Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lebanese Eggplant, Indian Brinjal

Picked today from one small Eggplant bush
Eggplants originated in India but found their way to the Middle East where they have become an important part of the food culture. According to Claudia Roden, 'there is a superstitious belief in some Middle Eastern countries that certain types of eggplant bring on one the curse of infertility. Women are sometimes afraid to use a particularly black one or an oddly mauve one. One the other hand, a walk through a field of eggplants is sometimes prescribed as a cure for female sterility. For many years the head gardener at the Ezbekieh Gardens in Cairo derived a small income from a patch of eggplants by charging women a fee to walk through it.'
For more on eggplant/aubergine see my post under edible plants from March 22 in 2009

Ezbekieh Gardens, Cairo 1880
photographed by Felix Bonfils (1831-1885)


  1. Your photo shows a variety of eggplant which were grown in our suburb, when it was still the outskirts of the city. They were famous as Kengeri brinjal. They are very tasty. About superstitions, there are many in India too. Very orthdox Brahmins don't eat the eggplant, deeming them to be too sensuous!

  2. Thanks for your comments Very interesting

  3. Ian, unique superstitions; but a course that is what makes the different cultures of the world, so interesting.

    Eggplants are one vegetable I have not prepared that often, but love to order it when I am dining out.