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Milly's Brinjal Pickle

Milly's Brinjal Pickle


4 Medium Eggplants
2 Tbsp Salt
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 Cinnamon stick, broken
2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tsp Ground turmeric
1/2 cup Rice bran oil
1 Medium onion finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 Red peppers (capsicum) seeded and diced
2 Tbsp Tamarind paste
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Sultanas
1/4 cup Fresh lime juice.


Top and tail eggplants and cut into 2cm cubes. Place into a colander or large sieve and sprinkle with the salt. Set aside for an hour to allow them to release their bitter juices. Toast the cumin, coriander, fenugreek and fennel seeds in a small pan over a medium heat until slightly darkened and fragrant (do not allow to burn). Remove from the heat, allow to cool and then grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle (or your trusty electric spice mill or Vitamix which makes it so easy). Add the cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, and turmeric and set aside.

Rinse the eggplant cubes quickly under cold water then pat them dry with a clean tea towel. Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large sauté or preserving pan over medium to high heat. Add one-third of the eggplants and fry until soft and starting to brown. Transfer from the pan to a bowl, and cook the remaining eggplants in batches in the same way.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil in the pan and add the onions, garlic, ginger and red peppers. Cook over medium heat for about 7-8 minutes, until soft and just starting to colour. Add all your spices and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Return the cooked eggplants to the pan along with the tamarind paste, vinegar, sultanas and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the pickle has thickened and the vegetables are very tender.

Taste the pickle and add fresh lime juice and more salt, if needed (it often does). Spoon into sterilised jars and seal immediately. Once the pickle is cold, label the jars and store in a cool, dry place for at least 2 months before opening. (it will be worth the wait, I promise). Store, unopened, for months in a dark, cool cupboard or pantry. Once opened and stored in the fridge, it will keep for at least 2-3 months.

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