Cooking, Mediterranean Diet

Delicate Indian Eggplant Recipe – perfect for summer!

Do you live near one of those awesome farmers markets or international grocers that have about 15 different varieties of bok choy?  Or 4 different types of squash? And let’s not even start with spiked fruit that looks like a medieval weapon.

And you’ve been dying to try some of those produce, but you have no clue how to slice them, much less prepare them? Well, look no further. I’ve got you covered with at least one: Indian Eggplant.

Eggplant varieties

Despite popular theory, eggplants come in a variety of color, size and shape. An international grocers or trip to an organic farmers market will display a beautiful array of eggplant: from nearly black, large eggplant to violet, thing and long eggplant, to striped mid-sized, to green and unripe (but they are) and to white, tiny round eggplants.

In the U.S., you are probably most familiar with American eggplant (duh). Sold either by the pound or the piece, American eggplants are large, darkest night-purple, and with a heavy bottom half (interestingly, I’ve also seen these bad boys called “Black Beauty”). In the Mediterranean, these are considered the least favorite varieties because those big bottoms carry a lot of seeds – more than the other varieties. The seeds are what typically give eggplant the characteristically bitter taste.

Therefore, More seeds = More bitter (= Less valuable fruit in the Med)

For me, the hardest to find but incredibly tasty are the tiny, little eggplants which, in the West, we’ve called Indian Eggplants.  Oh, and if you’ve been wondering: eggplants originated in India and China, and have been cultivated and harvested for thousands of years. They found their way to the New World by the Spaniards in the 1800s. So I have no idea what Indians call Indian eggplants, but if you know, please let us know!

Indian eggplant

Indian eggplants are small, round, and typically only a few inches in length.

 Eggplants are especially versatile fruits. It doesn’t matter the size, shape or color, you can use any kind in nearly any kind of recipe. However, I have found this baby Indian eggplant especially tasty. Because of their size, they make a great appetizer or side for guests. A taste of freshness and a flash of green to whet your palates:

Delicate Indian Eggplant with Parsley


  • 12 Indian Eggplants, firm, unblemished with bright green stems attached
  • Bunch of Parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil


  1. Wash and trim the green stem from your eggplants.
  2. Slice each eggplant in the center – but not all the way through, creating a “sandwich” effect
  3. Place eggplant in a heavy pan with Olive Oil liberally applied to base (to cut calories, I use 1/2 olive oil and then spray the bottom of the pan with a Canola or Olive oil spray)
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water to the pan and bring to a slow boil, allowing the eggplant to get soft and cooked.
  5. While eggplants are cooking, thinly slice the parsley and chop your parsley. Place in a large bowl. Add juice of 1 whole lemon and salt to taste. Add remaining Olive Oil. You are looking for a fresh, slightly spicy (from the garlic) taste with a tang from the lemon.*
  6. After about 10 minutes on Medium heat, your eggplants will be cooked. They will soft to the touch, but not mushy. Carefully transfer to serving dish (they will be hot!)
  7. Open the eggplant from the sliced center and stuff with parsley mixture.
  8. Once all eggplants are stuffed, take any remaining parsley/garlic/lemon “juice” and spread over the entire serving dish, making sure the eggplants enjoy all the flavor.
  9. Cover and place in refrigerator to soak up all the flavors minimum of 20 minutes (although I sometimes eat this straight from the pot it’s so yummy!)

This yummy side dish of Indian eggplant is vibrant with colors, flavors and freshness. Stored in the fridge, you can enjoy it for up to a week.

*Note: you may add a few drops of white vinegar if lemon is not quite juicy enough. 

Do you know the “real” name for Indian eggplant? Got another terrific recipe to share using this versatile fruit? I’d love to hear from you. Please drop me a note.

Enjoy, fellow goddesses!

Discover your Inner Aphrodite. . .


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