Aubergine pickle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

In this tangy pickle recipe, Brinjal Achar, the most important step is preparing the aubergine carefully, as described below, since the moisture from the vegetable must be extracted completely. This pickle is delicious served with a range of snacks, and as a condiment to accompany many different curries.


  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant), about 400g/14 oz, peeled
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp salt
  • 5 ml/1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 ml/1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 7.5 ml/ tsp cumin seeds
  • 120 ml/4fl oz/½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground asafoetida
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 cm/2 in piece of fresh root ginger, grated
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp granulated (white) sugar
  • 20 g/¾ oz/2 scant tbsp salt
  • 175 ml/6fl oz/¾ cup white wine vinegar


  1. Cut the aubergine into 2.5cm/1in chunks. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt.

  2. Put the aubergine in muslin (cheesecloth), tie it up, and place in a colander positioned over a bowl. Put a clean weight on top and leave for 7 hours to drain off all the water.

  3. Grind the mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds finely in a coffee grinder or blender. Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the ground spices and fry for 2–3 minutes, until they release their aroma.

  4. Add the asafoetida, crushed garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, vinegar and aubergine chunks. Stir to combine, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes or until the aubergine is tender.

  5. Cool completely and store in a sterilized jar (see Cook’s Tip). Allow 12–14 days for the pickle to mature, then serve as a condiment with any snack or curry.

Per portion Energy 870kcal/3609kJ; Protein 9.1g; Carbohydrate 46.7g, of which sugars 34.8g; Fat 73.7g, of which saturates 8g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 89mg; Fibre 9.6g; Sodium 3946mg.