Spicy Aubergine Chutney

Cheese platters are my thing!

I find it an utterly satisfying and relaxing experience to bring out my beautiful boards, pop on some delicious varieties of cheese (atleast one new type each time) and then fill up the platter with figs, grapes, crackers, cold cuts and chutneys. And of course, pop open a really good bottle of white….and unwind on a Friday evening.

It’s been a while since I had indulged this way; the past couple of weeks were work hectic which combined with poor time management skills left me thoroughly exhausted and drained out. So mid last week, I was a lady on a mission – to create a delicious platter experience for my small family catching up over some much needed ‘us’ time.

I always stock up on small batch chutneys in my pantry, both homemade and others that I pick up while travelling or from local businesses. But this time, I realized that I had run out of most of them and what was available wouldn’t really go well with the platter I had in mind. So what do you do? Just make one yourself….

Out came my cookbooks and my eyes fell on one which I had borrowed from a friend and totally forgotten about. The title, ‘The Preserving Book’ by Lynda Brown – just perfect! To cut a long story short, I narrowed in on this Spicy Aubergine (Eggplant/Brinjal) Chutney for two reasons. First, I loved the play of spices in this one and second; aubergines do not feature in my favourite list of vegetables so this would be an interesting way of eating it.

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - deliciously sweet and spicy - thespiceadventuress.com

I got a bit lucky while shopping for aubergines at my local veggie store. Found baby aubergines, the deep dark purple variety quite commonly used in India especially in South India. They were ripe and just perfect for the chutney. Remember to get really ripe vegetables when making chutney, also forget about the most beautiful and polished looking ones. (The food waste statistics of Australia scare me so I make it a point to pick up assorted shapes and sizes of vegetables especially if I am going to cut it up for the dish. How do the looks matter?)

A good chutney is all about balance and the perfect play of flavours so while the measurements that I have outlined would give you a delicious end product, I strongly urge you to taste along the way and make adjustments as I did while adapting the recipe from the book.

Apple cider vinegar and a dash of tomato paste add acidity which is counterbalanced by the sweetness form the raw sugar and sultanas. While there are other spices involved, what makes this chutney truly unique in flavour are the Nigella seeds and ginger.

Baby Aubergines - Food styling and photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - deliciously sweet and spicy - thespiceadventuress.com

This chutney can be left to mature in flavour for a month before using and if preserved in the right manner, will last upto a year. So a great option if you are making in bulk. But I am a small batch person so prepared just 2 small bottles and also opened it within two days.

So here we have the deliciously sweet and spicy Aubergine chutney….the perfect condiment for your cheese platter. In fact, it is the perfect condiment to just about anything…..a dash of it with roast lamb cutlets or as a traditional chutney with your Indian meals. Fingerlickin good!

(The cheese that I picked up for the board include a soft creamy Brie, smoked cheddar with Native Australian pepperberry and a blue veined cheese)

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - makes a delicious addition to your cheese platter - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - makes a delicious addition to your cheese platter - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 450gm baby aubergines
  2. 1 medium red onion; finely chopped
  3. 3/4 tbsp tomato paste
  4. 220ml apple cider vinegar
  5. 250gm raw brown sugar
  6. 60gms sultanas/raisins
  7. ½ tsp chilli flakes
  8. ½ tsp cayenne pepper/hot chilli powder (optional)
  9. 1 cinnamon bark
  10. 1 tsp Nigella/onion seeds
  11. 1 ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
  12. Salt, to season

Method:

  1. Wash the aubergines and pat dry. Slice the aubergines and place in a heavy bottomed pan along with the onions and salt. Also add the tomato paste and stir well to combine.
  2. Cook for a minute or two and then add the vinegar and sugar; mix well and then add the sultanas, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger and Nigella seeds. Stir well and cook on medium heat till the sugar has almost dissolved. Turn the heat up and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  4. Open the pan and continue to cook on low heat stirring occasionally so that the mixture does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. The chutney is ready when it has turned thick and sticky; also taste and make sure that the vinegar has been absorbed well or it will taste acidic.
  5. Remove the cinnamon stick and allow to cool well. Ladle into sterilized jars with tight lids. Refrigerate.

Note – If you want to preserve the chutney, then add the chutney to sterilized jars and make sure there are no air gaps. Cover the lids with waxed paper discs and use non-metallic lids. Seal and label the bottle. Leave to mature for a month in the pantry. Refrigerate after opening.

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - deliciously sweet and spicy - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Aubergine Chutney - deliciously sweet and spicy - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Spicy Aubergine Chutney

  1. emmaorussell September 13, 2016 at 11:32 am Reply

    I love aubergines, and this sounds absolutely divine. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chefceaser June 9, 2016 at 8:45 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Spicy Aubergine Chutney blew me away and a lot of you loved it […]

    Like

  4. joannafirrisa May 27, 2016 at 7:28 am Reply

    Wow! This recipe looks amazing. I must try it out as it doesn’t seem too complicated and I also love cheese boards. I’m thinking to male it a big batch and give as gifts to foodie friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joannafirrisa May 27, 2016 at 7:27 am Reply

    Wow! This recipe looks absolutely amazing – I must try it out as it doesn’t seem complicated. It could be also a good gift for a foodie. I also love cheese boards.
    I like your label too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Joanna; it would make a perfect edible gift.

      Like

  6. Shari from GoodFoodWeek May 25, 2016 at 8:03 am Reply

    I need to make this! If only to have it on hand when baby number three arrives and I will be devouring all of the soft cheeses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 25, 2016 at 10:04 am Reply

      Do try it Shari, really easy to make and hardly any work involved. And congrats on baby three….

      Like

  7. The Purple Ladle May 25, 2016 at 3:07 am Reply

    what a gorgeous recipe! this would be great for a gift for someone, very special!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers May 23, 2016 at 9:10 am Reply

    I just got some aubergine from our local growers market this looks fabulous and I love your skyscraper spoon too. Thanks for linking up with YWF

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 23, 2016 at 9:11 am Reply

      Thanks Vicki; do give it a try; I am sure you will enjoy it. And that skyscraper is Eureka skydeck in Melbourne.

      Like

  9. machinegunmeow May 22, 2016 at 3:22 am Reply

    I love baby aubergines and am jealous/ happy you found some. My favourite way to eat them is to score and stuff them with a coriander leaf based spice paste.
    Now this chutney though . . . . I could eat this all day with a creamy Brie like you have right there. And I spot some figs which really take that cheese platter to another level of divinity. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 22, 2016 at 3:32 am Reply

      True; I have always had these aubergines in traditional peparations so this was a delicious delight.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Balvinder May 21, 2016 at 7:10 pm Reply

    Looks so mouthwatering good!
    I have never heard of aubergine chutney before, look forward to trying it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 22, 2016 at 3:31 am Reply

      New for me too but so pleased I tried it out. You must surely give it a try.

      Like

  11. Shreya @delightmytummy May 18, 2016 at 11:05 am Reply

    I’m so sorry, its the One Lovely Blog Award and the link is http://www.delightmytummy.com/one-lovely-blog-award

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shreya @delightmytummy May 18, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

    This looks so delicious! Btw, I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blogger Award! Make sure you check out the nomination post at http://www.delightmytummy.com/one-lovely-blogger-award

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 18, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

      Thanks so much Shreya; will definitely take a look. Thanks again.

      Like

  13. barbara verhaege (@babakitchen) May 18, 2016 at 8:37 am Reply

    OMG !! i keep this recipe, this is the perfect thing to add on my cheesy plate !!! thank you – greetings from bruxelles, belgium 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 18, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

      Awesome Barbara; happy to connect with you here.

      Like

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