Cook's Hideout: Eggplant Relish

May 09, 2009

Eggplant Relish

I worked part time in a deli/ caterer during my masters for almost a year. Those days were crazy busy with juggling classes, assignments, on-campus job and part-timing at the deli; but it was so much fun to bounce around the campus, care-free and jolly.
So now you ask, what has all this to do with the eggplant spread? Ok.. Ok.. I’m getting to it; Arlene, the lovely owner used to make this delicious eggplant spread quite often for sandwiches and wraps. This spread was savory-sweet-tangy and works wonderfully as a spread or a dip. Being a sucker for anything with eggplant, I kick myself for not asking Arlene for the recipe, but this is my guesstimated recipe that I came up with, I think its pretty close to the original.

Eggplant – 1 medium, chopped
Red Pepper – 1 medium, chopped
Red onion – 1 medium, chopped
Tomato puree – ¼ cup
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp
Dried Oregano – 1tsp
Honey – 1-2tbsp
Salt & pepper – to taste

  • Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan; add onions and sauté until they start turning translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add chopped eggplant, red pepper, salt and red pepper flakes; cover and cook on medium flame until the eggplants are completely cooked, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree, honey & oregano at this stage; cover and cook again for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasonings; uncover and cook to make the mixture thicker and to make all that extra water evaporate.

I used the spread to make a Panini. All you need is crusty bread, some sliced cheese (I used provolone cheese) and 2-3 tbsps of eggplant spread. Half the bread and remove the inside from one of the half (snack on the crumbs as you make the sandwich :-D). Spoon in the spread in the cavity that you created; put the cheese slices on the other half. Lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray, put the sandwich and place a brick or a heavy cast-iron skillet on top. Cook till grill marks form, about 5 minutes; flip and repeat.


  1. Eggplant dip/spread is new to me..looks very delicious and tasty..will try this soon, thanks for sharing :)

  2. That sounds wonderful, and the sandwich looks amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I'd be pretty sad about not stealing the caterers recipe too! but this looks damn good!

  4. Relish looks mouthwatering Pavani..nice click

    Happy Mother's Day !!

  5. Hi Pavani,
    Eggplant is the least sought in've proved it wrong :) the way it ios prepared and presented could even make a fussy kid eat without complaining :) looks superb.

  6. Looks mouthwatering,nice click.I love brinjal :)))))

  7. Great combination of sweet-savory and tangy.

  8. hey Pavani, very yummy looking dish.. is it similar to bartha?

  9. Wow droolworthy dish..just drooling here!

  10. Thank you gals. Do try and let me know how you like it. I'm sure eggplant lovers will love this relish.

    Hi Sharmi, Eggplant is not roasted for this relish as in bhartha, also its not as spicy as bharta. Its more sweet & tangy.

  11. Excellent idea to use in panini :)

  12. Paninis and eggplant spread yum yum yummy!!! Slurrrp!!!

  13. This is really yummy pavani..! Will try out!!:)

  14. Lovely spread! This is going to my bookmarks.

  15. i too am a sucker for anything eggplant!! that panini looks just awesome!!

  16. Co0o0o0l..never thought of eggplant in sandwich, but the panini looks very yummilicious.

  17. so so beautiful pic and mouthwatering recipe.


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