Recently I took a trip through India and when telling Emma of all my wonderful travels she was inspired to create a delicious Spicy Eggplant Kasundi for this episode of My Market Kitchen. Kasundi is a very popular and staple condiment throughout India and particularly in a stunning region called Goa. Goa is famous for its very flavoursome yet mild curries; they’re all about giving warmth, energy and immune boosting for the cooler months through your food. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ is a quote that’s always stuck with me and something you can see adopted throughout India and its many varying cuisines.
What is Kasundi?
Kasundi is a versatile spicy relish. The sauce originates from Bangladesh. It is a traditional variety of mustard sauce that is prepared by fermentation of mustard seeds with the help of conventional spices, olives and dried mangoes. The flavour of the sauce is strong. It has a pungent taste that resembles a pickle.
How can we use Kasundi?
The conventional use of kasundi is with shaak-bhaat. It is a dish containing steamed rice over the green leafy mesh, which is served as a condiment. Kasundi is mostly served in restaurants and food stalls nowadays as a dip for snacks such as fritters, chops, cutlets etc.
Kasundi tastes best when served with Indian style meals as a relish. It tastes amazing when added to scrambled eggs or toast for a spicy and handpicks breakfast if you are in a rush or late-night snacking after you are done with few drinks.
You will also love it in a bowl of earthy dahl with a splodge of kasundi stirred through. To enhance flavour, top it with some crushed poppadum. You can also enjoy the Kasundi over barbecued meats or simply add it to salads, spinach vegetable mashes, and fried veggies for interesting combinations.
The recipe is high on gluten. The kasundi will be ready in a week to eat. You can keep it for 2–3 months if properly refrigerated.
This Kasundi recipe incorporates a plethora of warming, immune-boosting spices like our very special Turmeric from the Allepy region in India; containing high levels of curcumin that is excellent for immune boosting and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. For a little energy boost we’ve incorporated some warming Mustard Powder and Ground Kashmiri Chillies and for good digestion and to keep our tummies working, Fenugreek seeds are a great addition. For a deep red colour there’s some added Sweet Paprika and to tie everything together a generous sprinkling of our global spice, Cumin.
All of these amazing spices are soaked up by these little eggplant sponges and cooks down to create a little jar packed-full of flavour. Add to the side of curries or just some grilled chicken breast and salad or I even have it alongside my scrambled eggs in the morning.
Use our easy-to-follow recipe and watch along with Emma and I to whip this homemade condiment up yourself at home. It can keep in your pantry or fridge for up to 6 months!
You can save the leftover kasundi to try it with grilled meat or roasted beef sandwiches. It tastes delicious.
Is Kasundi good for health?
Yellow mustard seeds are a good source of potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It keeps your heart function in check by regulating heartbeat and reducing the risk of heart diseases. Calcium in mustard seeds helps in strengthening the bones and teeth.
Consuming mustard seeds on a daily basis also improves metabolism and digestion. It can help you if you are trying to lose weight. Note that eating mustard all alone doesn’t have similar effects. You can add Kasundi to your diet to lose extra fat from the body and ensure its benefits.
Spices used in this recipe
Kashmiri Chillies Ground – Mild
The Kashmiri Chilli is a variety of chilli known for its intense red colour and lower heat rating, making it ideal to use in tandoori, butter chicken and rogan josh curries. They are dried and finely ground before adding to curries, soups, stews or even as a finishing sprinkle for a spicy heat. It is widely used especially in Indian cuisine, but also Mexican, Asian and Italian dishes.$3.45
Cumin Seeds Ground
Cumin seeds are an ancient and versatile spice that are a staple in countless kitchens across the world. Cumin has a khaki colour and peppery and nutty flavour with tangy citrus overtones. It is a key ingredient in curry making. Use in Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Mexican cooking.$6.95
Turmeric Powder (Alleppey)
Turmeric alleppey has the highest level of naturally occurring curcumin. It has a light, warm, mildly bitter peppery flavor, and an earthy musky aroma. Its deep mustard yellow-ochre color imparts a strong dark yellow hue to any dish. It is preferred for its health benefits due to its higher levels of curcumin.$6.95
Fenugreek Seeds (Whole)
Fenugreek seeds are the ripe fruit obtained from the small fenugreek plant and are a member of the legume family. The small hard seeds have a yellowish caramel colour and a bitter sweet and nutty flavour with a pungent aroma. The seeds, when dry, are very hard and difficult to grind. However, if you soak the seeds in water overnight or cook the seeds in water the seeds disslove into a soft paste. Their subtle bitter taste lends them for use most extensively in Indian curries but also in savoury sauces and vegetable dishes in Mediterranean cuisine.$3.45
Paprika Sweet- Spanish
Spanish paprika sweet is made from ground red pepper has a rich red colour while retaining a mild flavour which complements most savoury dishes. Due to its vibrant colour and full-bodied flavour it is used in many European and Indian dishes. It gives a subtle caramelised sweet warmth to dishes and it is a core ingredient in our North Africa Chermula.$6.95
Mustard powder is made when the yellow seeds are finely milled, and are used more often than the whole seeds as it provides more flavour with less effort. Mustard powder has a mild and slight sweet flavour and pungent aroma. The powder can be mixed with water to form a mustard paste to flavour bbq meats. It releases an earthy aroma when cooked and a savoury and tangy taste. Yellow powder is commonly used in the Western cuisine. It is key ingredient in the Indian blend Panch Phora.
Peel and roughly pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle.
Mix all the powders with the vinegar.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the crushed garlic. When slightly coloured, add the spice powder mixture and mix well.
Cut the eggplant into 1 cm cubes and add to the spice mixture. Add the sugar and the salt. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook down for about 45 minutes.
Pour into sterilised jars and put the lid on. Store in the refrigerator or a cool spot. This only improves with age. It is quite spicy so if you like less spice, go easy on the Ground Kashmiri Chillies and Sweet Paprika.
This is delicious on savory pastry treats and delicious on egg-based dishes.