Tuesday, August 1, 2006

GBP 3 - Eggplant Story

The first time I cast my eyes on an Eggplant here in the US, was completely taken aback. It looked like Ben Johnson on steroids, it took a few more months before I got the guts to try it out. Now don't get me wrong it is a fine vegetable and where you need a lot of flesh like for Baingan Bartha it is absolutely essential. Thank God for Saroj's Cookbook which taught me a lot of tips and essential details of Indian Cooking, those early days when I had absolutely no idea what Indian cooking was all about. Anyway the Indian Eggplants that I got in the Grocery Stores Indian or American were never fresh, it is the case even now, when there are four Indian grocery stores where there used to be one.


Growing Pains

So I had this intense desire to grow eggplants on my own, even if I can enjoy fresh eggplants just for few months during the summer. It took all of 3 summers before I actually got eggplants. The first year the plant was eaten by insects, the second year by the time the plants started to flower cold weather set in I got maybe 2 small eggplants. The third year I came upon this marvellous idea to grow eggplants in pots rather than put them in the ground. Voila I hit paydirt I had a sizeable harvest of eggplants and also the insects don't harm it that much when they are in pots. I have heard that in India, it is one plant that gets soaked in pesticides because it gets attacked by a lot of pests. I do not use pesticides, I occasionally spray soap, chilly powder mixture over the plants, seem to work.

This year I have 2 varieties of eggplants one long purple variety and the other the more common short purple round variety. The eggplant plant floweres are 2 kinds, one that goes on to bear fruit the other that dries up and withers. Eggplant is native to India and requires very hot climate to grow.


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Eggplant Chickpeas

I cooked Eggplant-Chickpeas from Indira's Mahanandi and ofcourse with the fresh crunchiness of the eggplant and the tender softness of the chickpeas the curry tasted great.


This will be an entry for InjiPennu's Green Blog Project.


  1. Oh boy! eggplants from your own backyard the curry must have tasted great huh?

  2. Oh! Great! Superb! Thank you soo much! I am going to be dizzy seeing so many plants and recipes! Hope I will be 'strong' enough for the round up! :-)

  3. KA defintely nothing like fresh picked vegetables.
    injipennu you are very welcome, my pleasure!

  4. they looks so fresh and lively and love that "muram" with egg plants...

  5. Hi ISN,
    yummy eggplant recipe with your own grown "VANKAYALU" is called eggplant in telugu.
    Good going.

  6. Kitchenmate
    welcome, the cute little muram is my daughter's, borrowed it for a few minutes...

  7. my first time at ur site and i loved the eggplants,pandal, and the cauveri snaps. very nostalgic.. i too had a tough time with eggplants.. can u tell me in detail how to use the soap powder and red chilli powder?i used a neem extract and that worked too, but this sounds interesting.

  8. shaheen, I do not plant the eggplants directly in the ground keep them in pots.

    Just take about 1 tbsp of hand soap, 1 tbsp of chilly powder(gun powder) and pour about 2 cups of water and spray the plants with the lather. For convenience I do the mixing itself in a sprayer.

    This will keep the insects off the plants for 3-4 days, I usually do this when the plants are young and starting to grow, once they mature do it if you see too many insects sitting on the plant and causing damage.

  9. Eggplants look gorgeous. Wow !! this is your third entry ? I am still struggling to put together my first one :-(

  10. Those plants looks beautiful Indo and the curry looks delicious !

  11. Oh no I dont like eggplants !

  12. thanks indu.
    my eggplants are bathing in ur gun powder recipe. their leaves were showing small dot like holes today.. any clues?
    thanks again

  13. Hey your comment on eggplants with muscles like Ben johnson made me laugh out real loud-can't stop laughing actually, fantastic sense of humor and I admire the pains you've taken to grow them on your own :)


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