Brinjal, eggplants, or aubergine make a delicious condiment. We call this brinjal pickle in India but you may know it as eggplant pickle, or eggplant chutney. Sweet, spicy, and tangy all at the same time from the sugar, spice, and vinegar cooked in oil. Perfect to have as a side with meat dishes, with chapati, or rice on its own.
The process of preserving eggplant or pickling eggplant is common in every culture. From the far east to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Some preserved eggplant or marinated eggplant recipes are as simple as a brine made with salt, sugar, vinegar, and spices.
Of course, in India, we love our spices!. Pickle in India is made differently from region to region. And, while each and every one is delicious there will be some you will enjoy more than others. So, don't stop looking for your favorite recipe.
Today, I am sharing my favorite which is my mom's recipe for brinjal pickle. We took this pickle with us to our boarding school every year. While a tablespoon of pickle is all you need to accompany your meal, I can eat this out of the jar with a spoon. In fact, mom made it a little sweeter for us!
Tips when making pickles
- Sun drying the chopped eggplant will increase the shelf life of the pickle. Drying in the sun dehydrates the vegetable removing excess moisture that can cause contamination. So if you want to store it for a longer time do not skip this step. I store my pickle in the fridge so I do not dry them in the sun.
- Oil works as a preservative so do not reduce the oil in the recipe. When eating try not to take the oil out. The more oil in the jar the longer the shelflife of the pickle. For a healthier option use coconut oil.
- Vinegar is the second important preservative ingredient in this recipe that helps increase the shelf life of the pickle. I prefer apple cider vinegar.
- Salt - is another preservative that extends the shelf life of pickles which is why most pickles are salty along with sour. This recipe uses less because we have not preserved it.
- Sugar - while it is also a preservative it is often used to balance the salt and sour taste in the pickles. You can add more sugar if you like a sweeter pickle. You can also use grated jaggery, agave syrup or honey instead.
You can use this recipe to make pickles or relish with other veggies as well such as carrot pickles, beetroot pickles, etc
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Brinjal Pickle aka Eggplant RelishPrint Pin Rate
- Heavy Bottom Wide Saucepan
- Cutting Board
- Kitchen Knife
- Wooden spoon
- 1 lb (500 g) Eggplants Brinjal, aubergine
- ½ cup (120 ml) Cooking oil
- 10 Curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Mustard seeds sarson
- 2 Green chillies slit (optional)
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar or grated jaggery
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 inch Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 teaspoon Cumins seed jeera
- ¼ cup Vinegar white
- 2 teaspoon Red chilli powder hot
- Prepare Eggplant - Chop the eggplant into 1-inch cubes or 4-inch strips. Sprinkle with salt and set aside in a colander to drain excess moisture. Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside. Pro tip - if you plan to store this pickle for longer, you will need to sun dry the eggplant for 24 to 48 hours before making the pickle.
- Grind masala - Place all ingredients masala paste ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan and fry the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add all the ground masala and fry on low heat for two minutesPro tip - the oil is plenty so cook on low until you get a nice aroma. Do not add any water.
- Next, add the chopped brinjal/eggplant, green chilies, sugar, and salt. Cook on medium-low until eggplant is cooked. Remove from heat, let cool completely Pro tip - if using grated jaggery - add it to the masala paste first and cook until it almost dissolves as it takes a bit longer than sugar.
- Pour into sterilized bottles and store them in the fridge. Pro tip - if you have sun-dried the eggplants before making the pickle you can store the jars at room temperature.
For a healthier option use
- ½ cup Coconut oil instead of 1 cup cooking oil
- ½ cup grated jaggery, ¼ cup honey or agave syrup instead of ½ cup sugar
- Use Apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar.
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