from one generation to the next
My family are pickle and chutney lovers. They won’t settle for a commercial product off the supermarket shelf, or even a gourmet product from the deli, they want their sauces to be homemade from fresh ripe seasonal produce, with real spices and best quality vinegar. They inherited this trait from me and I from my frugal Mum who would never have considered buying such products.
The recipes my Mum followed were given to her by dear friend, a farm girl by heart and habit. She grew most of the family’s fruit and vegetables in a plot beside the house, in a time and place that self sufficiency was an honest and genuine way of life, not a new age escape from the modern world. Good housekeeping was based on making the best of what the land gave you and wasting nothing, so she preserved fruit and vegetables for the lean season. Many of her recipes for pickles and chutneys I still make today.
Ginger, garlic and chilli however are relatively recent inclusions into our everyday flavour choices, as are eggplants. This pickle has a deep connection to the flavours of India, and I love it on Italian sausages! Multiculturalism is alive and well in my kitchen.
Steamed basmati rice with a generous topping of natural yoghurt and and a dollop of either this eggplant pickle or my homemade kasaundi are fast food in our house.
We also love chutney and pickles on grilled and barbequed lamb and sausages, cold roast lamb and beef, sharp cheddar cheese, vegetable fritters, ham, poached eggs, pork terrine,
Marieke is my inspiration for all things Indian!
1 kg eggplants
2 tablespoons salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 chillis, finely chopped
50 g peeled root ginger
1 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoons white mustard seed
1 teaspoon brown mustard seed
2 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons peanut oil
400 mls white wine vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
Wash, dice and salt the eggplants. Leave them to drain.
After 20 minutes, rinse the eggplants and pat dry.
Process the ginger, garlic and chillis to a paste.
Dry roast the seeds, add the ginger, garlic, chilli and a little oil.
Sauté for a few minutes then add the eggplant, vinegar and sugar.
Bring the pot to the boil then lower the heat then simmer uncovered until the eggplants thicken.
Spoon into sterile jars and seal while hot. A vacuum will form as the jars cool.
Eggplant pickle will keep for up to 12 months
Refrigerate after opening
To sterilize jars, place freshly washed jars in the oven for 1/2 hour at 120C. Bring the lids to the boil in a saucepan of water and boil for 5 minutes.