I had a dear guest today. My granddaughter came over and we cooked together. She loves falafel and also all kinds of vegetable patties, but doesn’t care for tahini or yogurt sauces. Today we made very tasty eggplant and chickpea patties and then I ask her what kind of sauce would you like to have with them? And she said: “ Could we make some kind of chutney?” I have never cooked chutney of any kind before, but I know it is an Indian sweet and savory condiment and in my fridge, pantry and on my spice shelf are always plenty of things which I can use to substitute Indian spice mixes. I had fresh plum tomatoes and a 20oz can of pineapple slices, so we decided that a combination of some acid, sugar and spices will be just right to create our own chutney.
The spice, heat and the acid and sugar content is to our taste. Feel free to adjust to your taste and style.
I am giving you the recipe for the delicious Eggplant-Chickpea patties , but this chutney will also compliment many other dishes. —Kukla
about 3 cups
For the Chutney
• 2 tablespoons any neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil)
• 1/2 a large yellow onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely shredded on a microplane
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until very soft and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic, ginger and the chile pepper; lower the heat to medium-low and cook stirring with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, pineapple chunks, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, the vinegar, pomegranate molasses, sugar, allspice and cardamom, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften slightly and the mixture thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley or cilantro. Let cool to room temperature. Serve over roasted or pan-fried fish, with roasted chicken, over juicy thick pork chops and I think this kind of chutney would be very tasty with grilled cheese sandwiches.
For the Eggplant-Chickpea patties (Makes 12 to 16 Patties depending on the size)
Put the drained eggplant flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher, set aside.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until very soft and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, with a wooden spoon for about 30- 40 seconds. Add salt, black pepper, curry powder and cayenne pepper; sauté a little longer.
Lower the heat to medium- low; mix in the mashed eggplant flesh and cook, stirring for about 20 to 30 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Turn of the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Place chickpeas, pimientos, tomatoes and tahini in a bowl of food processor and whirl until everything is well mixed and coarsely pureed.
In the bottom of a large bowl beat the eggs and then add the eggplant and chickpeas mixtures. Add the bread crumbs, almond flour, parsley and mint; taste for seasoning, add what you think is needed and mix well to combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2-inches ice cream scup, form the eggplant mixture into balls, rolling tightly and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable or canola oil. In your hands flatten the balls into patties; add 4 or 5 of them into the skillet and cook over medium heat, turning ones, until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with the chutney or any sauces you like and enjoy!