I had been wanting to do this recipe for awhile now. This just looked so very unusual to me. It is not a creamy eggplant dip that we see nor is it a strictly sour relish. The fact this is made with eggplant just gave it one more little curiosity twist!
Eggplant (or Apple) Relish
Boil and dry eggplants. Take walnut meat, minced parsley, honey, wine vinegar, pepper, Chinese cinnamon, ginger, garlic, oil, caraway, dried coriander and atraf al-rib. Boil them on the fire, and put the eggplant down in it and leave them until they sour.
Rodinson, pp. 399
1 eggplant (or 3 apples) ½ C. walnuts 2 Tbs. fresh parsley ½ C. honey
½ C. wine vinegar 6 cloves garlic 4 Tbs. olive oil
½ tsp pepper, Chinese cinnamon, ginger, caraway seed, coriander
*Atraf al-Tib – is a combination of premixed spices that ranged from mild to spicy. These were either made at home or purchased from a spice merchant much like today’s powdered curries.
As can be seen from the ingredients picture, there are quite a few elements to this recipe. Once everything is assembled (peeled and chopped) the cooking goes very quickly!
The translation does not say if the eggplants are peeled or not. I used a large regular eggplant (a common black beauty I believe) though experimenting with other types of eggplants is highly encouraged (as well as using apples).
Erring on the side of caution as eggplant skin is very bitter, I peeled the eggplant then cubed. The cubes were placed into boiling water until just tender.
While the eggplant was cooking all other ingredients were blended into a pot and cooked till boiling.
When the eggplant had been drained and dried, the cubes were added to the spice mixture. The mixture was allowed to cook until the eggplant took the flavors of the spices, honey and vinegar. A very sweet and sour taste.
Note: In this recipe, eggplants can be substituted with apples. I would suggest cubing and cutting of the apples. Peeling of the apples is optional as apple skins are not as bitter as eggplant skin.
Try this on flat bread or meat. Very very tasty…depending on what type of spicy spice mixture you used…this can be very spicy and tasty too!