- Ripe Brinjal Pieces – 500gms
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4tsp
- Tamarind – 70gms
- Salt – 85gms or to taste
- Red Chili Powder – 50gms
- Fenugreek Seeds – 10gms
- Oil – 100gms
- Oil – kept aside for seasoning
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/2tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/8tsp
- Red Chilies – 2 (Break each chili into two pieces)
In a bowl of water add ripe brinjals and wash well by rubbing with fingers. Wipe the washed brinjals with a dry cloth and keep them aside to dry completely.
Cut the top portions of the ripe brinjals and cut them vertically. Slice the cut brinjals into big pieces. Take the brinjal pieces into a deep bowl which is dry. To the brinjal pieces add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to coat all brinjal pieces with salt. Make a well in the centre and place tamarind there. Cover the tamarind with the salt coated ripe brinjal pieces and press. Cover the bowl with lid and keep it in a dry place. By next day morning water oozes out of the brinjal mixture. Without touching the tamarind mix the brinjal pieces so that all the pieces are coated well with the salt solution. Like this mix the brinjal pieces every day—morning and evening for two days. On the third day remove the softened tamarind from the brinjal mixture.
Spread a plastic sheet in sun to dry the brinjal pieces. Press and remove liquid from the brinjal pieces and spread them on the plastic sheet. Dry the brinjal pieces in hot sun for six hours or till evening. Meanwhile make other preparations.
Heat a pan and add oil to it. Heat the oil well and switch off the stove. Cool the oil till it reaches room temperature. After six hours, bring the shrunken brinjal pieces to prepare the pickle.
Heat a pan and add fenugreek seeds. Fry the seeds stirring on low flame till they change color to brown. Fry the seeds till they are browned even from inside. To test this, take a fried fenugreek seed and crush with a heavy thing. When the crushed seed appears evenly browned even from inside it indicates that the seeds are fried well. Take the fried fenugreek seeds into a plate and allow them to cool. Take a dry mixie jar and add the fried fenugreek seeds and grind. Add the fenugreek powder to the juice obtained after separating tamarind and brinjal pieces from the mixture. To the mixie jar add the softened tamarind and grind to a smooth paste. Add this tamarind paste to the juice and mix well. Now add the shrunken brinjal pieces to the mixture and mix well. Then add red chili powder and mix once again. The mixture appears dry as there won’t be much juice. Add the oil which we have heated and cooled in intervals and mix. Take some oil and keep it aside for seasoning and add the remaining oil in the pickle and mix well. The pickle is ready for seasoning.
For Ingredients see in the box above
Take oil which has been kept aside and heat it. When oil is hot add fenugreek seeds and fry for few seconds. Then add mustard seeds and fry stirring till the seeds crackle fully. Then add asafoetida and red chili pieces and mix well. Before the red chili pieces change color add this seasoning to the prepared pickle and mix well. Transfer the prepared pickle to a clean ceramic bowl or glass jar and store in a dry place. After one week the bitterness of fenugreek powder diminishes and the pickle will be ready to taste.
Points To Observe:
After the crop some brinjals are left to the plants without plucking to collect seeds. Such brinjals will ripen and have more seeds with a special smell. These ripe brinjals are used to prepare the pickle.
Salt mixed tamarind acts as a preservative to this pickle.
Dry the brinjals well before pickling otherwise fungus forms and spoils the pickle.
As the pieces are dried in sun they will shrink—so cut the brinjals into big pieces.
Mix the salt-turmeric coated brinjal pieces twice a day to ensure all pieces are coated well with salt/salt solution.
Fry the fenugreek seeds till they are browned—even from inside—otherwse they will taste bitter.
Unlike Tomato pickle or Mango pickle (Maagaya) there will be less juice in this pickle. So more oil is required to moist the pickle.
While frying the seasoning few points are important to note. Fry the fenugreek seeds in hot oil for few seconds and then add mustard seeds. Fry the mustard seeds till they crackle fully—by that time fenugreek seeds will change color to brown. Switch off the stove and then add asafoetida and red chili pieces. The heat of the oil will be sufficient to fry asafoetida and red chili pieces. Before the red chili pieces change color to dark red or black add the seasoning to the prepared pickle and mix well. if the seasoning is fried as mentioned above, it will release a nice aroma and the pickle will get the taste.
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