Try this aubergine pickle, then check out our vegan aubergine dhansak, saag chana masala, aloo gobi mattar and more vegetarian Indian recipes.

Most pickling in India is done in summer as the heat assists the process. Cooking on the hob results in a similar flavour for this pickle.


  • 500g aubergines, cut into wedges
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 12 curry leaves, see notes below
  • 150g jaggery or soft dark brown sugar, see notes below
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder


  • 12 dried kashmiri chillies, see notes below
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 120ml malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  • STEP 1

    Put the aubergines in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with a big pinch of salt. Mix and leave for 1 hour to drain the moisture, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Put all the paste ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz to a smooth paste.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a lidded kadhai or wok over a medium heat. Fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and the masala paste, and fry for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add the drained aubergine and the chilli powder, and stir well. Season and fry for 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, until the aubergine has cooked through and oil rises to the surface. Cool and decant into a sterilised jar. Chill for a week before opening.

Kashmiri chillies and chilli powder are a vivid red and have a milder flavour. Jaggery is an unrefined brown sugar with a deep caramel flavour most often sold in blocks. Find all of them, and curry leaves, at Indian grocers, larger supermarkets and online.

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

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