Cindy’s Super Simple Baby Brinjal Pickle

Brinjals / Flavia Morlachetti (p)

Jackie Cameron
Next up is from the queen of preserves, Cindy Valayadam, whose pickles and preserves fly off the shelves at her buzzing Umhlali Fresh Produce shop to tables around the country and abroad. Most of the items are made with ingredients grown on the nearby family farm. I’m reluctant to admit I have never visited Cindy’s shop but recently George and Louise Jardine, of Jardine Restaurant on Jordan’s Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, came to KwaZulu-Natal and the Midlands. Their desire to explore led them to Umhlali Fresh Produce and at dinner one evening they shared Cindy’s pickle garlic in roasted broccoli with me. The recipe I have included - baby brinjal pickle - is as delicious.
— Jackie Cameron

Baby Brinjal Pickle


  • 500g baby brinjals
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 Tbsp pickle (methi) masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger and garlic
  • Salt to taste


  1. Remove stems from brinjals. Slit brinjals twice, lengthways, keeping intact at stem end.
  2. Blanch in boiling water, vinegar and salt for 10 mins. Drain.
  3. Heat oil. Add blanched brinjal, masala, turmeric, ginger and garlic, salt to taste. Gently mix in, on the stove. Pack in glass bottles.
  4. Leave for a week before serving.