10 Purple Eggplants Varieties & Recipes

Have you ever wondered why eggplants come in such a stunning array of shades? From deep violet to lavender hues, these colorful vegetables not only elevate our dishes but also bring excitement to our plates. 

In this article, we will dive into the captivating world of purple eggplants – where each variety boasts its own distinct characteristics and can transform an ordinary meal into something extraordinary. 

Join us as we uncover the secrets behind these majestic fruits and explore the wide range of options available in this vast purple kingdom

Types of Purple Eggplants

1. Globe Eggplant

globe eggplants

Globe eggplant is a popular variety of purple eggplant, known for its round shape and glossy deep purple skin. It is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes and cooking methods. 

One unique characteristic of globe eggplant is its mild flavor, making it an ideal choice for those who are not fond of the bitterness often associated with other types of eggplants.

When cooked, globe eggplant develops a creamy texture that melts in your mouth, making it perfect for grilling or roasting. Its sturdy structure also allows it to hold up well in stews and curries without turning mushy. 

The rich purple color of the skin not only adds visual appeal to your dishes but also indicates high levels of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that promotes heart health and protects against certain types of cancer.

In addition to being nutritious and delicious, globe eggplant is incredibly versatile when it comes to culinary applications. It serves as an excellent base for vegetarian meals, like stuffed baked eggplants or veggie stir-fries. 

For meat lovers, combining cube-cut globe eggplant with savory ingredients like tomatoes and spices produces a heavenly braised dish that will have you coming back for seconds. Next time you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, don’t overlook this global superstar – give the globe eggplant a try!

2. Indian Eggplants

Indian Eggplants

One of the most delicious and diverse types of purple eggplants is the Indian eggplant. Known for its vibrant purple color, this variety is a staple in Indian cuisine.

 What sets Indian eggplants apart from other varieties is their small size and their ability to absorb flavors like no other. When cooked, these eggplants have a tender texture that melts in your mouth, making them an absolute delight.

Indian eggplants also offer a wide range of culinary possibilities. They can be stuffed with spices and herbs, roasted until they become rich and smoky, or used in curries for added depth of flavor.

 One popular dish featuring Indian eggplants is Baingan Bharta, where the flesh is gridled over an open flame before being mashed with spices and aromatics. The resulting dish has a unique smokiness that pairs well with rice or bread.

3. Fairy Tale Eggplant

Fairy Tale Eggplant

Fairy tale eggplant, with its petite and slender shape, is like a whimsical character straight out of an enchanted forest. Its vibrant purple skin adds a pop of color to any plate, while its tender flesh gives way to a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. 

Unlike traditional large eggplants, fairy tale eggplants are bite-sized and perfect for roasting or grilling whole. This little gem has a delicate flavor profile that is sweet and nutty, making it a versatile ingredient in both savory dishes and desserts.

One fascinating aspect of fairy tale eggplant is its origin story. Legend has it that these miniature marvels were discovered by accident when farmers stumbled upon them growing alongside full-sized eggplants in their fields. 

Intrigued by their unique appearance and taste, they decided to cultivate them separately and thus the fairy tale eggplant was born. Perhaps this serendipitous discovery adds to the mystique surrounding these enchanting vegetables.

Despite their small size, fairy tale eggplants are packed with nutritional goodness. They are rich in fiber which aids digestion and promotes overall gut health. 

Additionally, they contain important vitamins such as vitamin C which boosts immunity and vitamin K which supports bone health. Incorporating fairy tale eggplant into your meals not only adds beauty but also provides nourishment for your body.

4. Graffiti Eggplant

One of the most visually striking types of purple eggplants is the graffiti eggplant. With its vibrant and eye-catching color, this variety instantly stands out from the rest.

 The name graffiti is inspired by the intricate patterns that adorn its skin, resembling artful graffiti designs on brick walls.

Not only is the graffiti eggplant a feast for the eyes, but it also offers a deliciously unique flavor profile. Its flesh tends to be slightly sweeter than other types of eggplants, with a mild nutty undertone. 

This makes it a versatile ingredient in various cuisines, as it can be grilled, roasted, stuffed, or used in stir-fries.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal and delectable taste, what truly sets the graffiti eggplant apart is its ability to turn any dish into a work of art. 

Imagine adding slices of this striking vegetable to your salads or pasta dishes; their purple hues would undoubtedly elevate these meals from ordinary to extraordinary. So why settle for plain and predictable when you can add a dash of creativity with the graffiti eggplant?

5. Barbarella Eggplant

One of the most visually striking purple eggplants you’ll come across is the Barbarella eggplant. With its vibrant, deep purple skin and elongated shape, it immediately catches the eye.

 But it’s not just about looks – this unique variety also offers a delicious taste and delightful texture that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

What sets Barbarella apart from other types of purple eggplants is its versatility in cooking. Its firm flesh holds up well when grilled or roasted, making it a perfect addition to salads or pasta dishes. 

The rich flavor of Barbarella pairs beautifully with Mediterranean spices like garlic, oregano, and basil, adding depth and complexity to any recipe it’s used in. Whether you’re sautéing it with onions for a heartwarming ratatouille or simply slicing it into thick rounds for grilling, Barbarella eggplant proves that beauty can indeed be tasty too.

Whether you’re an avid cook looking to experiment with new flavors or simply a curious foodie on the hunt for something visually captivating, consider giving Barbarella eggplant a spot in your kitchen. 

6. Machiaw Eggplant

The Machiaw Eggplant is truly a standout variety among its purple counterparts. With its elongated shape and glossy exterior, it catches the eye instantly. But what truly sets it apart is its exceptional flavor profile. 

The Machiaw Eggplant boasts a mildly sweet taste that is delicately balanced by a subtle hint of bitterness. This unique combination creates a sophisticated and complex flavor that leaves a lasting impression on your palate.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Machiaw Eggplant is its versatility in cooking. Its firm yet tender flesh makes it perfect for grilling or roasting, as it retains its shape and moisture exceptionally well.

 When cooked, this eggplant develops a buttery texture with smooth, melt-in-your-mouth consistency that complements an array of dishes beautifully. Whether you decide to use it in stir-fries, curries, or even as part of antipasti platters, the Machiaw Eggplant always adds depth and richness to every bite.

Moreover, what also distinguishes this eggplant variety from others is its high nutritional value. Packed with vitamins A and C as well as potassium and fiber, this vibrant vegetable not only delights our taste buds but also nourishes our body.

 Incorporating the delectable Machiaw Eggplant into your diet can contribute to maintaining good eye health, boosting immunity, promoting heart health, and aiding digestion.

Related Read: learn about pea eggplants

7. Japanese Eggplant

Japanese Eggplant

One variety of purple eggplant that deserves a spotlight is the Japanese eggplant. With its slender shape and vibrant purple skin, this eggplant stands out on any plate. 

What sets it apart from other types of eggplants is its mild and slightly sweet flavor. Unlike larger varieties, the Japanese eggplant has a tender flesh that cooks quickly and absorbs flavors easily.

This unique feature makes it perfect for stir-fries and Asian-inspired dishes. Its slender shape also makes it ideal for grilling or roasting whole, creating a delicious side dish with minimal effort.

 In addition to its culinary versatility, the Japanese eggplant is packed with health benefits as well. It contains high levels of antioxidants and fiber, aiding digestion and promoting overall wellness.

8. Santana Eggplant

Santana eggplant, with its distinct oval shape and vibrant purple hue, is a captivating addition to any dish. Known for its smooth, glossy skin and delicate flavor, this variety of eggplant is a true delight for both the eyes and taste buds.

 Santana eggplants are prized for their versatility in cooking – they can be grilled, roasted, sautéed or even stuffed to create delicious culinary masterpieces.

What sets Santana eggplant apart from other purple eggplants is its tender texture and creamy flesh. When cooked, it becomes buttery soft yet retains a slight firmness that adds a pleasing contrast to dishes.

 This makes it an excellent ingredient for dishes like baba ganoush or ratatouille where the consistency of the vegetable matters. The unique flavor profile of Santana eggplant – mildly sweet with a subtle earthy undertone – pairs well with various herbs and spices such as garlic, thyme, or cumin.

Elevate your next meal by incorporating Santana eggplant into your recipes. Its velvety texture combined with its distinctive flavor will surely impress both you and your guests.

 Whether you roast them until they are caramelized perfection or slice them thinly for an indulgent gratin dish, Santana eggplants offer endless possibilities to explore in your culinary adventures.

9. Ping Tung Eggplant

Ping Tung Eggplant, with its slender profile and vibrant purple color, is a true delight for the eyes and taste buds alike.

 Hailing from Taiwan, this eggplant variety offers a unique flavor that sets it apart from other purple eggplants. It boasts a subtly sweet and slightly nutty taste with a hint of bitterness, adding depth to any dish it graces.

One of the standout features of Ping Tung Eggplant is its versatility in cooking. Its firm yet tender flesh holds up well when grilled or roasted, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a flavorful vegetarian option. 

Additionally, the thin skin of this eggplant variety makes it quick to cook and easy to digest. Whether stir-fried with garlic and soy sauce or used as a filling for dumplings, Ping Tung Eggplant effortlessly elevates any recipe.

Furthermore, beyond its culinary prowess, Ping Tung Eggplant also provides health benefits worth noting. Packed with vitamins A and C, this violet eggplant variety supports overall immune function.

10. Chinese Eggplant

long eggplants

Chinese eggplant, also known as Asian eggplant or elongated eggplant, is a unique variety that stands out from its purple counterparts.

 Its slender shape and vibrant deep purple color make it visually enticing. But what truly sets Chinese eggplant apart is its tender and delicate skin, which lends itself perfectly to an array of culinary creations.

One notable characteristic of Chinese eggplant is its mild flavor profile compared to other types of purple eggplants. This versatile vegetable can absorb the flavors of various spices and sauces easily, making it a popular choice in Asian cuisines. 

Whether stir-fried with garlic and soy sauce or braised with ginger and scallions, Chinese eggplant offers a subtle yet satisfying taste experience that showcases the mastery of flavors found in Eastern cuisine.

Moreover, the texture of Chinese eggplant adds an exceptional element to any dish. When cooked properly, it retains a pleasant firmness while becoming irresistibly creamy on the inside. 

This creates a delightful contrast when paired with other ingredients like tofu or meat. Additionally, due to its high water content, Chinese eggplant has a tendency to soak up less oil than other varieties during cooking, making it an ideal option for those seeking healthier alternatives without compromising on taste.

11. Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Rosa Bianca eggplant, with its unique colors and flavors, is a true gem in the world of purple eggplants. 

The stunning ivory and mauve skin encases a flesh that is exceptionally creamy and tender, making it an ideal choice for gourmet dishes. With a mild, sweet flavor, this Italian heirloom variety brings a delightful touch to various recipes.

What sets Rosa Bianca apart from other purple eggplant varieties is not only its appearance but also its versatility in the kitchen. Its delicate skin doesn’t require peeling, allowing for easy preparation.

 Perfect for roasting or grilling, Rosa Bianca’s smooth texture holds up well when cooked over high heat without turning mushy. Beyond classic Mediterranean dishes like caponata or ratatouille, this eggplant shines when stuffed or used in dips, creating an irresistible creamy base with hints of nutty undertones.

Whether you are a seasoned cook looking to explore new culinary adventures or simply someone who appreciates aesthetically pleasing ingredients on your plate, Rosa Bianca eggplant offers both beauty and taste in every bite. 

So why not bring some elegance to your next meal by incorporating this splendid purple vegetable into your cooking repertoire?

Final Thoughts

There are several types of purple eggplants that offer unique flavors, textures, and appearances. 

From the classic Globe eggplant to the slender Japanese eggplant and the vibrant Rosa Bianca variety, each type brings its own distinctive qualities to the table. Whether you prefer a meaty texture for grilling, a tender flesh for roasting, or a mild flavor for sautéing, there is an eggplant out there to suit your culinary preferences. 

So why not venture beyond the familiar and explore the diverse world of purple eggplants? Expand your palate and discover new recipes that make use of these versatile vegetables. Embrace the rich colors and flavors that these eggplants have to offer, and elevate your dishes to new levels of delicious


Indian eggplant recipe

Chinese eggplant recipe

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