Brinjal kasundi

by Al Brown | Cuisine issue #149
Serves: 6This is an outstanding spicy, hot, eggplant chutney from Pippa Lee

The recipe comes from Pippa Lee, our fantastic neighbour and wonderful friend. She is one of those seriously great cooks who have a natural flair and talent when it comes to cooking and working with food.

1&1⁄3 cups canola oil
1&1⁄2 cups finely diced onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped fresh ginger
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons turmeric
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
250ml malt vinegar
1&3⁄4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1kg eggplant, cut into 1cm dice
85g roughly chopped fresh red chillies

Place a medium-large saucepan on moderate-low heat. Add a third of a cup of the oil and the onions. Fry for 10–15 minutes until soft then add the first lot of finely chopped ginger and garlic. Fry with the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden.

In a dry sauté pan, toast the cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Grind and set aside.

Place the roughly chopped ginger and garlic, the turmeric and whole cumin seeds and a splash or two of the malt vinegar into a food processor and whizz to a paste. Reserve.

Once the onion mixture is golden, add the toasted and ground spices along with the wet spice paste. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.

Add the remaining vinegar, sugar and salt, mix through to combine, then add the eggplant and chillies. Stir occasionally and simmer to reduce, adding some of the remaining cup of canola oil as needed. You may not need it all. The kasundi is ready when it has a soft, jam-like consistency (about 40 minutes).

Remove and cool before refrigerating until required, or preserve in hot sterilised jars.

(Makes about 1kg)

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