Eggplant (US), aubergine (UK), or brinjal (South Asia and South Africa) is a plant species in the nightshade familySolanaceae, Solanum melongena, grown for its often purple edible fruit.
The spongy, absorbent fruit of the plant is widely used in cooking in many different cuisines, and is often considered a vegetable, even though it is a berry by botanical definition. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to the tomato and the potato. Like the tomato, its skin and seeds can be eaten, but, like the potato, it is not advisable to eat it raw. Eggplant is nutritionally low in macronutrient and micronutrient content, but the capability of the fruit to absorb oils and flavors into its flesh through cooking expands its use in the culinary arts.