What is the Difference Between Eggplant and Brinjal

There is no difference between eggplant and brinjal. Brinjal and eggplant are two different terms we use interchangeably to refer to the same food.

Eggplant is an egg-shaped fruit. It is quite fleshy and frequently cooked as a vegetable. Brinjal is a less common name used for eggplants; South Asians such as Indians and Sri Lankans mainly use this name. Brinjal eggplant, aubergine, guinea squash, and melongene are some other names for this vegetable.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Eggplant 
     – Definition, Features, Cooking
2. What is Brinjal
     – Definition, Features, Cooking
3. Similarities Between Eggplant and Brinjal
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Eggplant and Brinjal
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

What is Eggplant

Although most people consider it a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit member of the nightshade family. Therefore, eggplant is closely related to tomatoes and potatoes. Eggplant is used in different culinary traditions all over the world. It is especially popular in Indian, Italian, French, Chinese, Middle-Eastern and Greek food cultures.

Eggplant vs Brinjal

Solanum melongena is the scientific name of the eggplant. Eggplant is frequently called aubergine in France and across Europe, while it is often known as brinjal among the South Asian communities.

Many varieties of eggplants usually have dark purple skin. However, there are some species of eggplants with striped or pale purple skin. The flesh of eggplants usually takes a white or cream colour. Eggplants also contain seeds. There are different varieties of eggplants. Globe eggplants are larger in size, darker in colour and take a teardrop shape. On the other hand, the Asian and Italian eggplant species are longer in shape and have relatively thin skin. In addition, white eggplants are comparatively smaller in size but have thick skins.

Flavour of Eggplants

Eggplant flavour changes from one dish to another with its cooking method and the ingredients that flavour the dish. Texture-wise, eggplants are a very absorbing ingredient, which sucks up the moisture and the flavour from the ingredients added to the dish.  Consequently, if not properly supervised, an eggplant dish can taste extremely rich, too salty or sometimes even bitter and dull. Generally, smaller eggplants with thinner skin, such as Italian and Asian varieties, tend to have a milder flavour compared to larger eggplants such as globe variety. However, when you cook globe eggplants with olive oil, your eggplant dish taste unbelievably rich and fleshy. Further, the roasted or grilled eggplants with a deep flavour is a popular side dish served with many South Indian meals.

Compare Eggplant and Brinjal

Since eggplant has a sponge-like texture and absorbs flavours, liquid and oil quite easily, it might be somewhat difficult to cook them. You might end up having an eggplant dish with a greasy texture. However, when cooked properly, it can range in texture, varying from silky to firm and crisp. Roasting, grilling, breading and pickling are the best culinary techniques to convert an eggplant into a delicacy with unique textural qualities.

What is Brinjal

Brinjal is another name mainly used by the Asians to refer to eggplant, which is a fruit member of the nightshade family.

Similarities Between Eggplant and Brinjal

  1. Eggplant and brinjal both refer to a fruit member of the nightshade family.
  2. Though fruits, both eggplants and brinjal are mainly consumed as a cooked vegetables.
  3. Eggplant or brinjal is a popular ingredient in many Indian, Italian and French delicacies.

Difference Between Eggplant and Brinjal

There is no real difference between Eggplant and Brinjal. Brinjal is another name for eggplant.


In brief, there is no difference between the eggplant and the brinjal. Brinjal is a synonym for eggplant, which is mainly used by Indians. Whatever you may call it, it does change the fact that this purple fruit is a delicate ingredient popular among easterners and the westerners in preparing classic dishes such as Eggplant parmesan, Moussaka, Baigan Bhartha, Ratatouille, Imam bayildi, and Caponata.


1. “How to Cook Graffiti Eggplant.” LEAFtv, 27 May 2021.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Yoghurt Herbs Eggplant Roasted Tahini Vegetable” (CC0) via Max Pixel
2. “Eggplant-fruit-vegetables-food-4926083” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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