Aubergine (Eggplant in US, Canada and Australia or Brinjal in South Africa, Indian subcontinent, Malaysia and Singapore) is a plant species of the nightshade family. Even though it is often cooked as a vegetable, it is actually a berry.
It is cultivated worldwide, but is believed to have originated in China.
It has a spongy consistency, which makes it wonderful in cooking as it readily and greedily absorbs flavours. For best results – marinate your aubergine before cooking!
When buying aubergine, look for a shiny taut skin, firm flesh, heavy feel and a green stalk. They will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Salting an aubergine to draw out their bitterness is just not a necessary step these days.
They can be fried, grilled, baked, sautéed – anything goes! If you are frying them, they will soak up a lot of oil, so I would recommend using a non-stick pan and you can even omit the oil. Fry cubes until dark brown and add a splash of oil at the end. This will soften the aubergine and keep them from becoming too oily.