Roast Eggplant Chutney

A tangy and spicy chutney with a smoky flavour of roasted eggplants
Ingredients - Makes 1 cup
  • 300 g whole eggplant (also known as aubergine/brinjal)
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped roughly (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 5 g tamarind
  • ¼ tsp jaggery or brown sugar, optional
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the tempering
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1½ tsp black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 dried red chillies, broken into small pieces
  • 6-8 curry leaves, optional
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  1. To roast the eggplant over a flame
    1. Prick a few holes all over the eggplant to let the steam out as it cooks
    2. Wrap generously with aluminium foil (a couple of layers) and seal well
    3. Grill over an open flame (over a gas stove). Move with tongs occasionally to roast all sides. The smaller the eggplant, the quicker the roasting time
    4. It will feel soft once it is completely roasted
    5. You can roast the eggplant without the foil covering, it will just be messier
    6. Take off the flame, and let it cool slightly on the counter
    7. Unwrap carefully (it will be hot inside) and slice lengthwise
    8. Scoop out the soft flesh from the inside into a bowl and set aside
  2. Alternatively, to roast in the oven
    1. Preheat oven to maximum temperature setting
    2. Halve the eggplant lengthwise. Place flesh-side down on a greased baking sheet
    3. Roast for 15-30 minutes or until they are charred and look ready to collapse
    4. Scoop out the soft flesh into a bowl and set aside
  3. To make the chutney
    1. Grind the eggplant flesh with tamarind, green chillies, jaggery (or sugar) in a {spice mill}, {Indian mixie grinder} or {magic bullet} or something similar. Alternatively, use a {mortar and pestle} for a more rustic feel of the chutney
    2. Add the fresh coriander and mix well
  4. For the tempering
    1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add fenugreek seeds and black gram (urad dal) and fry till they start to brown
    2. Add mustard seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves and fry till the mustard seeds splutter
    3. Turn off the heat, add the asafoetida and mix the tempering into the chutney
    4. Serve fresh
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