1 kg eggplant (about 2 large eggplant), cut into small chunks
¼ C salt
½ C coconut oil (or veg oil), possibly more later if it is sticking
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
decent knob of ginger, finely grated
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 stem of fresh curry leaves
5 red birdseye chillies, or equivalent
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 C malt vinegar
50 gm raw sugar
Spicy, sweet and full of flavour is the humble eggplant pickle. A punchy condiment to be dolloped beside a curry, dahl, omelette… jazzing up even a sandwich with it’s relaxed flair. This late summer/autumn harvest time gives us eggplants in abundance, you might even have a load from the garden, so this is a reminder to use them up and make a tasty stash of pickles for the rest of the year.
I followed this older recipe from the folks at Gourmet Traveller – so have copied it here directly for you. I would crank up the spices a little bit for the next batch, and if there is fresh tumeric around then definitely make use of that. Suit yourself on the level of chilli, and double or triple this recipe to make plenty for later. For larger quantities, you may also want to utilise a food processor to make a paste from the chilli, ginger and garlic. Enjoy!
“Combine eggplant and 2 tbsp sea salt in a colander and stand until bitter juices drain from eggplant (20-30 minutes).
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add fenugreek and mustard seeds and cook until seeds begin to pop (20-30 seconds). Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant (10-20 seconds), then add eggplant, curry leaves, chilli and remaining spices, stirring frequently until eggplant is tender (5-10 minutes). Add vinegar, sugar and remaining sea salt and stir occasionally until vinegar reduces by two-thirds (5-10 minutes). Transfer to sterilised jars, seal jars, stand until cooled”.
Unless the delicious oily mixture is no longer piping hot when you jar and seal them, I’m not sure this next step of the water bath is necessary. But here are their directions if you want to be sure the batch will keep in the pantry:
“Place jars in a saucepan of simmering water and cook over low-medium heat until jars are heated through (15-25 minutes). Remove jars from pan, stand until cooled, then refrigerate. Eggplant pickle will keep for 2-3 weeks after opening”.
Feel free to share your own tips or eggplant pickle recipes in the comments!