Colour Your Plate—Purple: Here’s a Quick Tasty Local Dish from Your Purple Food Group
by Lou-Ann Jordan Jun 3, 2019
Let’s make some purple food.
Beets, eggplants, red cabbage—all belong to the food colour group that possesses a pigment that makes them purple. Purple fruits and vegetables boost overall health because they contain many nutrients.
One of those nutrients is anthocyanin. This flavonoid gives some types of grapes, berries, sweet potatoes and legumes, as well as star apples and plums their vivid colour. Similar to antioxidants, anthocyanins fight free radicals. Additionally, it has been lauded for preventative benefits to heart disease, inflammation and diabetes.
Colour Your Plate Purple Edition
In this issue, we offer up a bit of Caribbean cuisine. If you’re a lover of eggplant, you’ll enjoy this quick and easy recipe—eggplant choka. Did you know eggplant is referred to as baigan or melongene in some parts of the region?
Though the preparation time is relatively short, snacking on a few grapes, or drinking a glass of wine will give you a head start on your anthocyanin intake.
1 medium eggplant
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium tomato
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of oil
1 finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
Wash and wrap eggplant and tomato in foil (alongside each other). Roast on the stove’s open flame, turning over intermittently. Use a fork to test, and remove from fire when both are tender. Then, clean, wash and wrap the garlic cloves in foil. Roast in oven until tender.
Remove eggplant from foil, slit and scoop outsides, placing it in a bowl. Mash the eggplant, tenderising all chucks. Next, mash garlic and tomato in a separate bowl, then add to eggplant. Add chopped onions and scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and oil stirring for even distribution. Season the mixture with salt and black pepper to taste.
Note: Cayenne or regular seasoning pepper can replace scotch bonnet pepper.
Eggplant choka is a wonderfully delicious dish you can have at any time of the day—breakfast, lunch or dinner.
For your morning meal, we recommend pairing it with pita bread, warmed in the oven. And, as it’s breakfast, why not have a few slices of mango as your starter.
Why mangoes? We’ve got one vitamin for you—vitamin A! Mangoes contain beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A. Our bodies benefit significantly from this conversion as vitamin A promotes eye and bone health.
Stay tuned to our next instalment of Colour Your Plate, where we’ll explore yellow foods.