I have always considered eggplant recipes as one of the most versatile main meals cos there is so much to do with this plant. Sometimes called garden eggs or aubergine, it is largely a tropical plant but may grow well in other regions. Its largely amber, purple or mauve though other color variations exist.  It has the singular characteristic of making stews very thick without adding more tomatoes.  It goes with sauce and is cooked like any other stew. Its a fantastic ingredient.

Buy eggplants with smooth skin as many marks may be an indication that its going bad.  To test they are fresh, press your finger against it. They should bounce back.  Also consume soon after purchase as the longer they keep, the softer and less tasty they become.

Do not cook eggplant recipes for long. They become soft easily and may begin to absorb water which then changes the taste. Also puncture the skin so it does not burst whilst cooking in the water.