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The ubiquitous vegetable

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POWER PACKED Brinjal is a good source of nutrients
POWER PACKED Brinjal is a good source of nutrients

Brinjal is one vegetable consumed by people all over the world

Brinjal, - also known as eggplant - is known by many names in Indian languages; Baigan in Hindi, Vangee in Marathi, Vankaya in Telugu, Kathirikai in Tamil and Vazhuthininga in Malayalam and belongs to family solanaceae.Though a perennial, brinjal is cultivated as an annual throughout India and North Africa.The plant is a much branched, spiny at tainting, and growns to the height of 1 m. The stem is erect or spreading, woody at the base and herbaceous above. The leaves are simple, alternate, ovate 15 cms long with toothed margins and covered with woolly hair beneath. The fruits are solitary or in small cymes having deeply lobed and toothed calyx which is persistent, enlarging with the fruit. The fruit is smooth, glossy firm-fleshed, pendant berry up to 15 cms long. Usually ovoid, oblong, ranging from white or yellow to deep purple or blackish or even striped. In the flesh of the fruit numerous small brown kidney-shaped seeds are embedded.Seeds are sown in the ground or seed pans and the seedlings are transplanted into fertile soil mixed with decomposed farm-yard manure and castor oil cake.Brinjal contains carbohydrates, protein, fats and some minerals. They are fairly good source of calcium, phosphorous, iron and Vitamin B.Brinjal is very largely grown in our country and many other tropical countries where it is one of he principal vegetables made into chutney, bartha, sambar, pickle, fry or curry with mutton.CHITRA RADHAKRISHNAN

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