Eggplant, aubergine, brinjal – it’s all the same thing – the deep purple vegetable or fruit (it really is a fruit because it has seeds in it)! You either love it or hate it – there isn’t really an in-between. However, I believe that anyone will learn to like anything if given time (repetition helps your palette adjust to a taste) and variety (veggies can be prepared and presented in so many ways) – so don’t give up on a vegetable if you don’t like it. For example, my kids won’t touch brinjal with a barge pole, but if I cut it small enough and add it to pasta or curries, or even make a dip with it, they will eat it. That goes for most people, if they don’t know what’s in it and it tastes good, they will eat it.
I’ve had brinjal (as we call it in India) in curries and plain. It tastes fabulous either way, but I’m someone who loves most vegetables.
Here is a recipe I’ve had often growing up in India. This dish was fried to a crispy, crunchy chip kinda snack. I don’t deep fry anything now, so we shall use the oven. In saying that, brinjals do absorb a terrific amount of oil to cook well and taste good, so I am adding a fair bit of olive oil. You could either shallow fry this in a pan on the stove top using coconut oil or ghee, or you could use the oven. Either way, the recipe would turn out yummy.
Brinjal has very good fiber copper and vitamin B1 contents. It also contains vitamins B6 and B3, besides manganese, folate and vitamin K. It is a wonderful antioxidant and brain food (it helps to draw out toxins, but lets your body absorb nutrients better). It helps the body absorb (or chelates) iron better – this is especially useful in menopause when the body doesn’t efficiently get rid of iron. Too much iron can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Cayenne pepper has a mind boggling number of benefits. All because it has an active ingredient called capsaicin which is what gives it its medicinal properties. Cayenne pepper has a number of benefits when used topically or internally. Taken internally, it helps to improve blood circulation, is very good for the digestive system – helps stop cramps, stops diarrhoea, helps digestion, etc., helps prevent heart disease and brings cholesterol down. Topically, I’ve used it on cuts to stop the bleeding. It heals cuts so amazing quick and with not much scarring (this, from a person who’s cuts heals relatively slowly)!
It reduces migranes! So spice your food up if you suffer from migranes. Capsaisin patches have been tested and proven as an effective pain reducing treatment in the elderly. It helps in weight loss in two ways – it creates a sense of fullness, but it also gives your metabolism a boost. It also helps ease psoriasis in as little as 4 weeks, according to one study.
Coconut oil – is a superfood. It has so many benefits, it is good to consume it on a daily basis. There are 1000s of studies confirming the benefits of coconut oil. Here are some benefits of coconut oil – it is an excellent source of healthy fats. Healthy fats are so essential because it helps to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Our brain is made up of around 60% fat cells and we need to provide it with food to help us with clarity, concentration, memory and focus.
It is brain food for Alzehimer’s patients where it helped to improve their cognitive funtions. It is antimicrobial and antibacterial, thus helping eczema, psoraisis, improving oral health, reducing inflammation and arthiritis, cures candida and yeast infections, etc. It helps balances hormones, helps with weight loss, prevents cancer and osteoporosis, improves type 2 diabetes…and so much more.
Enjoy your brain food menopausal men and women – this recipe brings it all together!
Spicy Indian eggplant
- 1 large eggplant sliced
- ¼ cup coconut / olive oil
- ½ tsp chilli powder / cayenne pepper powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- Preheat the grill on high
- Sprinkle the eggplant with fine salt
- Let it sit in a colander to sweat for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Once the eggplant has finished sweating, pat them dry between two cotton tea towels
- Put the eggplant in the mixing bowl and coat them in the mix
- Place them on an oven tray (making sure they don’t touch each other)
- Place them right under the grill (on the top shelf of the oven) for around 10 mins
- Take the tray out, flip the eggplant and place in the grill for another 5-7 minutes or until the eggplant browns
- Take the eggplant out of the oven, cool and enjoy plain or with rice or in a sandwich!
Ellis C.N, Berberian B, Sulica V.I, et al., editors. A double-blind evaluation of topical capsaicin in pruritic psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993;29:438–42. [PubMed]