Aubergine is one of my top obsessions which I’ve spoken about before. An odd vegetable that I never saw eye-to-eye with as a child is something that I now want to eat in all sorts of ways and which I’ve written up a few recipes on already including baba ghanoush, aubergine ‘bacon’, grilled aubergine and stuffed aubergine. I might actually have to start a dedicated aubergine page when I redesign my blog (coming soon in 2017!)
Ruby & Pickles, the supperclub that I co-run, always has a different pickle per event. For our event at the end of November – more on Ruby & Pickles to come in a post very soon – we reached out to our Twitter followers to ask them to decide. The options were aubergine, lime, carrot and coconut. The latter can indeed be done – I’ve still to try it but I’m very intrigued. Lime was leading the way for most of the time the poll was open but in the closing day aubergine suddenly leapt ahead and there we had it – word from the public to get on pickling!
This is one of the simplest pickles I’ve made to date. Partially because it is ready to eat immediately. It doesn’t require extra time to pickle like my lemon pickle or chilli pickle and it doesn’t have loads of ingredients. I adapted a recipe that I found on BBC Good Food which I made less sweet and slightly more bitter.
I used tamarind sauce, not paste as per the original recipe, which is quite sweet so used a little less. I also added salt to this recipe – firstly as an important stage of prepping aubergines is to salt them and secondly as I wanted it to be a more pickly flavour than a chutney.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 red onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 12 curry leaves
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1-2 tbsp tamarind sauce
- 1kg aubergines, diced and well salted (4-5 medium aubergines)
- 75g raisins
- 150g light brown sugar
- 250ml malt vinegar
Heat the oil in a pan then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the spices and stir until the onions are coated. Add the tomato puree and 1 tbsp of the tamarind sauce and cook a little more.
Add the aubergines, raisins, sugar and vinegar and stir well ensuring it’s all coated. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for 20-30 minutes until the pickle has thickened and the aubergines are cooked.
Taste the pickle and add more salt, vinegar and garam masala if desired. You can also add the remaining tamarind if you want it to be a bit more sweet and sour.
Leave it to cool for 10 minutes and then transfer into sterilised jars. The pickle can be eaten straight away but will also keep for 6 months.