Last week Mr Tiffin told me that his boss still made, on a regular basis, the recipe I had given her years ago for Tomato Kasundi. That sent me into the depths of the recipe basket to hunt it out. I couldn’t even recall how I had first encountered kasundi or came across a recipe, let alone making and sharing it with colleagues. The timing could not have been better as I have several eggplants and a handful of tomatoes that needed to be used. So, rather than making a tomato kasundi, I adapted the recipe to create an eggplant kasundi.
There is very little (in English) on the internet about kasundi except to state that it is a spicy relish or pickle that is Bengali in origin. It’s likely to have originated from kashundi, which is a pungent mustard sauce, mustard being a key ingredient in Bengali cuisine. Whilst mustard seeds are present in this Eggplant Kasundi, they play a supporting rather than starring role. This version is also chilli free, allowing the many other spices to shine through rather than overwhelming with a punch of heat.
Kasundi can be used as a chutney or relish to accompany Indian style meals. It goes equally well when stirred through scrambled eggs for a spicy pick me up breakfast or late night snack on toast, after a few drinks. My favourite use is to brighten a simple of bowl of earthy dahl with a splodge of kasundi stirred through, topped with some crushed pappadoms. This recipe keeps well in jars unrefrigerated for several months, when processed correctly.
Spiced Eggplant Kasundi
- 2 – 3 large eggplants, cubed
- 4-6 large tomatoes, chopped or a punnet of cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
- 1 knob of ginger, grated
- 1 – 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin, ground
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander, ground
- 1 tbsp garam masala (optional)
- 2 tspn salt
- 1/2 tspn black pepper, ground
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, raw or white
- 250ml apple cider vinegar
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- Heat oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan and add grated ginger and garlic and chopped onion. Stir for a few minutes then add mustard seeds and other spices (seeds and ground) to the saucepan, continuing to stir.
- Add the chopped eggplant and tomatoes to the pan and stir. Place the lid on and leave to cook down for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the eggplant has completely softened, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and stir. Continue to cook without the lid for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until the kasundi has thickened and reduced.
- Pour the hot mixture into sterilised jars. For more on sterilising options, follow this link and see my notes at the bottom of the post – it’s easy!