We had a great crop of eggplant but when it came time to pull them to prepare the soil for our winter and spring crops there were a number of eggplant that had been hiding. I remembered how much we loved rice, fried egg and ikan billis and some sort of relish, and, because I detest waste this is the result. The funny thing is I very nearly abandoned my lifelong process of weighing as I go so that I end up with a recipe and I am so glad I didn’t because it is scrumptious.

You can see the state of the eggplant from the image… the very seedy part of the eggplants went to the compost.

PLEASE refer to sterilising your jars click here

posted 15 May 2021


day one
2kg p/w eggplant cubed about 15 mm…………[1]
50g fine sea salt

day two
for the whole spice
15g cumin
30g coriander seed

550g p/w brown onion, finely chopped
90g ginger:garlic finely chopped or processed in a  food processor
vegetable or peanut oil….about 200ml in total
2 yellow habanero, finely chopped or 6-8 Thai chillies, finely chopped
30g yellow mustard seeds
15g black mustard seeds
30 curry leaves
20 Thai basil leaves
20 basil leaves
55g turmeric powder
100g tamarind purée
750g Italian style passata sauce…or you can use Olive’s Tomato Sauce but skip half of the onion
400g dark brown sugar
500g white wine vinegar

Maldon to taste


day one

Put the eggplant into a bowl, sprinkle the salt over, then toss over thoroughly. Toss over another three times at least two hours apart.

day two

Taking small handfuls squeeze out as much liquid as possible and set them to one side.

Dry roast the cumin and coriander seed until it starts to crackle. Immediately tip it into a bowl, toss over a couple of times and then allow is to cool completely. Grind until powdered in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Using about 100ml of the oil in a wok on medium heat sauté the onion and ginger:garlic for a few minutes, then add the chilli, yellow and black mustard seeds and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is cooked through. Add the curry leaves and basil and continue cooking for another few minutes then add the turmeric powder and the squeezed eggplant and continue cooking and stirring over for time to time for 15 minutes.

Add the tamarind purée and passata sauce, stir over then add the sugar, stir over and finally add the vinegar.

Cook on gently heat until the liquids are well reduced, and you have a good chutney/relish consistency. Check for salt and adjust s necessary.

Bottle in sterilised jars….see our sterilisation bible

[1] Whilst this is a great way of using the old hard end of season eggplants the recipe will work equally as well will eggplants in the season, however, the cooking time will be greatly reduced to ensure you still have some eggplant texture. Make this small recipe adjustment by reducing the passata and vinegar by about half before adding it to the relish.


we love

in any

let your imagination
run wild!
this relish is divine with paratha!