Chutney is a condiment that is both savory and sweet. It's used as a sandwich spread, an accompaniment to meats and chicken, or used as an ingredient in sauces. While eggplant is not a usual ingredient, it does make a rich chutney when combined with fruits, flavorings and spices. Indian eggplant chutney is meant to be eaten with rice as a main dish.
Choose small eggplants rather than large ones. Large eggplants have prominent seeds and the flesh can be bitter. Eggplant starts to discolor once it is sliced, so slice and peel it at the last minutes before adding it to the other ingredients. Chop the peeled eggplant into 1 inch cubes. Eggplants are not only purple but come in white, pink, and a striped variety.
Classic Indian Eggplant Chutney
Saute a large chopped onion and three cloves of garlic in 2 tbsp. of olive oil until they're translucent. Add two chopped jalapeno peppers and 1 tbsp. of tumeric which will add flavor and a yellow color. Add 1 tbsp. of cumin and 1/4 tsp. of ground cloves. Add three small, chopped eggplants and two chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp. of brown sugar, and 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. Saute over low heat for 15 minutes until all ingredients are cooked and the eggplant is falling apart. Add water or additional apple cider vinegar if the mixture is too dry. It should be the consistency of a thick sauce.
Peach Eggplant Chutney
Saute the onion and garlic as in the first recipe. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1/4 tsp. of ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon. Add the chopped eggplants and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of peeled chopped peaches. Cook over low heat for another 10 minutes until the peaches are very soft. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to keep a sauce consistency.
Citrus Eggplant Chutney
Saute onion and garlic as in the first recipe. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the grated rind of one lemon. Add the chopped eggplants and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of chopped and peeled winter squash like acorn or hubbard. Cook for 20 minutes until the squash is soft. Add the chopped fruit from an orange and a red grapefruit. Simmer to five minutes. If the chutney is too dry add a bit of orange juice.