Friday, December 19, 2008

eggplant relish

i call this eggplant relish very loosely. i put tons of things in it, eggplant being one of them. i have always loved chutneys, relishes and pickles, especially when they are homemade; very often, bought ones have something lacking, although there are good ones around. this one is one of my very favourites because i've put in all the flavours i so adore in chutneys. i admit to not using the recipe faithfully - sometimes one has to wing it with whatever is on hand - approximations are fine as long as there's enough vinegar and sugar.
we love this with cheese, sliced meats and sandwiches.

1 kg eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
1 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 chillies, seeded and sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
1/2 head garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons curry powder
1 orange, sliced thinly and chopped
1 cup dried apricots, diced
1 cup dates
1/2 cup crystalised ginger, diced
1/2 sultanas
1/2 cup currants
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
salt to taste

commence preparations the day before by soaking the diced eggplant in well salted water.
next day, rinse the eggplant well and squeeze and much moisture from them as possible.
heat oil in a large stockpot and add the onions, garlic, capsicum and chillies. stir over a low flame and allow the onions to soften. add the eggplant and stir to coat with the oil. allow to simmer until the eggplant has fully cooked. add the curry powder, orange, apricots, dates, ginger, sultanas and currants. stir well to combine. add the vinegar and sugar and allow to simmer over low heat for about half an hour. stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from catching. add salt if neccesary.
bottle in sterilised jars and seal immediately.

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