Eggplant Kasundi

Eggplant, or aubergine, or brinjal, has become one of my favourite vegetables over the years. It’s fabulous in any type of cuisine be it Chinese (in spicy garlic sauce, yum!), Greek (Moussaka, my favourite), French (Raaaaatatouille), Japanese (Nasu Dengaku, anyone?), Malay (Sambal eggplant… and more), you name it, there is bound to be a recipe for it.

Some interesting facts about eggplant (partly stolen from my old blog):

1. It’s a fruit – It is part of the nightshade (Solanacene) family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and chili peppers.
2. Tobacco is also a member of the nightshade family. Thus like tobacco, eggplants contain nicotine!
3. Italy, China, Turkey, Egypt, and Japan are the earth’s greatest producers of the eggplant. The Italians call it “melanzane,” which means “crazy apple.”
4. According to a 5th century Chinese scroll, fashionable Chinese women used to make a dye out of the skin of purple eggplants and polish their teeth with it until they were a shiny gray. (sexay!)
5. One cup of cooked eggplant has only nearly 28 calories, and at almost 10% of your daily fiber, they are also high in copper and potassium.

So I had a surplus of Eggplants from over-enthusiastic groceries shopping, and I ended up googling uncommon recipes to use them up. And then I found (and made) this:

Eggplant Kasundi
Eggplant Kasundi

Having never heard of the term Kasundi, I did a little research: Kasundi is actually a rich, unctuous tomato relish/pickle originated from India. Specifically, it’s a Bengali recipe. Traditionally this is made in big batches because it tends to last quite long due to the sugar, vinegar and spices. I’m not sure if adding Eggplant is a common practise but my guess is that this is more of a “bastardised” version, but nonetheless delicious. I had no intention of jarring it though as I know we’d be able to finish it in a day or two.

Mmmm.... the rich dark colour looks pretty sexy to me.
Mmmm…. the rich dark colour looks pretty sexy to me.

Eggplant Kasundi (Recipe from Taste.com.au)

1 Eggplant (around 300g), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Brown onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
400g can Diced Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoon Malt vinegar
Peanut Oil
Coriander to Garnish

To minimise oil absorption (if you have cooked eggplants you would know how much they suck up oil!), salt the eggplant for at least 20 minutes, then wash and dry.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat until almost smoking. Cook eggplant (in batches if needed), stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until golden. Add mustard seeds and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the seeds start to pop.

Add the ginger, chilli and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until soft. Add the cumin, paprika and turmeric and stir to combine.

Add the eggplant, tomato, sugar and vinegar and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring, for 30 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly. Serve with bread, rice or papadums.

Delicious!
Delicious!

This Kasundi definitely packs a lot of heat with the chillies as well as the mustard, but at the same time has a balance of sour, sweet and savoury notes with a hint of bitterness from mustard seeds and eggplant seeds (although salting it has reduced the bitterness a great deal). By the way, this is totally vegan, and totally good for you. We actually had this with pasta (rebels, we are) and it was quite addictive. As a result, I only had a little bit of leftover and I made this for lunch today.

"Laksa" (Sarawak Laksa Paste) with Eggplant Kasundi and also some Beef Rendang which I made over the weekend. Bastardization to the max!
“Laksa” (Sarawak Laksa Paste) with Eggplant Kasundi and also some Beef Rendang which I made over the weekend. Bastardization to the max!

I like making my ‘Instant noodles’ this way. Just buy packets of noodles (just noodles, no seasoning, non-fried ones are even better), and use my own stock + flavourings. I usually go crazy with toppings too. Don’t judge! 😛

Do you like eggplants as much as I do?

24 Comments Add yours

  1. devilck says:

    Interesting recipe! I cooked eggplants once and found they’re very oily, now I know how to reduce the oil absorption. Hehehe

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah. It makes a huge difference.

  2. Hankerie says:

    Something new to me, Kasundi. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. kellysiew says:

      It was new to me until last night too. Pretty sure you can do a Kiwi version,might want to give it a go?

  3. ooo, my favorite eggplant recipe is eggplant yong tau foo 😀 love the look of your kasundi too. it looks almost mediterranean, in a way! seems like a definite crowd-pleaser!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Oooh I love Yong tau foo with eggplant, Chili, bitter gourd and okra Hahahaha all the veges basically. Yeah this Kasundi sure looks a little like pasta sauce of sort but taste wise is definitely Indian! Hehe

  4. Phong Hong says:

    Kelly, I love eggplant! Back home we would grill it over the stove top and eat with sambal belacan. I love all forms of eggplant curry and hey, I love your mish mash noodle dish. I bet it tasted great 🙂

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yum! Eggplants are so versatile aren’t they? hehe I do that a lot with my leftovers, use them as toppings for my noodle soup. Sometimes it can get a little weird……

  5. suituapui says:

    My daughter loves those, loves ’em cooked with sambal too, I’m ok with them. Your noodle dish sure looks good!

    1. kellysiew says:

      They do take on flavours quite well. So anything works, really. Maybe except for desserts. Hehe

  6. Mmm I so love eggplant too and I had no idea that it had nicotine in it! The things you learn every day! 😀 Thanks Kelly!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Hehee yeap saw your moussaka dish which is also one of my fav eggplant dish!

  7. doubtless says:

    I should smoke some eggplant

  8. I love eggplants!! This eggplant kasundi looks absolutely amazing and delicious!!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah it was gone so quickly! I love the silky soft eggplant in this.

  9. i always pick eggplant dish whenever i’m eating at chap fan stall! love the mushy texture 😛

    didn’t know it contains nicotine until you mention it!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah it’s so nice when it’s silky and smooth!

  10. missyblurkit says:

    Totally nutritious! And definitely one of my faves too…didn’t like it as a kid but grown to love it more as I grew up.

    Love it in my pastas and lasagna!

    1. kellysiew says:

      I don’t think I’ve had eggplants until I was living in Oz. Eggplant was never on the dinner table. But I’m definitely making up for it now.

  11. I’m not sure if I like eggplants. I haven’t had it since i was really young. I need to give them another go now. This dish looks fantastic!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah give it a go! 😀

  12. kirtinag says:

    Awesome recipes!! I like all Eggplant recipes but my favorite eggplant recipe is Grilled Aubergine Eggplant.

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