears to have become known to the Western world no earlier than ca. 1500 CE. The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate that it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. The scientific name melongena is derived from a 16th-century Arabic term for one kind of aubergine.

The aubergine is called the eggplant in the United States, Australia, and Canada. This name developed from the fact that the fruits of some 18th-century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen's eggs.

Because of the aubergine's relationship with the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, it was at one time believed to be poisonous.

Cultivated varieties

A purple aubergine which has been sliced in half, showing the inside. The flesh surrounding the seeds is already beginning to oxidize and turn brown just minutes after slicing.
A purple aubergine which has been sliced in half, showing the inside. The flesh surrounding the seeds is already beginning to oxidize and turn brown just minutes after slicing.

The most widely grown cultivars in Europe and North America today are elongated ovoid, 12-25 cm long and 6-9 cm broad with a dark purple skin. A much wider range of shapes, sizes and colours is grown in India and elsewhere in Asia. There, cultivars that closely resemble a hen's egg in both size and shape are widely grown; colours vary from white to yellow or green as well as reddish-purple and dark purple. Some cultivars have a color gradient, from white at the stem to bright pink to deep purple, or even black, and green or purple cultivars with white striping also exist. Chinese eggplants are commonly shaped like a narrower, slightly pendulous cucumber.

Aubergine is the British name given to this fruit, from the French aubergine, derived from Catalan albergínia; from Arabic al-bãdhinjãn الباذنجان, and from Persian بادنجان Bâdinjân.

Numerous other names are used, many derived from the Sanskrit vatinganah, which has given birth to a number of names for this plant in various languages and dialects: brinjal, badingan, melongena, melanzana, berenjena, albergínia, aubergine, brown-jolly, and mad-apple (a misinterpretation of the Italian melanzana as mela insana).

Oval or elongated oval-shaped and black-skinned cultivars include: Harris Special Hibush', 'Burpee Hybrid', 'Black Magic', Classic', Dusky', and 'Black Beauty'.

Long, slim cultivars with purple-black skin include: 'Little Fingers', 'Pingtung Long' and 'Tycoon'; with green skin: 'Lousisiana Long Green' and 'Thai (Long) Green'; with white skin: 'Dourga'.

Traditional, white-skinned, oval-shaped cultivars include 'Casper' and 'Easter Egg'.

Bicolored cultivars with color gradient include: 'Rosa Bianca', and 'Violetta di Firenze'.

Bicolored cultivars with striping include: 'Listada de Gandia' and 'Udumalapet'.

Matti Gulla or Matti brinjal is a unique variety of brinjal grown in the village of Matti in Udupi; it is light green in colour and round in shape. Some brinjals of this variety weigh more than one kilogram.


Melanzane alla Parmigiana, baked aubergines with Parmesan cheese.
Melanzane alla Parmigiana, baked aubergines with Parmesan cheese.

The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste but, when cooked, becomes tender and develops a rich, complex flavour. Salting and then rinsing the sliced aubergine will soften and remove much of the bitterness. This process is called degorging. However, many modern varieties do not need this treatment as they are not that bitter. The aubergine is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes. On the other hand, if it is undesirable for the aubergine to absorb a lot of oil then the salting process will reduce this effect. The fruit flesh is smooth; as in the related tomato, the numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so that the aubergine need not be peeled.

The aubergine is used in cuisines from Japan to Spain. It is often served stewed, as in the French ratatouille, the Levantine moussaka, and many South Asian dishes. It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so that the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients, as in the Middle Eastern dish baba ghanouj and the similar Greek dish melitzanosalata. It can be sliced, battered, and deep-fried, then served with various sauces: yoghurt-based, tahini-based, or tamarind-based. The aubergine can also be stuffed with meat, rice, or other fillings and then baked. In the Caucasus for example, it is fried and stuffed with walnut paste to make nigvziani badrijani.

As a native plant, it is widely used in the South Indian cuisine, for example in sambhars, chutneys, curries, and kootus. Owing to its versatile nature and wide use, in both everyday and festive South Indian food, it is often described (under the name brinjal) as the 'King of Vegetables' in South India.

Peeled and roasted aubergine/brinjal, mixed with onions, tomatoes, and spices for flavour, makes up the Indian dish called Baingan ka bharta (also known as vangyacha bharta in Marathi).

For some recipes, the aubergine's high moisture content must be drained before cooking. Slicing the aubergine, lightly sprinkling the slices with salt, and laying them out on a paper or cloth towel for 20-30 minutes will accomplish this and also reduce any potential bitter flavor.


In tropical and subtropical climates, the aubergine can be sown directly into the garden. Aubergine grown in temperate climates fares better when transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is past. Seeds are typically started eight to ten weeks prior to the anticipated frost-free date.

Many pests and diseases which afflict other solanaceous vegetables, i.e. tomato, pepper (capsicum), potato, etc. are also troublesome to aubergines. For this reason, aubergines should not be planted in areas previously occupied by its close relatives. Four years should separate successive crops of aubergines. Common North American pests include the potato beetle, flea beetle, aphids and spider mites. Many of these can be controlled using Bacillus thurengensis (Bt), a bacterium that attacks the soft-bodied larvae. (Adults can be removed by hand, though flea beetles can be especially difficult to control.) Good sanitation and crop-rotation practices are extremely important for controlling fungal disease, the most serious of which in the aubergine is Verticillium.

Spacing should be 45 cm (18 in) to 60 cm (24 in) between plants, depending on cultivar, and 60 cm (24 in) to 90 cm (36 in) between rows, depending on the type of cultivation equipment being used. Mulching will help conserve moisture and prevent weeds and fungal diseases. Fruits are typically cut from the vine just above the calyx owing to the semi-woody stems.

Other Names

  • Aubergine
  • Eggplant
  • Brinjal
  • Baigan in India from the Hindi
  • Melongene in Trinidad and Tobago

See also

  • Solanum gilo
  • Baba ganoush
  • Caviar d'aubergine (French Provencal Cuisine)
  • Escalivada (Catalan cuisine)
  • Moussaka (Greek cuisine)
  • Mutabal (Lebanese cuisine)
  • Salată de vinete (Romanian cuisine)
  • Thai eggplant


External links

Wikibooks Cookbook has an article on
  • Aubergine: Plants for a Future database
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