Eggplant Pickle

For years now, I’ve envied folks that can make good pickles. In our home we always enjoy a good pickle, but that is one thing my mother never made much of, when we were growing up. She had a few good recipes but seldom made them. She made a real good green chilly pickle and a Goan pickle using prawns and another one using fish. So most of the time we ended up using store bought pickle. We didn’t have a choice really. I didn’t care much for the store bought variety, expect for a certain kind we got in Goa, but those trips usually happened once a year.

Then one year, a dear friend of mine had to visit her aunt who lived an hour and a half away from where we lived and she asked me to go with her. At lunch, she served up a home made eggplant pickle that I fell in love with. I must have been about 16 years old then, so it never really occurred to me to ask her how she made it, nor did I have access to the tonnes of information that is accessible on the internet in today’s day and age. But over the years, I’d think about that wonderful pickle and often wondered if I would every find something similar again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I got a fantastic deal on some eggplant and picked up a couple of large ones. I originally thought I’d grill it and store it in some olive oil with some herbs. But I ran out of time and it got to the stage where we were to leave for our holiday the very next day. What I haven’t told you yet is that a few weeks prior to that I came across a recipe for a Goan eggplant pickle, which I glanced at and moved on without making much of it. Since grilling and preserving the eggplant in such a short time frame was out of the question, I thought about that recipe and dug around for it.

I was a little sceptical since I’d never made a pickle before. But I figured I had nothing to lose but trying my hand at it this once. I always thought it was a daunting process. I was amazed at how simple this recipe was. A few spices, a little cooking and a week of maturing. We got back from our holiday to a really fabulous pickle. Very similar to my friend’s aunt’s version. This recipe is a keeper. I made a few changes to the recipe and the one below, reflects those changes. It’s safe to say that I’m very happy with this first attempt and can’t wait to try out some more as and when we need to replenish our stock. This pickle is mildly spiced and sweet at the same time and is a wonderful accompaniment to a simple dal and rice or any meal really. 🙂

Eggplant Pickle
Adapted from: Erica’s Yummy Food


2 large eggplants
20 cloves of garlic
2 pieces of ginger, each about 3″ long
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
12 cloves
4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 heaping tsp mustard seeds
A handful of curry leaves
4 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Prep a glass bottle but thoroughly washing and making sure it is completely dry. (You could use mason jars if you like.) Any moisture on the bottle will result in your pickle going bad. It will get moudly and you wont be able to eat it. I simply place the bottle in a dishwasher and it is perfectly washed and bone dry.

Cut the eggplant into cubes (about 1/2″).

Sprinkle the eggplant with 4 tsp of salt and toss well. Set this aside for 2 hours.

You can now prep the rest of your ingredients, while you wait for the eggplant to discard all the excess moisture.

Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.

Using a mixer / food processor, grind the ginger, garlic, fenugreek leaves, cumin seeds, cloves, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and vinegar to a paste.

After 2 hours, you will notice that the eggplant has released a lot of moisture. Drain all the liquid from the eggplants and gently squeeze the eggplant to get rid of any liquid. You want to be gentle and let the cubes retain their shape but still discard and excess liquid.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Lower the heat to a medium low.

Add the mustard seeds and let them sputter.

When they are sputtering, carefully add the curry leaves.

Add the spice paste and cook on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes. But cooking the paste first, you are left with a mellow flavour and not a sharp tartness of the vinegar. Stir frequently.

Add the eggplant cubes and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir gently every now and then to mix well, but be careful to not break down the eggplant pieces. After cooking for 10 minutes,  the eggplant cubes should be tender but will still somewhat retain their shape and not be too mushy.

Add the sugar to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes and now you will see the oil separating at the sides of the pan.

Take off the heat and spoon the hot pickle into the prepared glass bottles. Cover the bottle and leave it on your counter to cool. (Bottling it when it is still hot creates a vacuum when the mix cools and ensures your pickle has a good shelf life.)

When it has completely cooled, you can store it in the fridge. I left mine to mature for a week while we were away.

Enjoy!!!

Now, do your pickle loving self a favour and try this recipe out soon. You can thank me later. 🙂

Mango Chia Pudding

For quite sometime now I’ve seen so many variants of the Chia pudding pop up all over the place. I’ve been tempted to try it out and see if we’d like it for a while. But I’m pleased to report that I’m finally part of the Chia pudding lover’s clan. I’ve tried a couple of flavours so far and we’ve loved them. These are pudding options that are perfect either for breakfast, a snack or dessert. The first one was an Almond Joy inspired one, which we gobbled up before we could get any pictures. But going by how much we enjoyed that one, I wanted to try out a few more options. And that’s when I came across this one. I love mangoes. I’ve been missing the good old Alphonso mangoes that are really popular in Goa and Mumbai. I have not had another mango that can match the Alphonso in taste and texture. As luck would have it, a while ago, when I was picking up a few things from my local Aldi store, I saw these…

This pulp is sweetened. But it is so good, I could eat it with a spoon and call it dessert. I picked up a couple of cans. One was used for milkshakes and smoothies and one was in the pantry. I ended up using this pulp for the chia pudding. And since this was sweetened, I didn’t add any sweetener to the milk. However, if you aren’t using a sweetened pulp, you will need to add either honey or dates or sugar; basically any sweetener of your choice. Also, please note that the quantities mentioned below can be adjusted to suit your preference.
These are perfect for make ahead options. You can make them the previous day and have them ready to go in the morning. You could also set these in travel containers to take your breakfast to work. All you need to make now is the chia pudding, which is as simple as stirring the chia seeds into the milk. That’s it. I stuck with the whole Goa inspired flavours and topping the puddings with some toasted cashew nuts. It was pretty spectacular – perfect for summer. I can wait to find some more of these cans of mango pulp now.

Have you tried chia puddings before? What’s your favourite combination? Leave me a comment and let me know, I’m eager to try out different variations.
Mango Chia Pudding
Serves 2
2/3 cup Mango pulp, sweetened
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
A handful of cashew nuts, toasted
In 2 glasses, pour the mango pulp. I filled about 1/3 of the glass with the mango pulp, careful to not let the mango drip down the sides of the glass.
Set aside in the refrigerator.
In a seperate bowl, combine the chia seeds, milk and vanilla and stir for about 3-4 minutes constantly, till it becomes a thick pudding. Let it stand for about 5 minutes to set.
Pour the chia pudding over the mango pulp carefully, in a steady stream.

Cover the glasses with cling film and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, top with some chopped up toasted cashewnuts.

Sit back and enjoy!!!