Today at lunch a co-worker requested that I upload a recipe for ‘Achaar’, or ‘spicy pickles’. As much as I adore Achaar; I have to give this disclaimer to anyone who might want to make this dish
1) If you don’t like spicy food, do NOT attempt to make this. Achaar is extremely hot and flavorful and is usually eaten as side with lentils and rice, or with flat bread and yoghurt.
2) This is something that qualifies as South Asian junk food- so don’t be fooled by the veggies; this is definitely not a healthy recipe.
Aside from that- Achaar is delicious and is something most South Asians eat with EVERYTHING. It is easy to make and is fantastic to bottle and put away; as with any pickled food- Eggplant achaar only gets better with time and can last a while in your fridge!
Heres a quick recipe:
6 Indian violet baby eggplants
1 chopped Tomato
1 chopped red onion
½ teaspoon Coriander powder
½ teaspoon Red chilli flakes
½ teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon Dry mango powder
½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
Salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon Indian 5-spice(a mix of fennel, cumin, mustard, fenugreek and nigella seeds)
2 tablespoons Oil
Wash eggplant, chop into pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, throw in chopped red onion (this is an optional ingredient , most people don’t use onion, but I like the flavour) add the eggplant and a pinch of salt and stir. Cover and let it cook till they get tender and evenly coloured, stirring in between.
Remove eggplant from the pan, and set aside.
in the same pan add the remaining oil and Indian 5-spice and let them crackle. Add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 5 minutes.
Add Garam masala, dry mango powder and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Re-Add the eggplant back in the mix , add tamarind and mix everything till all ingredients have absorbed flavour. Cook for about 3-4 min. It should be semi dry.
For those who can stomach this, I hope you enjoy it! I know I did!