If you have any of the Lebanese eggplants in your patch, you'll know how prolific they can be. This pickle is a great way to use up some of the glut and have it available in a delicious curried preserve, ideal to dollop over food for a great flavour hit. The worst thing about it is that you need to be patient after you make it - you have to wait a month before eating to let the flavours develop! You can use other eggplants for this recipe equally well.
You will need:
800g eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
Cooking salt - 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon
4 cloves garlic, chopped
50g fresh ginger, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
125ml vegie oil or light olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
250ml white wine vinegar
160g white sugar
1. Put the chopped eggplant in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cooking salt. Leave for 20 minutes or longer, then rinse well in cold water and pat dry with a clean teatowel or paper towels.
2. Place the ginger, garlic and chilli in a food processor to make a paste. If needed, add a teaspoon of water to help make a paste.
3. Heat the oil in a large, wide frypan and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic/ginger/chilli paste with the cumin, fennel seeds, ground coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the eggplant cubes and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened.
4. Add the white wine vinegar, the sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until soft.
5. Spoon immediately into hot sterilised jars. Remove any air bubbles. Lid with clean lids, label and date.
6. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month to allow the flavours to develop. Can be stored for up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 6 weeks.
Makes about 1000ml.