About the Crop
Aubergine or Eggplant
Name in Indian languages
Baingan (Hindi), Begun (Bengali), Ringna (Gujarathi), Badane (Kannada), Waangum (Kashmiri), Vange (Marathi), Bengena (Assamese), Baigan (Oriya), Vashuthana (Malayalam), Kathiri (Tamil), Vankaya (Telugu) and Peethabhala (Sanskrit).
Origin, Distribution and Uses
The history of brinjal dates decades back and made its written presence in an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. It also has its mention in Sanskrit literature from 3rd century AD. It is believed to be a domestic crop of India, China, Thailand, Burma or some other South East Asian country. Till 18th century, it was not utilised as a vegetable due to its unfavourable taste and fear of causing diseases like ulcers, leprosy, elephantiasis, intestinal constriction etc., but now it is widely used in various parts of the world as vegetable. It has been cultivated through ages to have rid away with the earlier bitter taste. In the beginning of 6th century AD, it was popularised in Middle East, Turkey and Africa by Arabs through Mediterranean route. It was introduced in 7th or 8th century to Greeks and Romans by Arabs. Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China and Japan are in the race and are considered to be large producer of brinjal. In India, it is largely cultivated in states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Brinjal is widely consumed as vegetable for its various health benefits. It is highly fibrous, contains antioxidants, potassium, Vitamin B-6 and phytonutrients like flavonoids which help in preventing cancer and heart disease. It also helps in weight loss with its low calories. It is good booster for brain and also helps in maintaining good health by lowering cholesterol in our body.