A friend and an avid Naturalist introduced me to an intriguing subject “History of Food”.

Captivated to the subject as it is closely intertwined with Nature I now look at my Food, in particular Vegetables and Herbs,  with more respect. Each vegetable  tells me a story of how they have integrated the World in more ways than we can imagine and the Continents they have traversed.

The Black Beauty , Aubergine , EggPlant or Brinjal is a prehistoric vegetable known to Indian civilization since the dawn of time.

egg plant.jpg

The vegetable Baingan ,( Hindi), EggPlant ( English) ,Solanum melongena ( Scientific Name) belongs to the potato family Solanaceae.

If you see cuisines across the world  today it is hard to imagine there was once a time when THE BLACK BEAUTY was unknown to regions beyond the Indian Subcontinent.

Imagine no Moussakas? ( friends in Turkey and Greece please note)

The picture below is of a vegetable farm  near the village of Kichan ( do check my blogs WINTER GUEST and A FEAST) , Rajasthan.

brinjals till the horizon
Baingan and Maize grow together in a field near Jodhpur

The beautiful mauve flowers of the BLACK BEAUTY look like lamps as the sunlight filters through their petals.

They are however carriers of the poisonous alkaloid Solanine , which like modern drugs causes hallucinations as well.

The  EggPlant or Black Beauty was therefore also known as the “APPLE OF INSANITY” or MAD APPLE .

the flower
The Nightshade Family

Tomatoes & Potatoes both belong to the  NIGHT SHADE (Solanaceae)  family  of the Brinjals and also carry the same alkaloid Solanine.  

Hybrids of the Black Beauty or Aubergine can also be White and hence the name  EGGPLANT.

Consumption of the BLACK BEAUTY  however brings with it a plethora of health benefits like  Flawless Skin, Healthy Hair, Weight Reduction and a control on diabetes and high blood pressure.

Do look well at your vegetables, they may have come from a distant and exotic land.



Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

39 thoughts on “BLACK BEAUTY”

      1. Yours is a unique experience and am sorry that people keep such mental barriers. Food bridges barriers. Baingan bharta is though a traditional Punjabi dish. Food is more regional and usually breaks down religious boundaries.


  1. I know this is not a foodie blog, but one of my favourite things to cook is Eggplant Parmagian – one of those Italian dishes where layers of eggplant fritters essentially replace the pasta in a dish like a typical lasagna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do visit an Indian restaurant or Indian Home and try the Baingan ( that is Hindi for Eggplant) Bhartha ( a spicy mash) with a Naan.The EggPlant is roasted over the fire before mashing the flesh so it gets a lovely smoked flavour.

      Liked by 1 person

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