Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Eggplant and Capsicum Chutney

Eggplant, aubergine, eggfruit, guinea squash, pea apple, garden egg, brinjal in India - phew!  And on it goes.  This is such a lovely fruit, so I don't care what you call it!  I think it divides the masses; you either love it or hate it.  You guessed it - I love it of course.  Is there anything nicer than a smokey grilled dip, or a moussaka layered with it, or a flavoursome curry?  Mais oui, you are right; nothing nicer.  Time to make a relish cum chutney I feel with these little beauties. I can hardly keep my hands off them; they are so smooth and sensuous and shiny.  So rush down to your local greengrocer's and grab some eggplants so you can enjoy this delish spread.  (And I get to use my fab and shiny new preserving pan).
This makes about 1.6 kg of chutney; I used 3 small and 3 large jars.


1 kg. eggplant, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 tbs sea salt
2 medium red capsicums, chopped into 2cm pieces
250g.brown onions, chopped into small pieces
150g. dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces - I used whole Medjool ones
250g. brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped (and de-seeded if you are unsure of the heat factor)
1-2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 tsp cummin seeds
500mls. white wine vinegar


Put the chopped eggplant into a colander, sprinkle over the salt, and place the colander over a large bowl or into the sink
Leave for one hour - you will end up with a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the bowl
Rinse the eggplant in cold water and leave to drain for 5 minutes
Tip the now drained eggplant into your large pan with all the other ingredients
Stir frequently over a low heat till the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling
Simmer till the liquid is reduced and you have a thick jammy chutney (this will take 1 + 1/4 hours to 1 + 1/2 hours)
Remember to stir every so often, and more frequently towards the end of the cooking time
Spoon the hot mixture into still-hot jars (that have been washed in hot soapy water then placed in the oven at 130C for 20 minutes)
Store them in a dark cupboard or the fridge for a month, then open and enjoy
Definitely refrigerate after opening!

salting the eggplants

gathering the ingredients

the tiny amount of degorged liquid

rip off the top of the capsicum then pull out the membranes-easy peasy

adding everything to the pan

just 'cos I like my new pan:) 

chutney cooked down 

looks kinda murky 

all finished!

I am a big reader (and former librarian), so you can often find me at our local library.  They refurbished it last year, and then had a grand re-opening with all sorts of activities, including a cooking class with well-known Brisbane cook Alison Alexander.  She made a number of dishes, including this chutney which I have kept pretty much as is except for one or 2 minor changes.  You can add more spices like ginger or turmeric or fenugreek, but I think this version is pretty tasty:)
I have seen recipes where they do not degorge the eggplant first, and others that suggest only doing it for 20 minutes.  I had very little liquid come out and virtually no sweating on the diced pieces so it may not be necessary to do it for long or at all.  It apparently depends on where and when the fruit is grown, for example if grown in colder climates, it takes longer to grow and has more of the bitter juices.  So here in sunny Queensland, I am thinking we are so sweet, that we just don't have the bitter juices at all!:)


  1. Mr Pickings loves a good chutney and this one is so tasty. I tried it on a sandwich straight away, and yes, lovely.

  2. I am firmly in the love camp for eggplant! Thanks for the recipe-it is so plentiful at the markets nowadays :D

  3. but it seems so many people are not eggplant fans. what a shame! this is so delish.

  4. I ADORE eggplant - Sherry. And this chutney sounds fabulous and we have Mr Pickings approval as well:)

    1. hi rachel
      yep eggplant is the best. nice of mr pickings to approve isnt it? :))

  5. I really like Alison Alexander and she makes a wonderful chutney (as far as I can tell). I'm going to give this one a go.

    1. hi maureen
      yes alison has some great recipes. i think i may have cooked this about 10 mins too long as it was quite dry, so keep an eye on it at the end!


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