At my early learning stage, I was shown to a picture of a big egg shaped fat, purple coloured vegetable with a stem poking out from its head and was introduced that as 'BEGUN' in Bengali, 'BAIGAN' in Hindi and 'BRINJAL' in English. Who thought that after growing up in a lady and owning a kitchen to rule, I had to scratch my head after getting encountered with more names of that fat, purple veggie. Yes, you read it correctly. I did scratch my head when I first stepped in to the vegetable market in USA and saw that the my very well known Mr. Fatty Purple Brinjal was sitting on an isle with a name tagged on its head as "EGGPLANT". Newlywed then, I was not able to relate how could an EGG be called as a PLANT and why Brinjal was tagged as an EGGPLANT. Too much confusion for the budding cook I decided to rush back home to investigate about it. Cheers to Wikipedia I found this:
"Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as brinjal, brinjal eggplant, melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It bears a fruit of the same name (commonly either "eggplant" in American English or "aubergine" in British English) that is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. It was originally domesticated in India from the wild nightshade, the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum." (Source: HERE)
I was introduced another name of Brinjal - "Aubergine". Now I don't have any confusion. Do you have?? I guess No..:)
I think Brinjal/Eggplant/ Aubergine is one of the most versatile vegetables that can be cooked in so many different ways. Some has some allergy problem with this veggie but apart from that, taste wise it is unbeatable. I love to experiment with food. And from a long time I thought of making vegetable Satay with Brinjal/Eggplant/ Aubergine . Satay is actually now became famous as a Thai cuisine. But originally it came from Java, Indonesia, though there are confusions hovering around about its originality:
“Although both Thailand and Malaysia claim it as their own, its Southeast Asian origin was in Java, Indonesia. There satay was developed from the Indian kebab brought by the Muslim traders. Even India cannot claim its origin, for there it was a legacy of Middle Eastern influence.”
—Jennifer Brennan (1988), Kitchen Daily
If we delve deep in the history of Satay, the true meaning of Satay is: "Three pieces of Meat" which derived from the word "Min Nan words sa tae bak (三疊肉)". So in true sense Satay should be made with meat only. Non veg , mainly Chicken Satay is widely famous among the Satay family, though pork, mutton, beef and following with many other wild fleshes are its big competitors too.
I took a plunge to go for a vegan Satay and experiment it in a new way. I was not too confident about the result. But when it was served and tasted by the family it was a hit. My hubby became little skeptical after hearing the menu and was not able to hide his grimaced face. Thankfully after tasting with confusion he within a minute called for the next one. Devoured happily by everyone, I ended my day with a peaceful sleep. So here is the recipe of Eggplant/Brinjal/ Aubergine Satay :
Eggplant : 2 medium (Long)
Peanut Butter: 2 tbspns (room temperature)
Soy Sauce: 3 tbspns
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce: 2 tbspns (more or less)
Garlic paste: 1 tspn
Warm Water: 1-2tbspns
Salt and Sugar : as per taste
- Thinly slice the Eggplant lengthwise. Rub them with salt and leave for few minutes. (See Notes)
- Take bowl. Add all the ingredients except the water. Mix it well in to a smooth paste. If you think its too thick then add water in drops. The sauce will be semi thick.
- Take a baking pan. Cover it with aluminum foil. Grease it with oil.
- Take each Eggplant slice, brush the sauce nice on the both sides and line up on the baking tray.
- Bake for 7-8 mnts first at 200 degree C. Then turn them carefully so that they should not get broken and bake for another 5mnts.
- Take each slice and put in the skewers and serve with salad and sauce/dip.
1. When you will thin the Eggplant make sure it should not cut too thin. If it is too thin then it might get a chance to get broken while putting them in the skewers.
2. I always wrap the baking pan with aluminium foil. It helps to get a burnt free and clean pan.
3. You can make it with Potato and other vegetable too.
4. Too make a dip you make some extra sauce same we did for marinating the eggplants.